Travelers, Immigrants, Inmates was first published in 1995. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Identities are always mistaken; yet they are as necessary as air to sustain life in and among communities. Frances Bartkowski uses travel writings, U.S. immigrant autobiographies, and concentration camp memoirs to illustrate how tales of dislocation present readers with a picture of the complex issues surrounding mistaken identities. In turn, we learn much about the intimate relation between language and power.
Combining psychoanalytic and political modes of analysis, Bartkowski explores the intertwining of place and the construction of identities. The numerous writings she considers include André Gide's Voyage to the Congo, Eva Hoffman's Lost in Translation, Sandra Cisneros's House on Mango Street, Zora Neale Hurston's Dust Tracks on a Road and Tell My Horse, and Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz.
Elegantly written and incisive, Travelers, Immigrants, Inmates stands at the crossroads of contemporary discussions about ethnicity, race, gender, nationalism, and the politics and poetics of identity. It has much to offer readers interested in questions of identity and cultural differences.
Frances Bartkowski is associate professor of English and director of women's studies at Rutgers University in Newark. She is the author of Feminist Utopias (1989).