Identifying with neither here nor there
The logics of identity structure and organize interactions on both individual and communal levels. These logics range from how we as researchers interact with our subjects, to how we make sense of contexts in which we find ourselves. This essay will further a global dialogue on researcher identity, a concern that has gained currency in recent years (Allen 2010, Mcdonald 2013, Muhammad et al 2015) by proposing the theoretical possibility of “anationality”: a disavowal of national identification as a possible subject position from which to negotiate local, regional, national, and global processes. Drawing on experienced gained while researching international students for an NGO, and later as a PhD student, both in countries in which I am marked as foreign, this chapter essay follows feminist theorizing of gender, particularly gender non-binary identities, to potentially illuminate the opportunities and limitations of undoing nationality (Butler 2004). It further highlights the importance of an anti-essentialist stance (Werbner 1997) in conducting research. Anationality is an attempt to question national categorization. As such, it productively moves the debate around the nation and nationality beyond normative, essentialistic conceptualizations.
Adegbola, O., Labador, A., & Oviedo, M. (2018). African Students’ Identity Negotiation and Relational Conflict Management: Being “Foreign”, Being “Careful.” Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 47(6), 474–490. https://doi.org/10.1080/17475759.2018.1486876
Aitken, G., & Burman, E. (1999). Keeping and Crossing Professional and Racialized Boundaries. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 23(2), 277–297. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-6402.1999.tb00359.x
Allen, R. M., & Ye, Y. (2021). Why Deteriorating Relations, Xenophobia, and Safety Concerns Will Deter Chinese International Student Mobility to the United States. Editorial © Journal of International Students, 11(2), 2166–3750. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v11i1.3731
Anderson, B. (1983). Imagined Communities. In Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (pp. 48–60). https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203358672_Imagined_communities
Andreouli, E., & Howarth, C. (2013). National identity, citizenship and immigration: Putting identity in context. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5914.2012.00501.x
Barker, C. (2003). Cultural studies : theory and practice. SAGE Publications. https://books.google.ch/books/about/Cultural_Studies.html?id=P_by_lMd8vkC&redir_esc=y
Billig, M. (1995). Banal Nationalism. In The Language, Ethnicity and Race Reader (pp. 117–127). https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446221648
Blanco, G. L., & Saunders, D. B. (2019). Giving account of our (mobile) selves: embodied and relational notions of academic privilege in the international classroom. Teaching in Higher Education, 24(5), 666–677. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2019.1621281
Butler, J. (1990). Gender Trouble. In History: Vol. ב. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconhyd.2010.08.009
Butler, J. (2004). Undoing gender. Routledge.
de Andreotti, V. O. (2014). Soft versus Critical Global Citizenship Education. In Development Education in Policy and Practice (pp. 21–31). Palgrave Macmillan UK. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137324665_2
Dirksmeier, P. (2015). The intricate geographies of gender ideologies in Germany. Geoforum, 64, 12–24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2015.05.022
Dirlik, A. (1987). Culturalism as hegemonic ideology and liberating practice. Cultural Critique. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1354254
Fries-Britt, S., Mwangi, C. G., & Peralta, A. (2014). Learning race in a U.S. Context: An Emergent Framework on the Perceptions of Race Among Foreign-Born Students of Color. Article in Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035636
Fuchs, M., Rossen, A., Weyh, A., & Wydra‐Somaggio, G. (2021). Where do women earn more than men? Explaining regional differences in the gender pay gap. Journal of Regional Science. https://doi.org/10.1111/jors.12532
Grayson, J. P. (2014). Negative Racial Encounters and Academic Outcomes of International and Domestic Students in Four Canadian Universities. Journal of International Students, 4(3), 262.
Hall, S. (1991). Old and New Identities, Old and New Ethnicities. In A. King (Ed.), Culture, Globalizsation and the World System (pp. 41–68). Macmillan.
Hall, S. (1997). Old and New Identities , Old and New Ethnicities. Culture, Globalization, and the World System: Contemporary Conditions for the Representation of Identity, 41–68. https://doi.org/10.2307/2076274
Hanassab, S. (2006). Diversity, International Students, and Perceived Discrimination: Implications for Educators and Counselors. Journal of Studies in International Education, 10(2), 157–172. https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315305283051
Herdt, G. H. (1994). Third sex, third gender : beyond sexual dimorphism in culture and history. Zone Books.
Indelicato, M. E. (2017). Australia’s New Migrants: International Students’ History of Affective encounters with the border. Routledge.
Koo, K. K., Baker, I., & Yoon, J. (2021). The First Year of Acculturation: A Longitudinal Study on Acculturative Stress and Adjustment Among First-Year International College Students. Peer-Reviewed Article © Journal of International Students, 11(2), 2166–3750. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v11i2.1726
Koo, K., Yao, C., & Gong, H. (forthcoming). It is not my fault: Exploring experience and perceptions of racism among international students during COVID-19. Journal of Diversity of Higher Education.
