Challenging the commonly held perception that immigrants’ lives are shaped exclusively by the sending and receiving countries, Here, There, and Elsewhere (Stanford University Press 2020) breaks new ground by showing how immigrants are vectors of globalization who both produce and experience the interconnectedness of societies—not only the societies of origin and destination but also those in places beyond. I theorize a new concept for thinking about these places that are neither the immigrants’ homeland nor hostland—the “elsewhere.” Drawing on rich ethnographic data, interviews, and analysis of social media activities of South Asian Muslim Americans, this book uncovers how different dimensions of the immigrants’ ethnic and religious identities connect them to different “elsewhere” contexts in places as far-ranging as the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. Yet, not all places in the world are elsewheres. How a faraway foreign land becomes salient to immigrants' sense of selves depends on an interplay of global hierarchies, homeland politics, and hostland dynamics. With today's 24-hour news cycle and social media connecting diverse places and peoples at the touch of a screen, I trace how the homeland, hostland, and elsewhere  combine to affect the ways in which immigrants and their descendants understand themselves and are understood by others.

Available at: Amazon, Stanford UP

© Copyright Tahseen Shams