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Tales of Transit

Narrative Migrant Spaces in Atlantic Perspective, 1850-1950

Michael Boyden Hans Krabbendam Liselotte Vandenbussche Gur Alroey Cecilia Alvstad Babs Boter Frank Caestecker Nancy K. Miller Yannis G.S. Papadopoulos An van Hecke

240 pages
Amsterdam University Press
Tales of Transit brings together advances from the fields of transportation and social history, translation studies and literary scholarship to cast new light on the great transatlantic migration movements from the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. For a long time, these movements have been studied from the perspective of the sending and receiving societies, while not much research was devoted to what happens in between. The contributions in this collection move these in-between places to center stage by focusing attention on immigrants' liminal experiences on board steamers and in exit ports on both sides of the Atlantic. Drawing on a variety of archival sources as well as travel writings, fiction, and memoir literature by first-, second- and even third-generation immigrants, Tales of Transit highlights how transatlantic migration during the period 1850-1950 was seldom a straightforward, one-way movement. The viewpoints represented in this volume go against the stereotype of the migrants as huddled masses and shows them actively engaging in complex rituals of engagement and disengagement.
Author Bio
Michael Boyden is Assistant Professor of American Culture at Ghent University College, Belgium Hans Krabbendam is assistant director of the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg and author of Vrijheid in het verschiet. Nederlandse emigratie naar Amerika, 1840-1920.