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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Acknowledging home(s) and belonging(s) : border writing Purru, Kadi


My dissertation is an inquiry into issues of home and belonging. For many people, the struggle to create a home in a "new" country, and the oscillation between a past "there" and present "here" have become ways of existence. Displacement challenges and raises questions regarding one's roots, affiliations, loyalty and belonging. The yearning for a place such as home becomes a site of inquiry for communities of displaced people. Destined to live between languages, cultures and national affiliations, im/migrants construct their homes in the particular place of "border." Acknowledging Home(s) and Belonging(s): Border Writing is "homeward" journeying through the discursive landscapes of nation, ethnicity, diaspora, and "race." It explores how border interrupts/initiates a discourse of home. I am an im/migrant researcher. The word "migrant" connotes impermanence, detachment and instability. From this positionality I introduce a slash into the word "immigrant" to transform these connotations into a permanence of migration. As autoethnographic and conversational inquiry, I explore im/migrant experiences from the position of "I," rather than "We." However, "I" is not a position of isolated individual(istic) exclusiveness, but a position of the personal articulation through the relationships with/in community. My research includes conversations with: theorists, colleagues from different disciplinary backgrounds, members of the "ethnic" communities to which I belong, and my daughter. I construct these conversations as borderzone arriculations where a "third space" emerges. The word dissertation stems etymologically from Greek dialegesthai, to converse, to dialogue; whereby dia- means "one with another," and legesthai means "to tell, talk." My dissertation endeavors to recognize - to know again, to know anew these deep layers of border as dialogue and conversation. As an im/migrant inquiry, my dissertation intends to create a different, mother knowing and culture of scholarship that broaden and deepen the space of academic researching/writing.

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