I am in the process of compiling an anthology of writing from expatriate Americans. There has already been some interest from a university press, and a number of contributors are already attached to the project. Depending on the type and number of submissions I receive, I may do this as two books: one volume as academic research and the other as creative nonfiction/ memoir.
Here’s a bit of background on the book:
There has been very little scholarly work into contemporary American expatriate writing — not because it isn’t there, but because for cultural and political reasons, Americans are not supposed to want to leave the US. If the desire to leave is to make that departure permanent, there are denunciations of these overseas Americans’ patriotism. It’s unthinkable, borderline treason. The writers of the Lost Generation have attracted a certain amount of scholarly attention, but at that time, the word “expatriate” was a neologism, in very limited circulation, and seen as a pejorative. More recently, academics specializing in business and management have done some scholarly work on the subject, but the focus has generally been on overseas assignments and their impact on families and productivity. Immigration is in the news every day, but US emigration is rarely discussed at length. As transnational identities have become more commonplace within the last two decades, the notion of expatriation has become less cathected — for some, more a matter of paperwork and practicality than emotion. At the same time, discourse around the notion of American expatriation has resulted in bitter polarities: FATCA being seen as a financial dragnet to punish Americans who have dared to leave the homeland, and disenchanted Americans overseas scoffing at “homelanders” whose experiences and worldviews are too limited to conceive of better lives abroad. This anthology is not intended as a polemic or as a vehicle for America-bashing. However, there are reasons why an estimated nine million Americans live overseas, and in light of the current political climate, this topic is timely and important.
Areas of potential academic focus:
- Demographic trends in US expatriation
- Renunciation of US citizenship
- Trumpism and the lure of expatriation
- Transnational identities versus expatriation
- America as dystopia
- History of US expatriation
- African-American expatriation in response to institutional racism
- Expatriation and class
- FATCA and other punitive measures against US expatriates
- Canada as refuge: myth vs reality
- Political divisions and their impact upon the decision to expatriate
- Expatriation in literature
- LGBTQ expatriation
- Gender and expatriation
- Patriotism and expatriation: can they coexist?
- Health care overseas vs the USA
- Overseas retirement
Questions to consider (CNF/memoir):
- What made you decide to move abroad?
- Is this a permanent move, or do you anticipate returning to the US someday?
- Has the present political situation influenced your decisions, or had you already made them before the 2016 election?
- Why did you choose the country or territory where you live now, and do you expect it to be your permanent home?
- Have you taken another citizenship, or do you plan to?
- What is your daily life like now, compared to when you were in the US?
- (Note: For this volume, I am looking more for the story than for the justification, so while it’s important to keep these questions in mind, there also needs to be a story.)
If you are interested in contributing to the research volume of the book, please send an abstract of 200 – 300 words plus 4 keywords and a brief bio containing your academic affiliation. Please also send a CV. Contributors to this volume must be academics but may be of any nationality.
If you are interested in contributing a chapter to the creative nonfiction/ memoir volume, please send a brief query stating where you live and how long you have lived there. For this volume, you need not be an academic, but you do need to have lived abroad for a significant amount of time. (If you have moved back to the US, that isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, but it’s something you should be prepared to discuss.) American citizens (by birth or naturalization) only, please.
Note: Contributions from Africa and South America would be of particular interest.
- Deadline for abstracts/initial queries: Oct. 1, 2018
- Target deadline for chapters (subject to change, depending on the publisher): May 1, 2019
- Research: 5000 – 7000 including reference apparatus
- CNF/memoir: 3000 – 6000
- MS Word
- Standard serif font, 12 point
- Double or 1.5 spaced
- Citations & references: style TBD (in the first draft, just be consistent and be prepared to adjust if needed)
Queries and submissions: