It is a great pleasure to present Mette Berg’s new book, Diasporic Generations: Memory, Politics, and Nation (Berghan Books 2011) among Cubans in Spain. Many of us know Mette either personally or through her articles, and have found her particular ethnographic focus–Cubans residing in Spain–to greatly enrich the conventional centering of the diaspora around Miami.
“Highlighting key generational differences, dynamics and trajectories, Mette Louise Berg’s work adds an exceptionally significant approach to studies on diasporas and transnational migration. Her case study of Cubans in Spain also interestingly reflects deep changes in Cuban society over a number of decades. By way of developing a more comprehensive understanding of these topics, this book is essential reading for students and advanced scholars alike.” · Steve Vertovec, Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity
“Mette Louise Berg’s work is a productive, insightful, and timely intervention in the study of the Cuban diaspora and other contemporary transnational movements…an original and substantial contribution to the scholarly literature on migration.” · Jorge Duany, University of Puerto Rico
“…well-written and intelligent, and deals with the Cuban diaspora in Spain, about which little is known. The author excellently locates her study within interesting general literature on memory, homelands, nationalism, and diasporas…it is superb.” · Susan Eckstein, Boston University
Interpretations of the background to the Cuban diaspora – a political revolution and the subsequent radical transformation of the society and economy towards socialism – are politicised and highly contested. The Miami-based Cuban diaspora has had extraordinary success in putting its case high on the US political agenda and in capturing world media attention, but in the process the multiplicity of experiences within the diaspora has been overshadowed. This book gives voice to diasporic Cubans living in Spain, the former colonial ruler of Cuba. By focusing on their lived experiences of displacement, the book brings to light imaginative, narrative re-creations of the nation from afar. Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, the book argues that the Cuban diaspora in Spain consists of three diasporic generations, generated through distinct migratory experiences. This constitutes an important step forward in understanding the dynamics of memory-making and social differentiation within diasporas, and in appreciating why people within the same diaspora engage in different modes of transnational practices and homeland relations.
Mette Louise Berg is a lecturer in the anthropology of migration at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on memory, diaspora, transnationalism and intergenerational dynamics.
Table of Contents after the jump: