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"'In the same boat now' : peoples of the African diaspora and/as immigrants: the politics of race, migration, and nation in twentieth-century American literature

Author: Joanna Christine Davis-McElligatt; Harry Stecopoulos; University of Iowa. Department of English.
Publisher: [Iowa City, Iowa] : University of Iowa, 2010.
Dissertation: Ph. D. thesis University of Iowa 2010.
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : eBook   Computer File : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In this dissertation, I take seriously Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assertion that even though non-indigenous peoples in America "may have come over on different ships," they are all, in spite of and in the face of their particular ethnic, racial, gender, class, tribal, or national identities, nevertheless together "in the same boat now." In particular, in this project I reconstruct and reinterpret the process of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Named Person: James Baldwin; William Faulkner; Paule Marshall; Gayl Jones; Chris Ware; James Baldwin; William Faulkner; Gayl Jones; Paule Marshall; Chris Ware
Material Type: Document, Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Joanna Christine Davis-McElligatt; Harry Stecopoulos; University of Iowa. Department of English.
OCLC Number: 656565385
Notes: Thesis supervisor: Harilaos Stecopoulos.
Description: x, 355 pages : color illustrations
Details: Mode of access: World Wide Web.; System requirements: Adobe Reader.
Responsibility: by Joanna Christine Davis-McElligatt.

Abstract:

In this dissertation, I take seriously Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assertion that even though non-indigenous peoples in America "may have come over on different ships," they are all, in spite of and in the face of their particular ethnic, racial, gender, class, tribal, or national identities, nevertheless together "in the same boat now." In particular, in this project I reconstruct and reinterpret the process of migration, assimilation, and the realization of full sociopolitical participation in the United States in terms of the relationship between peoples of African descent--who were compelled to migrate as slaves across the Middle Passage, and who also voluntarily immigrated from various localities within the Black Atlantic--and select groups of immigrants from other locations around the globe. In my thesis, I concentrate on novels by William Faulkner, Paule Marshall, James Baldwin, Gayl Jones, and cartoonist Chris Ware, and examine closely how these authors, in their respective texts, work to restructure, reimagine, and thereby challenge the enshrined American narratives of national belonging and acculturation through literary constructions of the identities and experiences of peoples of African descent, as migrants themselves, in tandem with their social, political, economic, sexual, racial, and cultural engagements with other immigrants to the nation-state. In the introduction to my text, I survey and carefully synthesize diverse literary, historical, sociological, postcolonial, and feminist approaches to and theories of the problems of race, immigration, and nationalization, and formulate a new critical interdisciplinary framework for the mutual (de)construction of peoples of African descent as immigrants among immigrants in America.

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