115th Annual Conference - Honolulu, Hawaii
Friday, November 10 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

Imagining a Different Migration Pattern: A Look at Waberi’s In the United States of Africa 

Jack Taylor, University of Hawai'i, Manoa

In this paper I argue that Waberi In the United States of Africa uses speculative fiction to challenge the reader’s social and moral commitments by imagining a world where Africa is a host country to often unwanted European and American immigrants.  By doing so the author poses complex political and moral questions to rethink the politics of immigration from an inverted perspective to show how racial and ethnic tensions often place limits on hospitality and concern for the other. 

Proposal: 

With migration being one the most contentious and politically relevant topics in our contemporary moment, African writers have began to use speculative fiction as a means to imagine another world.  Abdourahman Waberi’s In the United States of Africa is one novel that performs this functions. I argue that Waberi In the United States of Africa uses speculative fiction to challenge the reader’s social and moral commitments by imagining a world where Africa is a host country to often unwanted European and American immigrants.  By doing so the author poses complex political and moral questions to rethink the politics of immigration from an inverted perspective to show how racial and ethnic tensions often place limits on hospitality and concern for the other.