Zygmunt Bauman, in his publication Liquid Modernity, described the meeting of strangers as a mismeeting – a brief encounter which had no past and the unlikely possibility of a future. This suggests a meeting which is free from expectation, but it also has the potential to fuel alienation and displacement. Being a stranger is not synonymous with distant geographies or borderlands, though it does include them: strangers and peculiar places can be found closer to home. Themes of alienation, strangeness and foreignness converge in the following accounts. The reader will migrate through unrecognisable narratives coming into contact with diasporic identities, stand-up comedians, English Language Educators, artists and photographers, to mention a few. These accounts are diverse but commonalities are tangled between webs of thought. Readers are invited to tug at the threads of this web, to find their own connections and chance upon unexpected revelations which come through picking the ends.
Situating Strangeness: Exploring the Intersections between Bodies and Borders
Edited by Vanessa Longden
While strangers take various forms and emerge from all walks of life, those that are ‘strange’ can be the closest to us. Those who are most extraordinary may in fact be ourselves.
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Chance Encounters and (Un)Remarkable Things
Strangers in a Strange City: Ilya Kabakov’s ‘Total Installation’ as an ‘Archive Song of Ruins’
Meetings in Virtual Spaces: Re-Examining Francesca Woodman’s Self-Portraits
Ethnic and Extraterrestrial Invaders
The Other at Home: Narratives of Difference and Migration
Identity and Attitudes toward Return among Romanians Abroad
Homeless in the ‘Promised’ Homeland: An Exploration of the Concept of the Diasporic Consciousness through the South Asian Case Study of the ‘Biharis’ of Bangladesh
Problematic Privilege: Female Western Native English Speaker English Educators (WNESEE) in Japan
The Laugh Is Political: Public and Popular Notions of Indianness in Qatar
In-Between Assimilation and Dissimilation: Artistic Responses to Postcolonial Issues of Ethnic Minorities in East Asia and the Commonwealth of Nations