CfP: Afroeuropeans: Black Cultures and Identities in Europe

Afroeuropeans: Black Cultures and Identities in Europe

6 – 8 July 2017, University of Tampere, Finland



Panel organizers:
Janine Hauthal (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) & Anna-Leena Toivanen (University of Eastern Finland)

European cities frequently figure in African (diasporic) fiction. With their landmarks and suburbs, former colonial metropolitan centres serve as settings in narratives exploring a variety of African diasporic experiences in Europe and contribute to the project of rewriting the continent from a new perspective. While London and Paris are the most popular and most studied loci, other places on the continent have also found their way into African (diasporic) writing as Afroeuropean mobilities keep diversifying.

This session invites contributions that address the question of how different urban and non-urban European spaces have been represented in African (diasporic) fiction. We are particularly interested in papers analysing fictional texts set elsewhere in Europe than the traditional post/colonial metropolitan centres. Such less studied locations may include, for instance, provincial cities, cities in countries with no direct involvement in colonialism, rural areas, or places situated on the fringes of the continent (islands, enclaves, etc.) – in short, locations that easily come across as peripheral and non-cosmopolitan from a (post/colonial) metropolitan perspective. We also welcome papers adopting a comparative approach to African (diasporic) narratives of different European central and/or peripheral locations.

Papers may address, among others, the following questions:

  • How is European space conceptualized in African (diasporic) writing (fluid/static, discrete/entangled etc.)?
  • (How) Do African (diasporic) fictions of Europe designate and attach (different) value(s) to rural, provincial, urban and/or metropolitan locations?
  • Do African (diasporic) authors tend to perpetuate or destabilize binary spatial oppositions (e.g. urban metropolis vs. provincial backwater) when writing about Europe?
  • If depictions of European cityscapes in African (diasporic) writing tend to reflect on cosmopolitanism, which issues can be linked to depictions of non-urban spaces?
  • How are urban/metropolitan, provincial and/or rural European spaces represented aesthetically?

Abstracts (max. 300 words including the title) for 15-20 minute papers are to be submitted electronically by 24 February 2017 via the following link:

For more information about the conference, please go to:

If you have any questions, please contact the panel organizers: Dr Janine Hauthal (janine.hauthal[at] and Dr Anna-Leena Toivanen (anna-leena.toivanen[at]

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