Migritude Discussion Questions

  1. Do any of Patel’s/speaker’s experiences relate to your experience as an immigrant or minority?
  2. Do you think migration aids Patel in escaping her oppression or does it just manifest itself in new ways?
  3. Do you think “possession” of other people, lands, and cultures is just a part of human nature?
  4. How does Patel show the effects of this possession within the oppressed and the oppressor?
  5. How do you think this paticular work adds to “Asian American Poetry”, in a way other works we have read haven’t?
  6. How does Shailja Patel’s constant juxtaposition between Western material culture and African Asian austerity, especially towards materiality relate the experiences of her parents to the readers?
  7. How do we deal with the languages Patel constantly references (the image of her dreaming in Gunjarati (50))?
  8. What is the significance of Patel pointing out both the lack in Gunjarati for “self-expression,” “individual,” and “lesbian” (51)? Does this influence the way we see the narrator now? Does the appearance of sexuality necessarily influence the reading? Is it just a word that Gujarati lacks?
  9. What is the significance of listing the words English lacks (53)? Why doesn’t she translate them? Is there a particular purpose in that?
  10. How is Patel’s language of rape different from Cathy Linh Che’s and Farzullah’s? Is it different?
  11. How does Patel use materiality/consumerism to convey injustices of colonialism?
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