Afropean Female Selves
Migration and Language in the Life Writing of Fatou Diome and Igiaba Scego
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Afropean Female Selves: Migration and Language in the Life Writing of Fatou Diome and Igiaba Scego examines the corpus of writing of two contemporary female authors. Both writers are of African descent, live in Europe and write about lives across Europe and Africa in different languages (French and Italian). Their work involves episodes from their lived experience and complicates Western understandings of life writing and autobiography. As Hogarth shows in this study, the works of Diome and Scego encapsulate the new and complex identities of contemporary "Afropeans." As an identity coined and used frequently by prominent authors and critics across Europe, Africa and North America, the notion of "Afropean" is at the cutting edge of cultural analyses today. Yet each writer occupies unique and different positions within this debated category. While Scego is a "post-migratory subject" in postcolonial Europe, Diome is an African writer who has migrated to Europe in her adult life. This book examines the different trajectories and packaging of these two specific postcolonial writers in the Francophone and Italophone contexts, pointing out how and where each author practices life writing strategies and scrutinizing the trend that emphasizes the life writing, autofictional, or autoethnographic strategies of African diasporic writers. Afropean Female Selves offers a comparative study across two languages of a notion that has so far been explored mainly in English. It explores the contours of this new discursive category and positions it in regard to other notions of Afrodiasporic identity, such as Afropolitan and Afro-European.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Life Writing and Writing Lives
Chapter Two: Afropean Homes: Representations of Belonging
Chapter Three: Gender and Migration: Opportunities for Afropean Experience
Chapter Four: Language and Afropean Identity
Chapter Five: Writing and Engagement
Conclusion: Afropean Languages and Locales
Christopher Hogarth is a Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature at the University of South Australia, Adelaide. He received his PhD in French and Italian from Northwestern University. He has published especially on the intersection of literature from France, Italy and Senegal. He is a prolific editor of eight volumes and issues of journals such as L’Esprit Créateur, a/b Auto/Biography Studies and French Cultural Studies. He is currently a joint Chief Investigator on an Australian Research Council-funded Discovery Project entitled "Transnational Selves. French Narratives of Migration to Australia."