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Cosmopolitanism Revisited: Afro-European Mobilities in Contemporary African Diasporic Literatures

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 AFROEUROPOLITANS project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the AFROEUROPOLITANS project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "AFROEUROPOLITANS" about.

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Project "AFROEUROPOLITANS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: PLACE DU 20 AOUT 7
city: LIEGE
postcode: 4000

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Belgium [BE]
 Project website
 Total cost 172˙800 €
 EC max contribution 172˙800 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2015
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-04-01   to  2019-03-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITE DE LIEGE BE (LIEGE) coordinator 172˙800.00


 Project objective

African literatures attest not only to the diversity of mobilities typical of the global era, but also to the fact that Europe continues to occupy a special place in the African literary imaginary. This study analyses the ways in which African Franco- and Anglophone diasporic literatures address the idea(l) of a cosmopolitan world citizenry in varied Afro-European contexts of mobility. In order to do so, the study critically revisits the concept of cosmopolitanism and, by drawing on theory and readings of African fiction, develops a new analytical pattern reflecting the privileged, practical and critical dimensions of the concept. The study’s interdisciplinary theoretical framework consists of postcolonial theory, cosmopolitanism, mobility studies and diaspora studies, and it applies a method of contextual close-reading which is motivated by a transnational impulse. By focusing on Afro-European mobilities, the study contributes to the topical scholarly endeavour of analysing the intertwinement of the two continents in a way that exceeds national boundaries. Studying fictional African cosmopolitanisms enhances our understanding of Europe in a changing global setting in terms of cultural encounters viewed from an Afro-European perspective, providing a literary articulation of the social exclusion that people with African origins often face in their attempt to claim cosmopolitan world citizenry in Europe. Fictive African mobile narratives are informed by such intersecting markers of difference as class, gender, nationality, and race. The study draws attention to how the universalising tendencies of traditional cosmopolitanisms and the elitism of some recently formulated Afropolitanisms are challenged in this setting. By developing and applying an analytical pattern of cosmopolitanisms, the study responds to the urgent call to revisit the slippery concept of cosmopolitanism by exploring its limits and potentials within the African literary context.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Anna-Leena Toivanen
Eurooppalaiset periferiat postkoloniaalisessa kirjallisuudessa
published pages: 82-85, ISSN: 2242-3796, DOI: 10.30665/av.78069
AVAIN - Kirjallisuudentutkimuksen aikakauslehti 16/1 2019-06-07
2019 Anna-Leena Toivanen
Globalisation, mobility and labourin African diasporicfiction
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Routledge Handbook of African Literature 47-59 2019-06-07
2017 Anna-Leena Toivanen
Anxious Mobilities in Accra and Beyond
published pages: 307-328, ISSN: 0932-9714, DOI: 10.1163/18757421-04902005
Matatu 49/2 2019-05-22
2017 Anna-Leena Toivanen
Zombified mobilities: clandestine Afroeuropean journeys in J. R. Essomba’s Le paradis du nord and Caryl Phillips’s A Distant Shore
published pages: 120-134, ISSN: 1369-6815, DOI: 10.1080/13696815.2018.1519692
Journal of African Cultural Studies 31/1 2019-05-22
2018 Toivanen, Anna-Leena
Failing border crossings and cosmopolitanism in Brian Chikwava’s Harare North
published pages: 1-15, ISSN: 0021-9894, DOI: 10.1177/0021989418794743
Journal of Commonwealth Literature Online first versio, published 2019-05-22

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