Advertisement

Exploring the Limitations of Afropolitanism in Taiye Selasi’s Ghana Must Go (2013)

  • Maximilian Feldner
Chapter
Part of the African Histories and Modernities book series (AHAM)

Abstract

Because Nigerian diaspora writers are often referred to as ‘Afropolitans’, this chapter examines the concept of Afropolitanism for its applicability and usefulness to the diasporic narratives of Nigerian literature. Applying it to Taiye Selasi’s novel, Ghana Must Go (2013), a prototypical Afropolitan text, reveals that the term has considerable blind spots. The way it is usually understood it celebrates unbound hybridity and cannot account for unhappy or even traumatic experiences of diaspora. It elides more problematic instances of transculturality and is therefore quite unsuitable to define most of the novels of the Nigerian diaspora.

Bibliography

  1. Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. 2014. Americanah [2013]. London: Fourth Estate.Google Scholar
  2. Appiah, Kwame Anthony. 2007. The Ethics of Identity. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Arthur, John A. 2010. African Diaspora Identities. Negotiating Culture in Transnational Migration. Lanham: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  4. Atta, Sefi. 2015. A Bit of Difference [2013]. London: Fourth Estate.Google Scholar
  5. Awokoya, Janet T. 2012. Reconciling Multiple Black Identities: The Case of 1.5 and 2.0 Nigerian Immigrants. In Africans in Global Migration. Searching for Promised Lands, ed. John A. Arthur, Joseph Takougang, and Thomas Owusu, 97–116. Lanham: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  6. Bosch Santana, Stephanie. 2016. Exorcizing the Future: Afropolitanism’s Spectral Origins. Journal of African Cultural Studies 28 (1): 120–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cole, Teju. 2012. Open City. London: Faber & Faber Ltd.Google Scholar
  8. Dabiri, Emma. 2016. Why I Am (Still) Not an Afropolitan. Journal of African Cultural Studies 28 (1): 104–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dalley, Hamish. 2013. The Idea of “Third Generation Nigerian Literature”: Conceptualizing Historical Change and Territorial Affiliation in the Contemporary Nigerian Novel. Research in African Literatures 44 (4): 15–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ede, Amatoritsero. 2016. The Politics of Afropolitanism. Journal of African Cultural Studies 28 (1): 88–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Eze, Chielozona. 2014. Rethinking African Culture and Identity: The Afropolitan Model. Journal of African Cultural Studies 26 (2): 234–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. ———. 2016. We, Afropolitans. Journal of African Cultural Studies 28 (1): 114–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gehrmann, Susanne. 2016. Cosmopolitanism with African Roots. Afropolitanism’s Ambivalent Mobilities. Journal of African Cultural Studies 28 (1): 61–72.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13696815.2015.1112770.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hallemeier, Katherine. 2013. Literary Cosmopolitanisms in Teju Cole’s Every Day Is for the Thief and Open City. Ariel 44 (2–3): 239–250.  https://doi.org/10.1353/ari.2013.0023.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hannerz, Ulf. 1990. Cosmopolitans and Locals in World Culture. In Global Culture. Nationalism, Globalization and Modernity, ed. Mike Featherstone, 237–252. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  16. Kaba, Amadu Jacky. 2009. Africa’s Migration Brain Drain. Factors Contributing to the Mass Emigration of Africa’s Elite to the West. In The New African Diaspora, ed. Isidore Okpewho and Nkiru Nzegwu, 109–123. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Mbembe, Achille. 2007. Afropolitanism. In Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent, ed. Njami Simon and Lucy Durán, 26–30. Johannesburg: Johannesburg Art Gallery.Google Scholar
  18. ———. 2010. Sortir de la grande nuit. Essai sur l’Afrique décolonisée. Paris: Découverte.Google Scholar
  19. Mignolo, Walter. 2000. The Many Faces of Cosmo-Polis: Border Thinking and Critical Cosmopolitanism. Public Culture 12 (3): 721–748.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Musila, Grace A. 2016. Part-Time Africans, Europolitans and “Africa lite”. Journal of African Cultural Studies 28 (1): 109–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ndibe, Okey. 2014. Foreign Gods, Inc. New York: Soho.Google Scholar
  22. Nussbaum, Martha C. 1996. Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism. In For Love of Country, ed. Joshua Cohen, 2–17. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  23. Oguine, Ike. 2000. A Squatter’s Tale. Oxford: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  24. Pahl, Miriam. 2016. Afropolitanism as Critical Consciousness: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s and Teju Cole’s Internet Presence. Journal of African Cultural Studies 28 (1): 73–87.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13696815.2015.1123143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Robbins, Bruce. 1998. Actually Existing Cosmopolitanism. In Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling Beyond the Nation, ed. Pheng Cheah and Bruce Robbins, 1–19. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  26. Sackeyfio, Rose. 2014. Black Women’s Bodies in a Global Economy: Sex, Lies, and Slavery in Trafficked and On Black Sister’s Street. In At the Crossroads. Readings of the Postcolonial and the Global in African Literature and Visual Art, ed. Ghirmai Negash, Andrea Frohne, and Samuel Zadi, 199–210. Trenton: Africa World Press.Google Scholar
  27. Selasi, Taiye. 2005. Bye-Bye, Babar (Or: What Is an Afropolitan?). The LIP Magazine. http://thelip.robertsharp.co.uk/?p=76. Accessed 15 Mar 2017.
  28. ———. 2013. Ghana Must Go. London: Viking.Google Scholar
  29. Tunca, Daria, and Bénédicte Ledent. 2015. The Power of a Singular Story: Narrating Africa and Its Diasporas. Research in African Literatures 46 (4): 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Unigwe, Chika. 2010. On Black Sister’s Street [2009]. London: Vintage.Google Scholar
  31. Vermeulen, Pieter. 2013. Flights of Memory: Teju Cole’s Open City and the Limits of Aesthetic Cosmopolitanism. Journal of Modern Literature 37 (1): 40–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maximilian Feldner
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GrazGrazAustria

Personalised recommendations