Africa in EuropeStudies in Transnational Practice in the Long Twentieth Century

Africa in EuropeStudies in Transnational Practice in the Long Twentieth Century

Eve Rosenhaft and Robbie Aitken

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9781846318474

Publisher: Liverpool University Press


The essays in this volume explore the lives and activities of people of African descent – both black and white - in Europe between the 1880s and the beginning of the twenty-first century. They go beyond the still-dominant Anglo-American or transatlantic emphasis of Black Studies, examining the experiences of Africans, Afro-Caribbeans and African Americans in Germany, France, Portugal, Italy and the Soviet Union, as well as in Britain. Their subjects include people moving between European states and state jurisdictions or from the former colony of one state to another place in Europe, African-born 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. The authors focus on the ways in which their 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 and community (or politics) have been enabled by the crossing of borders. The volume is multidisciplinary, and the contributors include a novelist and a filmmaker who reflect on their own experiences of these complex histories and the challenges of narrating them.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction

Eve Rosenhaft and Robbie Aitken

I Enacting Identity: Individuals, Families and Communities

II Authenticity and Influence: Contexts for Black Cultural Production

III Post-colonial Belonging

IV Narratives/Histories

Chapter 15 Afterword

Susan Dabney Pennybacker