Dream of an elsewhere: contemporary African American travel writing

Winfield, G, 2013. Dream of an elsewhere: contemporary African American travel writing. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

African American literature is infused with travel. Experiences of physical journeying have been pivotal to the story of men and women of African descent in the United States for hundreds of years, since the original traumatic forced displacement of the Middle Passage that generated a diasporic subjectivity intertwined with corporeal motion. The subsequent emancipatory journey to freedom, as recited in slave narratives, decentred the coercive migrations of the slave trade by coupling the subversive act of self-directed movement through geographical space with a collective understanding of liberty. Wanderings in the period after the Civil War, followed by the momentous collective Great Migratory journeys of the twentieth century, as well as the countless and ongoing voyages to the ancestral continent of Africa spanning four centuries, has only deepened the criticality of travel to African American history and cultural production. However, African American travel writing has received only a small amount of scholarly attention. Moreover, of that scant consideration, the focus has tended to be on narratives of involuntary or economically necessitated movement. Thorough academic study of the contemporary literature of African American travel beyond these domains is rare, despite the potential rewards of such an endeavour for researchers interested in the contemporary (re)construction of African American subjectivity and in the continuing artistic evolution of the changeable and indeterminate travel book form.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Winfield, G.
Date: 2013
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed in the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 09:34
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2015 09:34
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/128

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