Abstract

Abstract:

This article follows a perplexing juncture in Chimamaanda Ngozi Adichie's 2013 novel Americanah: Ifemelu's choice to return back to Nigeria. Following the themes of "home," "travel," and "Africanness," this article explores the link between the migration away from and to Africa and the apparent racelessness Ifemelu experiences as she crosses the fragmented racial zones between Nigeria and America. It challenges the claim that returning to Africa is counterintuitive and only a departure from the Continent is desirable, thus, analyzing the logic of travel concomitant with contemporary phenomenologies of Africanness (Afropolitanism). This analysis seeks to distinguish Afropolitanism from "Americanah" and to offer Americanah's emphasis on reverse migration as a counterweight to Afropolitanism's emphasis on extra-continental travel. Ifemelu's return opens up two questions in the context of this analysis: (1) What does the logic of travel offer to Ifemelu's racial identity as she comes to understand herself in two geospatial temporalities? and (2) What does the language of "home" as contrasted to the discomfort of travel, contributes to her ontological understandings of herself as African?

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Additional Information

ISSN
2165-8692
Print ISSN
2165-8684
Pages
pp. 289-305
Launched on MUSE
2019-07-19
Open Access
No
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