Ian Foster, "Conscripts of Migration: Neoliberal Globalization, Nationalism, and the Literature of New African Diasporas" (UP of Mississippi, 2019)


In Conscripts of Migration: Neoliberal Globalization, Nationalism, and the Literature of New African Diasporas (UP of Mississippi, 2019) author Christopher Ian Foster analyzes increasingly urgent questions regarding crises of global immigration by redefining migration in terms of conscription and by studying contemporary literature. Reporting on immigration, whether liberal or conservative, popular or scholarly, leaves out the history in which the Global North helped create outward migration in the Global South. From histories of racial capitalism, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and imperialism to contemporary neoliberal globalization and the resurgence of xenophobic nationalism, countries in the Global North continue to devastate and destabilize the Global South. Britain, France, Italy, and the United States, in different ways, police the effects of their own global policies at their borders.

Foster provides a substantial study of a new body of contemporary African diasporic literature called migritude literature. Migritude indicates the work and ideas of a disparate yet distinct group of younger African authors born after independence in the 1960s. Most often migritude authors have lived both in and outside Africa and narrate the experiences of migration under the pressures of globalization. They also emphasize that immigration itself and stereotypes of the immigrant are entangled with the history of colonialism. Authors like Fatou Diome, Shailja Patel, Abdourahman Waberi, Cristina Ali Farah, and others confront critical issues of migrancy, diaspora, departure, return, racism, identity, gender, sexuality, and postcoloniality.

Christopher Ian Foster teaches in the International Studies program at Colorado State University.

Micheal Rumore is a Ph.D. candidate at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. His work focuses on the Indian Ocean as an African diasporic site. He can be reached at mrumore@gradcenter.cuny.edu.

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