Gendering migration from Africa to Spain: literary representations of masculinities and femininities
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This projects analyzes the work of a variety of African authors—Donato Ndongo's short story “El sueño” (1973) and novel El metro (2007), Maximiliano Nkogo's short story “Emigración” (2000), Najat El Hachmi's novel El último patriarca (2008), Laila Lalami's novel Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits (2005), and Tahar Ben Jelloun's novel Leaving Tangier (2008) — to demonstrate how gender and migration intersect to shatter any fixed notion of what it means to be a male or female African migrant in Spain. I situate my work at the nexus between gender theory as articulated by Judith Butler and R.W. Connell, and the postcolonial theoretical work of Frantz Fanon, Stuart Hall, and Paul Gilroy. Each chapter focuses on a number of themes relating to gender and migration: the role African gender relations play in the decision making process, the existence of gendered social networks; how the migratory journey reconfigures or reaffirms gender roles, and how the return of the migrant is a gendered performance of masculinity. I see my analysis of these emergent themes as making an important contribution to the fields of migration and Spanish studies by revealing how each author creates subversive gendered identities —born out of the migratory experience — that contradict the normative discourse in Spain surrounding the phenomenon.