For centuries, African and African-descended people have attempted to reconnect with the continent of their origin. From early voyages to Sierra Leone and Liberia, to the more recent ventures of African American repatriates in Ghana and Ethiopia, the African Diaspora has a long and storied history of traversing time, space, culture, and circumstance to return to the continent. These attempts have developed varied and interesting perspectives over the years from the rise of Pan-Africanism to a variety of other less-known initiatives. In the 21st century, more people in the African Diaspora are returning to Africa than at any time prior. These returnees are no longer only characterized as descendants of victims of displacement through the slave trade but increasingly are African nationals abroad seeking to return to pursue economic opportunities and to create businesses that benefit the development of the continent. Collectively, these repatriates bring with them new identities and perspectives representing a variety of geographic regions, cultural practices, and technologies that have transformed concepts of homeland and belonging.
Considering the diversity of the repatriates, their locations of departure, and their cultural orientation in Africa, how should we assess their impact? What role do women and gender issues play in migrations and resettlements in Africa? How does repatriation of the African Diaspora compare with other diaspora populations? What makes the recent returns of expatriates, exiles, and asylees to the continent different from previous migrations? What are the cross-cultural connections between African Americans, Afro-Europeans, Afro-Caribbeans and Africans?
This volume examines the idea of African repatriation and its legacy from an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective, focusing on gender, history, the arts, economics, science and technology, education, entrepreneurship, politics and policy, and development. We welcome papers addressing any aspect of repatriation to Africa with preference to research topics that emphasize comparative analysis or an interdisciplinary approach. Topics may include:
New perspectives on international movements for repatriation such as Garveyism and Rastafarianism
Language and communication barriers
The role of science and technology in recent migrations and settlements
Social entrepreneurship and sustainable development
The impact of gender relations in the workplace, community, and educational system
Manifestation of repatriation themes in the popular culture (e.g. Reggae, Nollywood)
Interaction and cultural exchange among repatriates and Africans
Intellectual and historical debates on the efficacy of repatriation
Discussions of key people and policies in migration and immigration initiatives
The relationship between art, history, and politics to repatriation and Back to Africa themes
The formation of repatriate identities (as, for instance, African Americans in Ghana as "obrunei")
Please email a 500-word abstracts with a short curriculum vitae by August 15, 2014 to the editors, Seneca Vaught, Tara Jabbaar-Gyambrah and William Allen, at: BacktoAfrica1@gmail.com
All chapters should be approximately 5,000 – 7,000 words in length including notes and utilize Chicago Style 16th edition.
Seneca Vaught, Ph.D.
Tara Jabbaar-Gyambrah, Ph.D.
William Allen, Ph.D.
Kennesaw State University
1000 Chastain Road
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