Course Descriptions - Details

01:013:217 African Immigrant Literature (3) (spring) CCD, HST

Speaking of the causes of Third World immigration to the USA and Europe, Aijaz Ahmed explains that “immigration has its own contradictions; many immigrants have been propelled by need, others motivated by ambition, and yet others driven away by persecution: For some in many cases, there is no longer a home to return; in many cases need and ambition have become ambiguously and inextricably linked.” But what happens when an event such as the tragedy of September 11, 2001, global economic recession, the rise of new forms of racial and religious extremism, impact so forcefully on the hopeful dreams of the remaking of a new Home/land (that is the USA/Europe) away from the old Home/land to which many can no longer return? How have African immigrant writers and artists residing in the USA and Europe responded and continue to respond to these various forces that threaten to subject them to another cycle of dislocation and uncertainty? What new readings of Americanness/Europeanness and global citizenship are they seeking to inscribe in the cultural tapestry of the West’s interconnection with the rest of the world? To the extent that Africa itself is a continent of immense diversity, how does the home of origin shape the immigrant experience? These are some of the questions that this course will address by looking at the works of several writers based in the West originating from various parts of Africa, reflecting on themes that incorporate the most current topics on literature of immigration, the reconsideration of past and present, religious and cultural diversity, and the question of citizenship in the 21st century.