The Quest for Solidarity in a Failed Prescriptive and Aspirational Cosmopolitanism: African Travel Narratives and Duality of Cross-Cultural Encounters (Published)
The theme of travel has occupied a central position in African literature, as it serves as a conduit for exploring the complexities of cross-cultural interactions and the pursuit of solidarity. Within colonial and early post-colonial novels, authors have portrayed many challenges of physical and introspective journeys as reflections of failed solidarity. In this vein, travel narratives in African literature challenge the notion of solidarity as an idealistic aspiration. Using Historical and Cultural Context method with references to Reader-Response Theory, this study sheds light on the complexities and consequences of failed solidarity encounters. The findings reveal that cosmopolitan ideals, whether prescriptive or aspirational, cannot bridge the gaps caused by social, economic, and political disparities without acknowledging and addressing power imbalances and structural inequalities between nations and communities. This study offers insights into alternative pathways to genuine and transformative solidarity, ultimately contributing to a pragmatic understanding of borderless cosmopolitan ideals.