Home/Land (2008)



Paros, May 16-20, 2008


Like "love," "home" is above all tested in the terrain of emotion. In order to be the real thing, "home" must make itself known viscerally. 

Yet this time-tested core is at odds with the most pervasive social rearrangement of our era, that of globalization. The right to leave one's home/land when it has become a trap, a dead-end, or a prison is matched by the right to have one's home/land sheltered from a free-for-all. Emigrants abandon their home/land; immigrants enter another country's household. What if they later wish to return? Is there such a thing as not wishing to have a home, to remain homeless? And must departure always be rooted in despair? What are the membranes, gateways, border fences, smokescreens, and bureaucratic protocols through which the shape-shifting inherent to migration happens?

In this new mobile world, perhaps there can be a home different from that which shelters -- an @home site of some virtual sort.....

Ancient traditions of hospitality and universal human rights abut against the equally fundamental rights of private property as well as against the leveling force of Law that regulates belonging without undue sentiment.

Our conversation might start from such questions and interrogate or refine some of these ground rules for uprootedness or transplantation. 


Happening Now

  • Ranjit Hoskote’s speech at the 2024 Goa Literary Festival addresses the current situation in Gaza.

  • In NY Times, Bina Shah worries about the state of Pakistani—and American—democracy.

  • “I went to [Ayodhya] to think about what it means to be an Indian and a Hindu... ”  A new essay by critic and novelist Chandrahas Choudhury.

  • In the January 2024 iteration of the French/English non-fiction site Frictions, T J Benson writes about “Riding Afrobeats Across the World.” Also new, a next installment in the bilingual series featuring work by students from Paris VIII’s Creative Writing program and the University of Iowa’s NFW program.

  • in NYTimes, Sanam Maher examines a new book about women defending themselves when the justice system in their country won’t.

Find Us Online