Citizenship’s Insular Cases, from Ancient Greece and Rome to Puerto Rico

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Engaging equally with ancient Greco-Roman and contemporary Euro-American paradigms of citizenship, this essay argues that experiences of civic integration are structured around figurations of island and archipelago. In elaboration of this claim, I offer a transhistorical account of how institutions and imaginaries of citizenship take shape around an “insular scheme” whose defining characteristic is displacement. Shuttling from Homer and Livy to Imbolo Mbue and Danez Smith, I rely on the work of postcolonial literary critics and political theorists to map those repetitive deferrals of civic status to which immigrants and refugees in particular are uniquely subject.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number134
JournalHumanities (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


  • Citizenship
  • Homer
  • Insular Cases
  • Livy
  • asylum
  • nesology
  • refugees


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