Cultivating ‘Roots’: Towards an Understanding of Organizational Roles in Diaspora Construction

Amber Nickell


Hardly definitional, conceptions of diaspora changed dramatically over the course of the 20th century, continually expanding and evolving as diasporic groups became increasingly deteritorrialized, homelands were reclaimed and lost, and diasporic members grappled with two or more – often competing – national identifications. Triggered by historical forces in their new homes and the homeland, diasporic groups formed mutual aid societies and ethnic organizations to assist with the diasporization process. Using The American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR) as a case study, this article examines the Society’s many uses of historical memory and preexisting networks in constructing a diasporic identification and space, which transcended geographical borders.

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