The Afropolitan Flâneur in Literature
This timely study engages in the Afropolitan debate via the streets of the literary city. It first provides a historical and theoretical framework to illustrate how the literary flâneur—an aimless wanderer of the city—migrated from Europe to Africa and the diaspora, and how this figure is to be understood in relation to current considerations of Afropolitanism.
The literary analysis focuses on texts set in three cities in Africa (Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Lagos), as well as three global north cities (New York, Paris, and London), considered through the eyes of various types of Afropolitan flâneur. By problematising the binaries of local/global, national/transnational, black/white, and slum/paradise, this book addresses issues of belonging or not belonging, and gestures towards new ways of understanding what it means to be an African in the world today.
Carol Leff works at the Institute for the Study of the Englishes of Africa (ISEA) and is also a teacher and supervisor in the MA in Creative Writing programme at the School of Languages and Literatures at Rhodes University, South Africa. She received her PhD in English Literary Studies in 2019. Her area of interest is contemporary writing in and of Africa and the African diaspora, specifically regarding the transnational subjectivities represented in such literature. She has published a number of journal articles and book chapters, and is the author of flashes, a collection of poetry.
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