Transculturalism In Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah

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The post-independence period in Nigeria during the 1980s and 1990s has been marked by massive economic and academic emigration to the stable and prosperous West (notably the United States of America and the UK). While the situation has been widely debated in the media and society, there have been few literary representations of the experiences of those contemporary emigrations. The theme of contemporary emigration effectively entered Nigerian literature in 2013 with the publication of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah and it is defined by its transcultural concerns. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s third novel Americanah takes us into the sojourns of her female protagonist Ifemelu and other Nigerian youngsters who try to escape the choicelessness of the Nigerian society in the 1990s. In this paper I am to provide a discussion of the novel’s presentation of its agenda; namely its concern with immigration/exile and its traumatic effects on the immigrants’ lives and identities, the discourse of “otherness” and how these concerns can be understood through the concept of transculturalism. The Cuban scholar and anthropologist Fernando Ortiz coined the concept of “transculturation” in 1940 and since then the concept has entered into literary discourse. Fernando Ortiz used the concept to grasp the complex transformation of cultures brought together in the crucible of colonial and imperial histories. Homi Bhabha has argued in The Location of Culture that “the…show more content…
The text imaginatively captures what it means to be an exile, an illegal migrant in a hostile Western culture. Jeff Lewis in his article, “From Culturalism to Transculturalism” tries to clarify the concept of transculturalism. Lewis argues that, By its emphasis on the problematic of contemporary culture, most particularly in terms of relationships, meaning-making and power formation... transculturalism is

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