Borders, Belonging and Otherness in African-German Literature
Uhuegbu, Chiedozie Michael
This dissertation centers on the depiction of migration from an African-German literary perspective, critiquing the published literature written by migrants and non-migrants on the challenges of immigration. African-German relations predate the seventeenth century, long before the Berlin conference of 1884 under Otto von Bismarck—a historical turning-point in German colonial politics. Today, Africans’ migration to Germany has a socio-economic and educational dimension. Africans migrate to Germany either to study, for economic reasons, or for shelter and safety from violent conflicts or political persecution in their respective countries. My dissertation focuses on how African and German authors depict the migration experience. I examine how Jenny Erpenbeck’s "Gehen, ging, gegangen" (2015), Nura Abdi’s "Tränen im Sand" (2013), Luc Degla’s "Das afrikanische Auge" (2006), and Chima Oji’s "Unter die Deutschen gefallen: Erfahrungen eines Afrikaners" (1992) describe the experiences and issues associated with migration. Each chapter analyzes migrancy constructed upon the challenges of fluid identities, the encountering of new cultures, the meaning of borders, and migrants’ search for belonging and home. I argue that for these literary texts, migration comes with its own cultural dis- and translocation, both of which are perceived in the contexts of global political events and their economic repercussions.