Anna von Rath

May 4, 2022

Afropolitan Encounters

Literature and Activism in London and Berlin

Peter Lang 2021

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Afropolitan Encounters: Literature and Activism in London and Berlin (Peter Lang, 2022), the first book in the new series “Imagining Black Europe,” explores what Afropolitanism does. Mobile people of African descent use this term to address their own lived realities creatively, which often includes countering stereotypical notions of being African. Afropolitan practices are enormously heterogeneous and malleable, which constitutes its strengths and, at the same time, creates tensions.

Anna von Rath traces the theoretical beginnings of Afropolitanism and moves on to explore Afropolitan practices in London and Berlin. Afropolitanism can take different forms, such as that of an identity, a political and ethical stance, a dead–end road, networks, a collective self–care practice or a strategic label. While not a unitary project, the vast variety of Afropolitan practices provide approaches to contemporary political problems in Europe and beyond. In this book, Afropolitan practices are read against the specific context of German and British colonial histories and structures of racism, the histories of Black Europeans, and contemporary right–wing resurgence in Germany and England, respectively.

Nicole Coleman is Assistant Professor of German at Wayne State University. She tweets @drnicoleman.

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