Duke University Press: In Moving Home, Sandra Gunning examines nineteenth-century African diasporic travel writing to expand and complicate understandings of the Black Atlantic. Gunning draws on the writing of missionaries, abolitionists, entrepreneurs, and explorers whose work challenges the assumptions that travel writing is primarily associated with leisure or scientific research. For instance, Yoruba ex-slave turned Anglican bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther played a role in the Christianization of colonial Nigeria. Sarah Forbes Bonetta, a formerly enslaved girl "gifted" to Queen Victoria, traveled the African colonies as the wife of a prominent colonial figure and under the protection of her benefactress. Alongside Nancy Gardiner Prince, Martin R. Delany, Robert Campbell, and others, these writers used their mobility as African diasporic and colonial subjects to explore the Atlantic world and beyond while they negotiated the complex intersections between nation and empire. Rather than categorizing them as merely precursors of Pan-Africanist traditions, Gunning traces their successes and frustrations to capture a sense of the historical and geographical specificities that shaped their careers.
Sandra Gunning is Professor of American Studies and Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, author of Race, Rape, and Lynching: The Red Record of American Literature, 1890–1912, and coeditor of Dialogues of Dispersal: Gender, Sexuality, and African Diasporas.