In examining the dialectic between the diasporic subject’s homes—both the absent and adopted home—this monograph maps out the ways through which collective memory and postmemory mediate traumatic experiences of dislocation. The literary and cinematic representations of mobility in Hannah Espia’s film Transit (2013), Clement Baloup’s graphic novel Vietnamese Memories and Lian Gouw’s novel Only a Girl reveal a dual-displacement that characterizes the experience of diasporic mobility in the 21st century—a displacement in both space and time. This dual-displacement, which is a result of the inability to reduce the “many temporal
worlds” they live in, that is, “the past of the motherland . . . a present that is often precarious, and an uncertain future,” simultaneously into one, constitutes the migrant’s out-of-sync subjectivity (Köhn 109). This out-of-sync subjectivity is manifested in what I call the poetics of “asynchronicity” that undergirds the narratives of these Southeast Asian—specifically Filipino, Indonesian, and Vietnamese—stories. Asynchronicity, as postcolonial poetics, enables these
texts to act as counter-memories, offering alternative ways of understanding the migrant’s multi-faceted identity and belonging to place(s) in the world. By compelling readers to remember and to re-member—that is, to engage in a conscious re-building of one’s lifeworld using the bricks of individual memory—new narratives emerge wherein the dislocated subject finds themselves included in a history written on their own terms, one that transcends the colonial grand narratives that have once delimited diasporic identities.


diaspora, migration, memory, film studies, postcolonialism, narrative theory, Southeast Asia

Please login first to access subscription form of article

Read Full text in PDF

Browse By

Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)