This collection of essays brings together leading experts in the study of exile and expatriation, whose historical and comparative perspectives enable readers to understand the phenomenon of forced displacement in the Americas. Political exile, a major political practice throughout most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, is still an under-researched topic. While ubiquitous and fascinating, with some notable and important exceptions, until recently it has been conceived as somewhat marginal for the development of these societies, instead being studied in the framework of traditional concepts and concerns in history and the social sciences. Following recent developments that highlight the centrality of diasporas and transnational studies, of transience and relocation, this book proposes that the study of exile should become a topic of central concern, closely related to basic theoretical problems and controversies on the structure of power, national representation and transnational displacement. The editors and contributors approach these issues through a nuanced reading of context and history.
The work discusses the formative impact of exile in many of these societies at different times, while analysing how it evolved and changed its character throughout the centuries. The systematic studies brought together in this volume will likely generate new readings of history and the societies in the Americas and the Diasporas, moving away from the traditional understanding of national histories towards more regional, transnational and even continental dimensions.
Luis Roniger is Reynolds Professor of Latin American Studies at Wake Forest University. A comparative political sociologist, his work focuses on the interface between politics, society and public culture. James N Green is Professor of Brazilian history and culture and former director of the Center for Latin American Studies and Caribbean Studies at Brown University. Pablo Yankelevich is Professor at Mexico's National School of Anthropology and History, and member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences.