In a comparative reading of Song of Solomon (1977) and Americanah (2013), this paper offers a fresh analysis of Morrison’s views on blackness through Adichie’s Afrodiasporic lens. Exploring the ways in which Americanah speaks (back) to Song of Solomon’s representation of black cultural ontologies through (gendered) technological innovations, the paper seeks to complicate blackness in Morrison’s work in order to enlarge understandings of, and extend discussions around, the global character and influence of her canonical oeuvre within a broader, contemporary project of black cosmopolitanism.
With a doctorate from Edinburgh University, Aretha Phiri is a lecturer in the Department of Literary Studies in English at Rhodes University and a research fellow at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study in South Africa. This talk is part of the Thursday Jama series sponsored by the Carolina Seminar in African Ecology and Social Processes. The Thursday Jama is open to all area faculty and graduate students in any discipline. Light refreshments will be served. Please contact Stacey Sewall for more information.