Africa in Europe: Studies in Transnational Practice in the Long Twentieth Century

Africa in Europe: Studies in Transnational Practice in the Long Twentieth Century

Africa in Europe: Studies in Transnational Practice in the Long Twentieth Century

Africa in Europe: Studies in Transnational Practice in the Long Twentieth Century

Synopsis

This volume explores the lives and activities of people of African descent in Europe between the 1880s and the beginning of the twenty-first century.

Excerpt

The essays in this volume explore the lives and activities of people of African descent in Europe between the 1880s and the beginning of the twenty-first century. in studies of the experiences of Africans, Afro-Caribbeans and African Americans in Germany, France, Portugal, Italy and the Soviet Union, as well as in Britain, we aim to make a contribution to the growing body of scholarship that goes beyond the still-dominant Anglo-American or transatlantic emphasis of Black Studies. At the same time, while studies of Africans in Europe have tended to focus on relationships between colonial (or former colonial) subjects and their respective metropolitan nation states, these essays widen the lens to consider other kinds of border-crossing: Their subjects include people moving between European states and state jurisdictions or from the former colony of one state to another place in Europe, Africanborn colonial settlers returning to the metropolis, migrants conversing across ethnic and cultural boundaries among ‘Africans’, and visitors for whom the face-to-face encounter with European society involves working across the ‘colour line’ and testing the limits of solidarity. Moreover, the focus on the consequences of mobility for the imaginative construction of both ‘here’ and ‘there’ in a post-colonial world allows us to consider not only black but white Africans as actors in the remaking of both Africa and Europe.

The authors of the essays are scholars in social history, art history, anthropology, and cultural and literary studies, as well as a novelist and a filmmaker, who reflect on their own experiences of these complex histories and the challenges of narrating them. At the centre of our concerns are the ways in which our subjects have used the skills and resources they brought with them and the ones they found in each place of arrival to construct themselves and their families as subjects of their own lives, and also what new visions of self . . .

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