Lee, J., & Opio, T. (2011). Coming to America: challenges and difficulties faced by African student athletes. Sport, Education and Society, 16(5), 629–644. https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2011.601144
Lee, J. T., & Rice, C. (2007). Welcome to America? International student perceptions of discrimination. Higher Education, 53(3), 381–409. https://doi.org/10.1007/s
McNabb, C. (2017). Nonbinary Gender Identities: History, Culture, Resources.
Metcalfe, A. S. (2017). Nomadic political ontology and transnational academic mobility. Critical Studies in Education, 58(2), 131–149. https://doi.org/10.1080/17508487.2016.1264987
Mitchell, D., Steele, T., Marie, J., & Timm, K. (2017). Learning Race and Racism While Learning: Experiences of International Students Pursuing Higher Education in the Midwestern United States. AERA Open, 3(3), 233285841772040. https://doi.org/10.1177/2332858417720402
Nestle, J., Howell, C., & Wilchins, R. (2002). Genderqueer: Voices from beyond the sexual binary.
Ott, B. L., Aoki, E., & Dickinson, G. (2011). Ways of (Not) Seeing Guns: Presence and Absence at the Cody Firearms Museum. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 8(3), 215–239. https://doi.org/10.1080/14791420.2011.594068
Quijano, A. (2000). Coloniality of Power and Eurocentrism in Latin America. International Sociology, 15(2), 215–232. https://doi.org/10.1177/0268580900015002005
Smith, A. D. (1991). National Identity. Identity.
Spivak, G. C. (1985). The Spivak reader : selected works of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781135217129/chapters/10.4324%2F9780203947869-13
St Louis, B. (2009). On “the necessity and the ‘impossibility’ of identities”: The politics and ethics of “new ethnicities.” Cultural Studies, 23(4), 559–582. https://doi.org/10.1080/09502380902951011
Thies, K., & Kordts-Freudinger, R. (2019). German higher education academic staff’s positive emotions through work domains. International Journal of Educational Research, 98, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2019.08.004
Wahab, A. (2008). Race, Gender, and Visuality: Regulating Indian Women Subjects in the Colonial Caribbean. Caribbean Review of Gender Studies, 2, 1–23. http://www.uwispace.sta.uwi.edu/dspace/handle/2139/15827
Wallerstein, I. M. (2011). Capitalist agriculture and the origins of the European world-economy in the sixteenth century. University of California Press. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1pnrj9
Werbner, P., & Modood, T. (2015). Essentialising essentialism, essentialising silence: ambivalence and multiplicity in the constructions of racism and ethnicity. In Debating cultural hybridity multi-cultural identities and the politics of anti-racism. Zed Books.
Wilson, E. (2003). Looking Backward, Nostalgia and the City. 133–144. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203397350-17
Wimmer, A., & Glick Schiller, N. (2002). Methodological nationalism and beyond: nation-state building, migration and the social sciences. Global Networks, 2(4), 301–334. https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0374.00043
Winkelmann, T. O. (2018). Gendering the “Enemy” and Gendering the “Ally.” In The Routledge HISTORY of Gender, War, and the U.S. Military (pp. 185–201). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315697185-15
Wodak, R. (2009). The discursive construction of national identity. Edinburgh University Press.
Yuval-Davis, N. (1993). Gender and nation. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 16(4), 621–632. https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.1993.9993800
Zembylas, M. (2016). Affect theory and Judith Butler: Methodological implications for educational research. In Methodological Advances in Research on Emotion and Education (pp. 203–214). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-29049-2_16
Zhang, B., & Blachford, D. (2014). Rethinking International Migration of Human Capital and Brain Circulation: The Case of Chinese-Canadian Academics. Journal of Studies in International Education, 18(3), 202–222. https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315312474315
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The findings, interpretations, conclusions, and views expressed in Journal of Comparative and International Higher Education (JCIHE) are entirely those of the authors and should not be attributed in any manner to CIES, HESIG, or the sponsoring universities of the Editorial Staff. These works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 License. Readers are free to copy, display, and distribute articles that appear in JCIHE as long as the work is attributed to the author(s) and JCIHE, it is distributed for non-commercial purposes only, and no alteration or transformation is made in the work. All other uses must be approved by the author(s) or JCIHE. By submitting a manuscript, authors agree to transfer without charge the following rights to JCIHE upon acceptance of the manuscript: first worldwide serial publication rights and the right for JCIHE to grant permissions as its editors judge appropriate for the redistribution of the article, its abstract, and metadata associated with the article in professional indexing and reference services.