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Performing heteroglossia: contesting "war bride" discourses, exploring "histories of kokoro" with four senryu writers

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(Thesis) M.A.
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My thesis explores the diasporic memories and poetic practices of four “Japanese war brides” in the state of Washington, U.S.A. My analysis is based on a two-month ethnographic study where I focused on their poetic practices called senryu. Based on a Bakhtinian analysis of “heteroglossic utterances” I theorize the writers as heteroglossic subjects who performatively move between “culturally different” discursive spaces, each of which has a set of power-relations and a set of discourses that organize it. When the writers tell their experiences in the discursive space of senryu, I argue, these stories disturb their identity determined by the dominant “war bride” discourses. In my thesis, I re-tell the stories the writers shared with me during my interviews with them. By bringing together their individual voices, I attempt to show how they together generate new accounts about their transnational experiences and their diasporic, multi-voiced sense of home and identities.
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