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Writing Europe: a dialogue of ‘liminal Europeans’

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Abstract

Migration has been a regular feature in Europe since before the Romans. However, an acceleration of this process in the 20th and 21st centuries has resulted in the breaking down of old affinities and alignments and the emergence of new formations that challenge traditional group definitions. Many Europeans experience strong senses of exclusion from the mainstream society to which they have migrated. Some have explored this challenge of liminality in writing. The essay focuses on auto/ethnographies that have been penned in a liminal context with particular reference to the concept of Europe. How do migrants translate their own memories and stories from one region of Europe into a new cultural setting? What is the composite picture of Europe that is created in these migrant writings and how significant is the experience of liminality?

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