Stacy Fahrenthold deposited Return migration and repatriation: Myths and realities in the interwar Syrian mahjar on Humanities Commons 1 year, 3 months ago
The concept of return is an intoxicating analytic for scholars, for several reasons. The idea that migrants return home creates opportunities to reclaim them from the hegemony of the bordered nation-state. For diaspora theorists, return works as a rebuttal to the field’s preoccupations with exile and loss. Migrants return home all the time, temporarily as tourists or permanently as repatriates. Examining the interwar Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian diaspora, this chapter considers return migration along three planes: (1) as a scholarly problem; (2) as a diasporic mythology; and (3) as a reality for thousands of emigrants who returned from the American mahjar. Narrating a history of return from the diaspora, the chapter suggests new avenues for researchers into return migration, repatriation and deportation in Middle East studies.