Voices on the New Diasporas - an MIT student journal

Submission deadline for Spring 2008 issue is March 15, 2008.

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About Us

What Pico Iyer has dubbed the "Global Soul" could easily characterize many among our current generation of students at MIT. Here, as on many other campuses in this country and abroad, the immigrant and disasporic experience have radically changed meaning and shape. A large number of our students define themselves as trans-national, trans-lingual and trans-cultural. Many have been raised in a language or a country that is not the language or the country in which they live today. Some came to their second culture as very young children for a variety of reasons, and still have important attachments to their first language, their first memories, and their first land. Others are part of a second or third generation who consider themselves to be fully integrated in the culture in which they were born and raised but who resonate to the memories, stories and narratives deployed by their parents. These "inherited memories" often translate into a very real curiosity about and attachment to their "imaginary homeland". Some are proud to hyphenate two identities (Turkish-German or Hispanic-American); others prefer that the two terms be left loosely connected. In general, however, this younger generation does not respond to their condition in the way their parents or grandparents did when they insisted on full assimilation, monolingualism and loyalty to one culture. Instead, they refer to borderlands, to living in the interstices, to the in-between, to a third space or a third culture and they do not feel that they have to make exclusive choices. Given the immense changes brought about by globalization, the effortless mobility between distant places, and the speed and immediacy of electronic communication, the fluid identity of more-than-one-ness has become not only acceptable and almost normal but, in some cases, desirable.

This does not mean, however, that there exists no tension or conflict in the construction of identity. The "where is home?" question remains an active and dynamic catalyst for reflection and creativity. For this reason, some of the most vibrant international literary production today is produced by young writers who probe this new and fertile-- if not always comfortable-- existential state. In our writing and literature classes, we have noticed that our students often resonate with questions being explored by these writers, and that increasingly they are producing some memorable short texts on these very same issues. This journal reflects the desire for such explorations in the shape of creative pieces and autobiographical essays. While we begin more modestly with our own MIT population, we think that such a journal should eventually be extended to other universities.

Who We Are

E-merging: Voices on the new diasporas is a student literary journal produced at MIT by a team of MIT students and faculty advisors. It aims to give artistic expression to the ways in which the new global realities affect questions of identity in a generation that identifies itself in fluid trans-national and trans-cultural terms. We encourage submissions from all MIT students or recent graduates in the form of fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, or artwork. Submissions, which are reviewed anonymously by a board of students and professors., should be no longer than 15 pages and should be in English or in two languages including English. E-merging publishes once a year in April with submission deadline around mid-February. Submissions should be sent to e_mergingsubmit(at)mit.edu at any time.

List of students, faculty advisors and administrative staff...

Current and Projected Publication Dates

  • Issue 1 - December, 2004
  • Issue 2 - April 20, 2005
  • Issue 3 - April, 2006
  • Issue 4 - May, 2007
  • Issue 5 - May, 2008
  • Issue 6 - May, 2009

How do I submit a piece? Find out here.