Laila Amine

Position title: Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity Fellow (2021-2022)

Associate Professor of English, English, UW–Madison

This is a picture of Laila Amine. She is looking directly at the camera and smiling. She is standing in front of a tall case of books.

Return Travel: The African Diaspora Across Genres of Mobility

“Return Travel: The African Diaspora Across Genres of Mobility” examines homecomings in contemporary black Anglophone literature. In writing by James Baldwin and Edwidge Danticat, individuals from different social classes travel in search of political and economic liberation. Scholars have pondered these characters’ experiences abroad, but not their powerful encounters and voluntary return. My book in progress shows that these influential authors’ conceptualizations of freedom are shaped at the intersection of cultures, politics, and diasporic histories. Their writing not only revises understandings of dislocation in light of return; it urges us to attend to the politics of mobility relationally and globally.

Laila Amine is an associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her first book, Postcolonial Paris: Fictions of Intimacy in the City of Light, she questions the dominant ways that Paris is imagined as a space of liberation for the African diaspora. Her writing has also appeared in American Literature, College Literature, and Culture, Theory, and Critique, as well as in the edited volume Paris and the Marginalized Author. She was recently an Andrew Mellon Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin and is serving on the MLA Forum’s executive committee on race and ethnicity studies.