There is a call for diaspora scholars to rethink the normative concepts of "culture" and "identity" that have delineated what a diaspora can and should look like, and to more rigorously explore what a diaspora does look like vis-à-vis the interactions of diasporic communities through media. My research examines diasporic cultural identification in contemporary Nigerian and more recently, Ethiopian media to explore more nuanced, less deterministic dialectical frameworks through which to define a diaspora. Some of these frameworks place many of the primacies that are inherent in Western historiology and 'gnosis' into question. Here, strands of Decolonial theory that focus on postnationalist histories and move us beyond colonizing discourses yield useful analytical and methodological approaches to refining the intersectional aspects of media, culture and identity.
On Defining a Diaspora
I have used the following scholarship for research, lectures and private study:
Butler, Kim D. 'Defining Diaspora, Refining a Discourse', Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 10: 2 (2001) pp. 189-219. Copyright 1992-2006 University of Toronto Press Incorporated. Available through the Project MUSE database.
In Towards the Decolonization of the African Film(1991) pp. 97-106, Dr. Hyginus Ekwuazi addresses an African media landscape (film), whose sets of references and “signifiers are all drawn from the indigenous culture”. The observations that Ekwuazi draws upon to ground his positions include the works of the late Yasujirō Ozu. His positions also establish language and music as dialectical frameworks for diasporic cultural references and representations of identity. See Africa Media Review, 5:2 pp. 95-105.
InBeyond "Culture": Space, Identity, and the Politics of Difference Akhil Gupta and James Ferguson address ”simulacra, doublings and redoublings” of identity in contexts of transnational flows of culture (Pakistan, the UK, Iran and the USA), arguing that these flows usurp attempts to geographically map culture. See Cultural Anthropology, 7:1 (1992) pp. 6–23.
Inan interview with Tefera Gedamu on ETV (2013), Dr Dagmawi Woubshet of Colombia University discusses an idealogical landscape of social, cultural and political narratives that privileged famine, HIV AIDS and internal crises in identity discourses on Ethiopia and about Ethiopians from the 1980s to the mid 2000s. See this interview on YouTubeviadiretubein which Woubshet describes his experiences with these narratives upon his arrival to the United States and his introduction to the study of literature. Noting Amharic as a language whose "singularity" largely places non-Amharic speakers (or readers) outside of authentic perspectives of Ethiopian cultures and identities, Woubshet explores a shift from Althusserian interpellation to 'subjecthoods' in which emotional, social, political and multi-cultural forms of identification are being expressed by a new guard of Ethiopian academics and writers.