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Making Black History : Diasporic Fiction in the Moment of Afropolitanism

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This study proposes that – rather than trying to discern the normative value of Afropolitanism as an identificatory concept, politics, ethics or aesthetics – Afropolitanism may be best approached as a distinct historical and cultural moment, that is, a certain historical constellation that allows us to glimpse the shifting and multiple silhouettes which Africa, as signifier, as real and imagined locus, embodies in the globalized, yet predominantly Western, cultural landscape of the 21st century. As such, Making Black History looks at contemporary fictions of the African or Black Diaspora that have been written and received in the moment of Afropolitanism. Discursively, this moment is very much part of a diasporic conversation that takes place in the US and is thus informed by various negotiations of blackness, race, class, and cultural identity. Yet rather than interpreting Afropolitan literatures (merely) as a rejection of racial solidarity, as some commentators have, they should be read as ambivalent responses to post-racial discourses dominating the first decade of the 21st century, particularly in the US, which oscillate between moments of intense hope and acute disappointment. Please read our interview with Dominique Haensell here: