African Migration Narratives

African Migration Narratives

Politics, Race, and Space

Edited by Cajetan Iheka, Jack Taylor


University of Rochester Press



Examines the representations of migration in African literature, film, and other visual media, with an eye to the stylistic features of these works as well as their contributions to debates on migration
This essay collection examines the representations of migration in African literature, film, and other visual media. Inspired by the proliferation of texts focused on this theme and the ongoing migration crises, essays in the volume probe the ways in which African cultural productions shape and are shaped by the migration debates, the contributions these productions make to an understanding of globalization, and the stylistic features of the works. The texts analyzed here include important recent writings and films that have yet to receive considerable scholarly attention, by artists such as Chimamanda Adichie, Teju Cole, Leila Aboulela, Noo Saro-Wiwa, and Marzek Allouache.

Current scholarship on migration largely focuses on the journey from Third World spaces to the First World, thereby radically limiting our understanding of migratory flows. This project works against this lopsided analysis of migration and considers narratives of return as central to migratory flows. The book also invests in underanalyzed and underrepresented diasporas on the continent including the Lusophone and Indian diasporas. Unlike much scholarship on migration in African cultural studies, which tends to focus primarily on a genre (literature), a region, or a specific language, the current book emphasizes Africa's geographical and linguistic diversity by being attentive to Anglophone, Francophone, and Lusophone areas, as well as an array of texts encompassing various genres.

CAJETAN IHEKA is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Alabama. JACK TAYLOR is Associate Professor of English at the University of Hawaii-Manoa.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781787444102), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


November 2018
10 black and white illustrations
328 pages
9x6 in
Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora
ISBN: 9781580469340
Format: Hardback
University of Rochester Press
BISAC POL033000, LIT004010, SOC007000
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Table of Contents

Introduction: A Paradigm Shift: The Migration Turn in African Cultural Productions
Harragas, Global Subjects, and Failed Deterritorializations: The Tragedies of Illegal Mediterranean Crossings in Maghrebi Cinema
Nollywood Comedies and Visa Lotteries: Welfare States, Borders, and Migration as Random Invitation
Accented Cinema: Chineze Anyaene's Ije: The Journey
Migrations and Representations: The Cinema by the Griot Dani Kouyaté
Mamiwata, Migrations, and Miscegenation: Transculturalism in Mia Couto, José Agualusa, and Germano Almeida
Poor Migrant: Poverty and Striving in Nadine Gordimer's July's People and The Pickup
(Re-)imaging Blackness : The Visual Landscapes of El Carmen, a Peruvian District
Reading Space, Subjectivity, and Form in the Twenty-First Century Narrative of Return
Looking for Transwonderland: Noo Saro-Wiwa's Migration of the Heart
The Literary Circulation of Teju Cole's Every Day Is for the Thief
Speculative Migration and the Project of Futurity in Sylvestre Amoussou's Africa Paradis
Monkeys from Hell, Toubabs in Africa
Mapping (Sacred) Space in Leila Aboulela's Fiction
Voice of the Cosmopolitan Nomad
Esiaba Irobi: Poetry at the Margins

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