The project builds on previous research I have undertaken as Principal Investigator of an international Research Network Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe. The Network was funded by the AHRC under the Diasporas, Migration & Identities Programme between 2006 and 2008. The Network brought together researchers, filmmakers, policy makers and representatives from the cultural sector. It explored how the films of migrant and diasporic filmmakers have redefined our understanding of European identity as constructed and narrated in European cinema. During the past two decades the cultural spaces occupied by migrants have shifted from the ‘subnational’ to the ‘transnational’ as representations of migrant identities and experiences have been articulated in a variety of media. The growing presence of migrant and diasporic cultures within Europe and on European screens calls for a re-evaluation of the established notion of national cinema in a global context.
The project addresses five key questions:
Daniela Berghahn was awarded an AHRC Fellowship to conduct this research project on The Diasporic Family in Cinema. She is Professor of Film Studies in the Media Arts Department at Royal Holloway, University of London. From 2006 to 2008 she was Project Leader of the international Research Network Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe, which was also funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Her research and teaching interests include national and transnational cinema, migrant and diasporic film cultures, German cinema, the relationship between film, history and memory discourse and representations of the family.
The findings of this research will be published in a monograph entitled Far-flung Families in Film: The Diasporic Family in Contemporary European Cinema, under contract with Edinburgh University Press. This book will provide original analyses of diasporic feature films that offer sustained discussions of the family, including such well-known examples as Bend It Like Beckham and East is East, as well as productions confined to the art house and film festival circuits: Le thé au harem d’Archimède, La graine et le mullet, Bullet Boy and Die Fremde. Internationally significant Hollywood and Bollywood films in which the diasporic family takes centre stage provide further comparative contexts and reference points.
Forthcoming articles and book chapters:
‘"Seeing everything with different eyes": The diasporic optic in Fatih Akin's Head-On (2004)', New Directions in German Cinema, eds. Paul Cooke and Chris Homewood, London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2011, pp. 235-251.
'My big fat Turkish wedding: From culture clash to romcom’, Turkish German Cinema, eds. Sabine Hake and Barbara Mennel, Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books (forthcoming 2012)
'Queering the family of nation: Reassessing fantasies of purity, celebrating hybridity in diasporic cinema', Transnational Cinemas, 2:2 (2011), pp. 129-146.
Related previous publications on the diasporic family:
‘From Turkish greengrocer to drag queen: reassessing patriarchy in recent Turkish German coming-of-age films’, New Cinemas, special issue on Turkish German Dialogues on Screen, ed. Daniela Berghahn, 7:1, 2009, pp. 55-69.
‘No place like home? Or impossible homecomings in the films of Fatih Akin’, New Cinemas, 4:3, 2006, pp. 141-157.