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Dreams of America: Afro-German Narratives and the Search for Home

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Abstract:

This essay examines Afro-German identity and its relationship to both the United States and to the African continent through a focus on Hans Massaquoi’s Destined to Witness and Ika Hügel-Marshall’s Invisible Woman. I argue that both narratives center the search for “home” and site the U.S. as that eventual home space. As such, it is crucial to understand how each author articulates a Black, German, and an African-American identity—and how gender operates as a marker of a particular kind of citizenship for each writer in multiple home spaces. I also consider one key question: what precludes their claim to a German home space? In examining the gendered modes of identity formation and the strategies that each author employs in the quest for home, I explore the ways in which notions of movement and confinement establish a type of discourse on Black subjectivity that reflects the deep connections between African-American cultural productions and afro-German identity.
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Association:
Name: 96th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p522239_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Donaldson, Sonya. "Dreams of America: Afro-German Narratives and the Search for Home" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 96th Annual Convention, TBA, Richmond, VA, <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p522239_index.html>

APA Citation:

Donaldson, S. A. "Dreams of America: Afro-German Narratives and the Search for Home" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 96th Annual Convention, TBA, Richmond, VA <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p522239_index.html

Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: This essay examines Afro-German identity and its relationship to both the United States and to the African continent through a focus on Hans Massaquoi’s Destined to Witness and Ika Hügel-Marshall’s Invisible Woman. I argue that both narratives center the search for “home” and site the U.S. as that eventual home space. As such, it is crucial to understand how each author articulates a Black, German, and an African-American identity—and how gender operates as a marker of a particular kind of citizenship for each writer in multiple home spaces. I also consider one key question: what precludes their claim to a German home space? In examining the gendered modes of identity formation and the strategies that each author employs in the quest for home, I explore the ways in which notions of movement and confinement establish a type of discourse on Black subjectivity that reflects the deep connections between African-American cultural productions and afro-German identity.


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Schwarz und Deutsch (Black and German): The Creation of Afro-German Symbolic Ethnicity

Dream Homes, Borrowed Credit, Material Excess: Desire, Debt, and Home Ownership in 1940s Film


 
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