Contemporary francophone African women authors have produced a large body of literature that has drawn the interest of scholars, particularly towards their transgressive representations of female identity. With significantly less critical attention, francophone African male authors have been redefining masculinity. This article draws attention to the transformation of masculine identity and bodies envisioned by these writers through the intersection of migration and sexuality, focusing in particular on Simon Njami’s 1989 novel African Gigolo in which the migrant protagonist experiences a reconfiguration of his sexualized masculine identity through a transformative submission of his body. The paper argues that Njami represents the discursive construction of the African male body in French space, only to then show its masochistic deconstruction. These corporeal transformations liberate African migrant masculinity from its historically subsumed position and point to possible reformulations of masculine identity and community.


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pp. 83-104
Launched on MUSE
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