HL90CW: Great Migrations: Black Atlantic Travel Narratives





Instructor: Marina Magloire
Meeting time: Monday, 3-5

HL90CW: Black Atlantic Travel NarrativesThe story of the African diaspora begins with, and continues to be shaped by, travel. If, as Angela Davis posits, the ability to travel was one of the most significant ways that “emancipation radically transformed personal lives” of formerly enslaved people, this seminar seeks to consider all of the ways that black people in the Americas exercised this newfound freedom in the twentieth century. This course begins with the narratives of enslaved Africans detailing their forced migration to the New World, and ends with the speculative black narratives of space travel and future utopias in which “walking while black” is no longer a crime. From the world travels of Harlem Renaissance intellectuals like Langston Hughes and Claude McKay, to the waves of decolonization that pushed black migrants to leave their homes in Africa and the Caribbean, this course explores the tensions between a fraught history of coerced migration and a tempting possibility of leisured wandering.