Over the past three to four decades, immigrant and ethnic-minority writing has attracted the attention of scholars in many countries; accordingly, research on the subject in various national contexts has grown significantly. Lately, there has been a trend to write historical overviews of immigrant and ethnic-minority writers in individual national contexts (Cheesman 2007; Innes 2002; Kamm et al. 2010; Mathis-Moser and Mertz-Baumgartner 2011; Parati 2005). Furthermore, scholars have begun to compare various literary traditions in this writing (Geiser 2015; Minnaard 2008; Seyhan 2001; Vlasta 2016). In line with this trend, several edited volumes have appeared that include essays on immigrant and ethnic-minority writers residing in various countries (Behschnitt et al. 2013; Gebauer and Lausten 2010; Hoff 2008; Ponzanesi and Merolla 2005). However, what has been missing thus far is a comprehensive overview of the emergence and study of immigrant writing in different representative national contexts.
It is therefore the aim of this volume to do exactly that: we felt that it was time to bring together the research on literature and migration in various national contexts and show what has been achieved thus far in the individual disciplines and in literary studies in general in this particular field. We proposed to edit a book which would analyse how literary scholars have studied immigrant and ethnic-minority writers in different national contexts over the last three decades. We invited international specialists in the field to contribute to our volume and we worked together through an intense process: first drafts of the individual chapters were discussed together with the contributors at a workshop in Vienna in 2012. These discussions formed the basis for the revised versions of the texts that can be found in this volume. Furthermore, at the workshop we made the joint decision to include further national contexts such as Japan and Brazil in the book and subsequently invited more experts to join the project. Thus, this book is the result of a collective and laborious effort and we would like to thank all the contributors for the time, effort and expertise they have put into this enterprise. We would also like to thank Satu Gröndahl, who was part of this project during its early stages and who wrote a first draft of a chapter on Sweden. In the end, however, the chapter could not be completed for the publication for personal reasons. We will, nevertheless, include the case in our introductory and concluding chapters. The developments in Sweden differ so much from all other contexts discussed here that we feel they should also be mentioned in our volume.
We would like to thank a number of institutions for supporting this project at various stages: the Institute for Urban and Regional Research at the Austrian
Many thanks go to Jenny Money for correcting and proofreading this book in such an excellent and swift manner. Last but not least, we would like to thank Masja Horn at Brill | Rodopi for her help with the manuscript, and the anonymous reviewers of this volume for their valuable comments.
Wiebke Sievers and Sandra Vlasta
Vienna and Mainz, February 2018