Questions for Discussion


Questions about style:

◊ The book Migritude employs many tactics other than the written word in order to present its message. How did Patel’s use of images, performance, and props enhance your experience with the text?

◊ What was your favorite picture/image in the book? How did it change your perspective on the text around it?

◊ How did seeing Patel unpack and use the saris throughout her performance change your interpretation of the significance of these articles of clothing?

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Questions about historical/sociopolitical context:

◊ Which themes in the text are familiar/relevant to the political climate of immigration today? What would the tone of Migritude be if Patel were reflecting on present day US?

◊ The text presents an interesting narrative because it is the story of an immigrant who does not immigrate to America or another western culture until adulthood. It has a notable absence of “The American Dream” or similar concept. How did this story differ from other accounts of immigration that you’ve read in the past?

◊ How much did you know about Kenya and India before reading this book? Did your perspective on either country change?

◊ Patel no longer resides in the United States, she instead splits her time between Kenya and South Africa. How does this knowledge change your impression of her story? How does this differ from other immigration stories you have heard?

◊ A large theme in this book is gender and the hardships and expectations that come along with being a woman in all the societies Patel visits. How does the unique experiences shared by mother and daughter speak to what it was like not just being an immigrant but an immigrant woman? How does this perspective contribute to the current discussion on women’s rights in the United States?

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Questions about author/perspective:

◊ Migritude is, first and foremost, the story of a family. Do you think that the narrative could survive without these personal details? What might that look like?

◊ What might this story look like through someone else’s eyes? The mother? The sister? A random bystander?

◊ How does intersectionality contribute to Patel’s experiences?

◊ What questions would you like to ask the author?

◊ Patel is a part of the South Asian Diaspora, a prominent group in Kenya, how does this knowledge impact your impression of her story? Would you have felt differently if she had come to America from India?



Migritude’s Homepage

Will Eichler, Zoe James-Collins, & Jessica Jenkins ’19

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