The immigrant muse: contemporary African writers in a new "Black Atlantic" diaspora
Obi Nwakanma (University of Central Florida)
Maik Nwosu (University of Denver)
B1 0.03
Friday 19 July, 11:30-13:00

Short abstract:

From the end of the last century, a stream of African writers and artists relocated from an African homeland, to new sites of endeavor especially in the United States and Europe. This panel will examine the conjunctions between home and exile and the imagining of a new diaspora

Long abstract:

A new generation of writers and artists from Africa, some of who now ply their trade in Europe and America, and various other places in the world complicate the idea of an African Diaspora. Frequently, perhaps because of the ways in which writing and other artistic endeavors mark and inflect identity, and the terms by which we construct its discourse, a new problem arises about the relationship between the homeland and the imagination. Is African writing produced by a contemporary generation born outside of Africa, or who have relocated, and established new homes outside of Africa, still to be considered "African literature" or "African art"? How do we for instance, position the works of African writers and artists who reside, and embrace their new homes, and imagine home in a cosmopolitan and transcendent way? In short, how do these writers and artists inflect the new meaning of home, beyond the African homeland, and how does the imaginary, impact, reflect, and reconstitute a new sense of the Diaspora? What aspects of this new diaspora of Africans working and living, and creating out of their more immediate experience of the African homeland is reshaping and reconstituting, if ever, the meaning of the African diaspora as it ecounters more settled communities, and traditions of the African diaspora across the Black Atlantic? This panel proposes to bring together a body of ideas that re-theorizes the Black Diaspora as a fluid and continuous space with powerful implications for the emergence of a new global blackness.