Diasporan subjectivity and the dynamics of empowerment in Buchi Emecheta's Head Above Water

Diasporan subjectivity and the dynamics of empowerment in Buchi Emecheta's Head Above Water

Author: 
Fongang, Delphine
Publisher: 
Taylor & Francis
Date published: 
2013
Record type: 
Region: 
Journal Title: 
African and Black Diaspora: an international journal
Source: 
African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 2013, pp. 43-54
Abstract: 

The writings of diasporan African women writers capture the struggle for agency and self-definition. Writers write themselves out of confined patriarchal and hegemonic spaces by forging new subjectivities that define their positionality in the metropole. For example, Buchi Emecheta's diasporic encounter in her life writing, Head Above Water, forces her to grapple with multilayered systems of oppression (such as patriarchy, racism, classism, sexism, and nationality) that often complicate the identity of diasporan subjects. Such diasporan identity shows the fluidity and ever shifting subjectivities of subjects who constantly negotiate the myriad forces of domination in the metropole. A migrant subject like Emecheta continually has to negotiate between conflicting social and ideological discourses in order to create a space and place for herself in the metropole. I argue that finding and expressing a sense of subjectivity changes the dialog of the diaspora from one of loss to a new configuration of agency and empowerment that affect individual subjects in the diaspora.

Language: 

CITATION: Fongang, Delphine. Diasporan subjectivity and the dynamics of empowerment in Buchi Emecheta's Head Above Water . : Taylor & Francis , 2013. African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 2013, pp. 43-54 - Available at: http://library.au.int/diasporan-subjectivity-and-dynamics-empowerment-buchi-emechetas-head-above-water-4