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Affect and nostalgia in contemporary narratives of transnational adoption
Kristianstad University, Faculty of Education, Avdelningen för humaniora.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3020-7814
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper focuses on contemporary Scandinavian narratives of transnational/transcultural adoption from Korea. Recently there has been a surge in primarily autobiographical publications written by adoptees themselves, such as Maja Lee Langvad’s Hun er vred (2014), Sofia French’s På jakt efter Mr. Kim i Seoul (2005), and Astrid Trotzig’s Blod är tjockare än vatten (1996). It has been pointed out that the life writing of adoptees is the most “radical” literature in Sweden today, addressing the global inequalities at the heart of transnational adoption (Svenska Dagbladet, 18 October 2015). While recognizing the progressive impetus of these texts, this paper focuses on their retrospective aspects. The texts of Langvad, French and Trotzig all center on the writer’s return to Korea; a journey that is connected to an idea of the past as holding the key to a significant part of one’s identity. To the adoptee writers, the past is literally ‘a foreign country’ and the story of this past is riddled with gaps and uncertainties reflecting the adoptee’s unknown and often unknowable origins. My analysis suggests that nostalgia in adoption literature is closely related to various figures of maternity, and that the longing for the mother is often translated into a longing for the mother country and its culture. The texts articulate intense emotions, such as melancholia, anger, and a keen sense of loss, and the paper concludes by considering the role of affect in contemporary adoption literature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-19838OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hkr-19838DiVA, id: diva2:1345056
Conference
Nostalgia in Contemporary Culture, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, June 4 – 5, 2018.
Available from: 2019-08-22 Created: 2019-08-22 Last updated: 2019-09-04Bibliographically approved

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Ahlin, Lena

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf