The world of African America extends throughout the northern, central, southern and insular parts of the American continent. The essays included in this volume take the creation of that world as a single object of study, tracing significant routes and contacts, building comparisons and contrasts. They thus participate in the reworking of traditional approaches to the study of history, the critique of literature and culture, and the production of knowledge. All are engaged in an effort to locate the African American experience within a wider pan-African vision that links the colonial with the postcolonial, the past with the present, the African with the Western.
Mapping African America sketches lines that, far from limiting our geography, extend our knowledge of the Africanist influence on and their participation in what is generally called "Western" culture. This creative challenge to traditional disciplines will not only enhance the reader's understanding of African American Studies but will also help forge links with other academic fields of inquiry.
Maria Diedrich is Professor of American Studies at the Westfälische Wilhelms University of Münster.
Justin Tally is Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain).