The Postcolonial Subject in Transit: Migration, Borders and Subjectivity in African Diaspora Literature.

(An edited collection)

The research focus in this edited book collection is to examine the transitional subjectivities of postcolonial African diaspora subjects evident in emergent African diaspora literatures constructed in various metropolises of the West. The diaspora becomes the material condition that produces particular literary creations as writers across different cultural locations address the concept of “belonging or not belonging” in metropolitan spaces. African diasporic subjects never fully belong anywhere as they constantly struggle to assert their subjectivities in spaces that marginalize them. Writers capture the complex ways in which subjects rooted from their homelands must search for place and space in disputed borders and locations in the metropolis. Such travel across different geographical, social, national, cultural, class, racial, and language boundaries reveal how diasporic African subjects must navigate disputed spaces in order to reconstruct their subjectivities in fluid and multiple terms as a raced population in a transitional and  global environment. Migrant subjects constantly struggle to negotiate the diaspora in search for agency and a sense of belonging in new communities and be part of a new global order—a desire evident in contemporary African diasporic literatures.

It becomes evident that the central focus in contemporary African diasporic literature is shifting from the often disillusioned representation of the African continent resulting from colonialism and neocolonialism to a focus on African subjects in global spaces of the West. This development shows that African diaspora texts cannot solely be read as emerging from specific national, cultural, or geographic origin, but as fluid texts that capture global issues of migration, citizenship, inclusiveness, race and identity in geographically varied spaces in a postmodern environment. These issues will be examined in postcolonial African diasporic writings; showing how writers capture the plight of migrant subjects in contested spaces of the West. This book will allude to the writings of postcolonial African diaspora writers including, but not limited to, the works of Teju Cole, Buchi Emecheta, Brian Chikwava, Fadumo Korn, Michelle Cliff, Zadie Smith, Isidore Okpewho, Noviolet Bulawayo, Chika Unigwe and Chimamanda Ndichie.

Range of possible topics include: Globalization, Migration and Border Crisscrossing; Liminal Spaces and Hybrid Identities, Reconnecting with the Homeland; Belonging or not Belonging in the Diaspora; Displacement and Relocation; Fragmented and Fluid Identities; Globalization, Travel and the Diaspora; Immigration and Citizenship; Postcolonial Subjects in Transit; Multiplicity and Hybrid Identities; Conflicting Representations of Otherness; Women Writing the African Diaspora;; Cosmopolitanism and Inclusiveness; and Liminal Spaces in the Diaspora.

Timeline for Project Completion: Prospective contributors should send their 250-500 word abstract, along with a 100 word biography by Monday, August 1, 2016 and expect notification of selection by Monday, August 22, 2016. Final papers will be due on Friday, January 27, 2017 and will be subject to peer review. The editor encourages potential contributors to establish early contact via email to fongangd@uww.edu (Fongang Delphine).

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