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Uncommon Alliances

Cultural Narratives of Migration in the New Europe

Nataša Kovačević

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Examines European Union’s neocolonial sovereignty in cultural narratives of migration

Uncommon Alliances: Cultural Narratives of Migration in the New Europe takes a critical stance toward both assimilationist and multicultural imaginings of community in the European Union that occlude neocolonial relations of dependence and exclusion. Bringing into conversation postcolonial and post-communist migration narratives from Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe, it aims to capture the emergent shift from national to postnational European space.

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i. Europe, the Impossible Object of Desire
ii. Non-Imperial Empire
iii. Mapping (Un)Common European Belonging
1. Performing the State: Artistic Re-Presentations of European Community
i. Spectres of Entropa: European Union’s Crisis of Self-Representation
ii. ‘Professional Human Smugglers’: Critique of Neoliberal Mobility
iii. State in Time: Neue Slowenische Kunst’s Community without Community
iv. Towards a New Politics of Community
2. Alternative Hospitalities on the Margins of Europe
i. Multitudes in Waiting: Passage to Europe in Welcome to Paradise and Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits
ii. Terraferma and Solidarity in a State of Exception
iii. Strange Encounters and Multicultural Love in Eternity and A Day
3. Colonial Spectres in Europe’s Historiography
i. Colonial Aphasia in The Seine Was Red
ii. Haunted European Homes in Soul Tourists
iii. Melancholy Nomadism in Travelling with Djinns
4. Postcolonial and Postcommunist Contact Zones in a United Europe
i. Crimes of Prejudice: Unavowable Communities in A Shadow of Myself
ii. Storming the EU Fortress: Communities of Disagreement in Nobody’s Home and The Ministry of Pain
5. Epilogue: Memories of Yugoslavia and Europe to Come

About the Author

Nataša Kovačević is Professor at the Department of English Language and Literature, Eastern Michigan University. She is the author of Narrating Post/Communism: Colonial Discourse and Europe’s Borderline Civilization (Routledge, 2008).


In response to the grave political problems that haunt Europe, Uncommon Alliances poses Europe as a theoretical problem itself. This sophisticated book brings theories of postcoloniality, multiculturalism, migration, globalisation, cosmopolitanism and nationalism to cultural texts that range from performance art and literature to film to explore how exactly Europe became a problem and how to think our way out of it.

- Aniko Imre, University of Southern California

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