Multiculturalism and the formation of a diasporic counterpublic in Roy K. Kiyooka's StoneDGloves
[in special issue: Disappearance and Mobility]
Canadian Literature, 201, Summer Issue, .
This essay considers how recent diasporic writing has questioned the liberal democratic claims of Canada’s multicultural policies to recognise the history and culture of its diasporic citizens. At the core of the essay is a detailed reading of Roy Kiyooka’s catalogue of poems and photographs, StoneDGloves (1970), which considers how Kiyooka traces a history of race-labour in the foundations of the Canadian nation state, and attempts to redress state policies of racial exclusion and discrimination in Canada’s national narrative. But the essay also supplements this reading with a discussion of the ways in which the history of race-labour migrancy and the discourse of racial exclusion is figured in Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl (2002) and Roy Miki’s Random Access File (1995). In so doing, I suggest that these texts contribute to the formation of a diasporic counterpublic, or a rhetorical site for articulating histories of migration and racialization.
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