From Immigrant to Transnational: Tracing Transnational Empathy in Jhumpa Lahiri

Author Name

Ms.Athira Prakash

Author Address

Assistant Professor Department of English SVR NSS College Vazhoor [email protected] ph: 9495525387


Migration, Acculturation, Transnational Identity, Empathy, Cross cultural Interactions


The burgeoning presence of Indian Diaspora across the world has triggered a new consideration of the cultural theories of nation, identity and international affairs. Depicting the process of negotiating the borders, both physical borders of states and countries and the metaphorical borders, between genders generations and cultures, Jhumapa Lahiri, an American writer of Indian origin, raises the question of identity of the Indian immigrants in the US. An attempt is made to map the journey of Indian Diaspora from the status of the immigrants to that of the transnational citizens of the world. Analysis and assessment of Lahiri’s characters, who mostly belong to the main stream of the third world and the margin of the first world, necessitates the revisiting to  theories of post colonial , cultural studies and identity. She endeavours to dive deep in to the distorted psyche of both the first and the second generation migrants who are straddled between roof and root. The scope of this study lies in its treatment of transnational empathy which is going to be eminently useful in the contemporary international affairs and politics of the globalised world of terrorism and trauma. The paper unravels the process of construction of transnational identity of the diaspora and points out the requisites of what is called transnational maturity from which transnational empathy emerge.


International Conference on "Global Migration: Rethinking Skills, Knowledge and Culture"
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