The Diaspora Strikes Back
Caribeño Tales of Learning and Turning
By Juan Flores
Routledge – 2008 – 238 pages
Series: Cultural Spaces
In The Diaspora Strikes Back the eminent ethnic and cultural studies scholar Juan Flores flips the process on its head: what happens to the home country when it is being constantly fed by emigrants returning from abroad? He looks at how 'Nuyoricans' (Puerto Rican New Yorkers) have transformed the home country, introducing hip hop and modern New York culture to the Caribbean island. While he focuses on New York and Mayaguez (in Puerto Rico), the model is broadly applicable. Indians introducing contemporary British culture to India; New York Dominicans bringing slices of New York culture back to the Dominican Republic; Mexicans bringing LA culture (from fast food to heavy metal) back to Guadalajara and Monterrey. This ongoing process is both massive and global, and Flores' novel account will command a significant audience across disciplines.
"Flores' study offers a fresh, lively look at the intersections of Caribbean, disaspora, migration, and cultural studies, and its wide range of historical, scholarly, and cultural sources lends it both intra-regional specificity and a potentially global scope; its engaging language also makes it a pleasure to read."
—Katherine Miranda, English Department, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico
Part 1: Conceptual Bearings 1. Thinking Diaspora from Below 2. Of Remigrants and Remittances 3. Caribeno Counterstream Part 2: Narrative Groundings 4. Tales of Learning and Turning. A: Introducing the Tales B: Tales of Learning and Turning C: Reading the Tales Part 3: Style Transfers 5. Bring the Salsa: Diaspora Music as Source and Challenge 6. Open Mic: Poetry, Performance, Emerging Identities
Juan Flores is a professor at New York University.