© 2020

A Literary Anthropology of Migration and Belonging

Roots, Routes, and Rhizomes

  • Cicilie Fagerlid
  • Michelle A. Tisdel

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literary Anthropology book series (PSLA)

About this book


This collection pushes migration and "the minor" to the fore of literary anthropology. What happens when authors who thematize their “minority” background articulate notions of belonging, self, and society in literature? The contributors use “interface ethnography” and “fieldwork on foot” to analyze a broad selection of literature and processes of dialogic engagement. The chapters discuss German-speaking Herta Müller’s perpetual minority status in Romania; Bengali-Scottish Bashabi Fraser and the potentiality of poetry; vagrant pastoralism and “heritagization” in Puglia, Italy; the self-representation of European Muslims post 9/11 in Zeshan Shakar’s acclaimed Norwegian novel; the autobiographical narratives of Loveleen Rihel Brenna and the artist collective Queendom in Norway; the “immigrant” as a permanent guest in Spanish-language children’s literature; and Slovenian roots-searching in Argentina. This anthology examines the generative and transformative potentials of storytelling, while illustrating that literary anthropology is well equipped to examine the multiple contexts that literature engages. Chapter 4 of this book is available open access under a CC By 4.0 license at


literature migration minorities narrative auto-ethnography community belonging identity

Editors and affiliations

  • Cicilie Fagerlid
    • 1
  • Michelle A. Tisdel
    • 2
  1. 1.Oslo Metropolitan UniversityOsloNorway
  2. 2.National Library of NorwayOsloNorway

About the editors

Cicilie Fagerlid was Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Library Science at Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway, at the time of writing. Her previous research includes performance poetry on cosmopolitan and working-class Paris and the creation of new ways of being British Asian, both at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo, Norway, where she has taught extensively. Currently, she writes ethnography from public libraries.

Michelle A. Tisdel holds a doctorate in Social Anthropology from Harvard University, USA. Her research interests include heritage production and discourses of belonging in Norway and Cuba. She conducted long-term research on Cuban museums and Afro-Cuban heritage production. Tisdel works as a research librarian at the National Library of Norway and specializes in migration and heritage themes.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title A Literary Anthropology of Migration and Belonging
  • Book Subtitle Roots, Routes, and Rhizomes
  • Editors Cicilie Fagerlid
    Michelle A. Tisdel
  • Series Title Palgrave Studies in Literary Anthropology
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Studies in Literary Anthropology
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-34795-6
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-34798-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-34796-3
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XX, 210
  • Number of Illustrations 3 b/w illustrations, 17 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Social Anthropology
    Global/International Culture
    Cultural Studies
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“This enlightening journey along the webbed paths connecting fiction, ethnography, migration and identity is a rich, timely contribution to the fertile field of literary anthropology.” 

Ellen Wiles, author of Invisible Crowd (2017) and Saffron Shadows and Salvaged Scripts (2015)