African Diasporic Women's NarrativesPolitics of Resistance, Survival, and Citizenship

African Diasporic Women's NarrativesPolitics of Resistance, Survival, and Citizenship

Simone A. James Alexander

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9780813049823

Publisher: University Press of Florida

Abstract

Motivated by a growing need to address questions of transnationalism, female mobility, and citizenship, this book offers an in-depth study of selective texts of Audre Lorde (Barbadian-American), Edwidge Danticat (Haitian-American), Maryse Condé (Guadeloupean-American) and Grace Nichols (Guyanese-British). The book examines transnational migration or movement not only in terms of physical journeys, but it also employs the trope of migration as resistance, as dissent. Examining the pervasive circulation of bodies, this book challenges the pathologization ascribed to black female sexuality/body, subverting its assumed definition as diseased, passive, and docile. Investigating how black female identities and sexualities circulate globally, it focuses on issues of embodiment, how women's bodies are read and seen; how bodies “perform” and are performed upon; how they challenge hierarchical constructs and disrupt normative standards. Furthermore, it depicts how female subjects not only discursively engender a parallel “migration” that disrupts and debunks hierarchical structures, but how they also engender a politics of resistance and subversion of mainstream/dominant discourse, a detour from normative categorizations and ideologies, a migration from and challenge of single, fixed, heteronormative, heterosexual definitions of self. In essence, it examines the politics and economics of migratory movements, re-examining and reconfiguring the definition of citizenship to reflect transnational movements and subjectivities, and the shifting definitions of home. The book's engagement with critical race theory, adds another layer to its uniqueness by engaging “disability” studies, albeit peripherally, as it challenges the construct of disease, wellness and able-bodiedness as configured by Western medical science.