CFP: Ghostly Border-Crossings: Europe in Afrodiasporic Literature (31 Oct)

Natasha Himmelman's picture

Call for papersGhostly Border-Crossings: Europe in Afrodiasporic Literature (Special Issue)

Proposed publication date: 2019
Submission of abstracts: 31 October 2017
Submission of articles: 31 March 2018

Tydskrif vir letterkunde is a South African DHET accredited and ISI indexed peer-reviewed literary journal that publishes original articles on theoretical, applied or comparative aspects of African literatures and cultural practices.

This special issue of Tydskrif vir letterkunde explores Afrodiasporic literary production in the context of trans-Mediterranean “migrant crises”, rising European nationalisms since the late 1990s and the post-millennium “Brexit” era.  It reads the stark contrast between the rhetoric of European colour-blindness, and the discourse of crisis surrounding of the movement of racially-marked bodies as the “haunting” of Europe by its colonial pasts.

Europe in Afrodiasporic Literature frames the “Afro” in Afrodiasporic based on the heterogeneity of African countries of origin, as well as the different constructions of blackness as a signifier of African origin – which are often contingent on different European colonial histories. The special issue seeks to interrogate the “silent racialisations” (Fatima el Tayib) which inflect the home and host land, state and statelessness, belonging and nonbelonging of racially-marked subjects, from the perspective of critical black geography (Katherine McKittrick et al.) and relationality (Edouard Glissant).

As a geo-political construct, the border inflects Afrodiasporic cartographies and narratives of migration. This special issue attends to questions raised by national, geographic and social borders in African Afrodiasporic writing about Europe by reading border locations, border lives and border crossings as nodes of identitarian – political, socio-cultural and historical – entanglements. It also seeks to explore the notions of silence, porosity and haunting (Avery Gordon) through imaginaries of contemporary trans-Mediterranean/Atlantic crossings and border locations such as Lampedusa island and “the jungle” of Calais, as well as the Afrodiasporic lived experience in European metropoles.

The editors invite the submission of articles or comparative analyses of literary texts – prose, poetry, drama – that engage with Afrodiasporic connections, circulations and multiple affiliations. Contributions may engage with a single or multiple authors, and may analyse Francophone, Hispanic, German and other European language writing.

Areas of interest may include:

Migrancy, Human Trafficking and Imagining Europe from Africa; 
Métissage/mestizaje, pluriversal identities and transnational/cultural subjectivities;
Black visualities and globalized Afrodiaporic subjectivities;
Linguistic practices such as (self) translation and code-switching;
Materiality and practices of remapping and place making.

Submissions may be in English or French and should not be more than 6,000 words. Potential contributors should also include a 250-word English abstract and a short (30 words) biographical profile of the author. All document(s) should be sent as Microsoft Word attachments.  

Contributions should adhere to the journal’s guidelines:

Prospective contributors should send an abstract (250 words) and short bio (+/- 30 words) to Polo Moji: and Natasha Himmelman: by 31 October 2017.