"Postcolonial London: Urban Narrative and Diasporic Identity" with Dr. Emilija Lipovsek

Course description:

Starting with the Empire Windrush sailing out in 1948 until the beginning of the 21st century, the seminar will focus on the span of over fifty years of postcolonial migration to London. After living and working in London for many years, migrants still feel left on the margins of the British society. Although born and bred in the UK, their children’s sense of belonging is undermined by other Londoners constantly asking: ‘Where are you really from?’ Special emphasis will be given to the questions of diasporic identities, institutional racism manifesting as discriminations that the first and second generations of migrants face in schools and workplaces, police cruelty, underpaid jobs, problems with housing, and differences in culinary traditions and climate. The seminar will discuss how London in urban narratives like The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi, White Teeth by Zadie Smith, Brick Lane by Monica Ali, and The Small Island by Andrea Levy reflects the liminal space between the ‘Englishness’, the migrants’ dreams and disappointment.