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Cross-cultural self-assertion and cultural politics: African migrants' writing in German since the late 1990s

Göttsche, Dirk

Authors

Dirk Göttsche



Abstract

Since the 1980s African migrants’ writing in German has seen significant development, establishing itself as one of the few examples of a German postcolonial literature in the literal sense, undercutting traditional notions of national literatures, and contributing to the cross-cultural diversification of contemporary German literature. This essay combines an overview of this strand of African diasporic writing in German since the late 1990s with concise textual analysis of selected works in order to explore the authors’ engagement with experiences of postcolonial migration, their critique of colonial legacies in both Africa and Germany, and their intervention in German and transnational cultural debates. The discussion highlights discursive shifts in the history of this mostly autobiographical tradition as well as the emerging diversity of African voices, which challenges potential stereotypes about migrants’ writing.

Seit ihren Anfängen in den 1980er Jahren hat die afrikanische Migrantenliteratur in deutscher Sprache erheblich an Profil gewonnen. Als eines der wenigen Beispiele einer im Wortsinne post-kolonialen deutschsprachigen Literatur unterläuft sie die traditionelle Vorstellung separater Nationalliteraturen und trägt entscheidend zur interkulturellen Diversifizierung der deutschen Gegenwartsliteratur bei. Der vorliegende Aufsatz verbindet einen Überblick über die Entwicklung dieser Form afrikanischer Diaspora-Literatur seit den späteren 1990er Jahren mit der knappen Analyse ausgewählter Texte, die sich mit postkolonialen Migrationserfahrungen auseinandersetzen, fortdauernde Auswirkungen der Kolonialzeit sowohl in Afrika wie in Deutschland thematisieren und im Zuge transkultureller Selbstbehauptung an verschiedenen, teils deutschen, teils transnationalen kulturellen Diskursen und Initiativen partizipieren. Der Aufsatz beleuchtet sowohl diskursive Verschiebungen in der Geschichte dieser oft autobiographischen Traditionslinie als auch jene zunehmende Vielfalt dieser afrikanischen Stimmen, die geläufige Stereotypen zur Migrantenliteratur in Frage stellt.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 3, 2010
Journal German Life and Letters
Print ISSN 0016-8777
Electronic ISSN 0016-8777
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 63
Issue 1
Institution Citation Göttsche, D. (2010). Cross-cultural self-assertion and cultural politics: African migrants' writing in German since the late 1990s. German Life and Letters, 63(1), doi:10.1111/j.1468-0483.2009.01482.x
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0483.2009.01482.x
Publisher URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-0483.2009.01482.x/abstract
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Göttsche, D. (2010), Cross-cultural self-assertion and cultural politics: African migrants’ writing in German since the late 1990s. German Life and Letters, 63: 54-70, which has been published in final form at doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0483.2009.01482.x. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0





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