Cynthia Rahman

Job title: 
Geist Undergraduate Fellow, Best Undergrad Thesis in African Studies
Global Studies
Research interests: 
Fellowship Year(s): 2021

Project/Theme Title: Homebound Migrant Experiences_ Rebuilding Senegal With and Without France in an Era of Post-colonial Struggle
Abstract: Fatou Diome’s novel “The Belly of the Atlantic'' focuses on whether longstanding patterns of Senegalese migration to France offer the possibility of a good life or whether Senegal’s citizens have the potential to grow without reliance on France. This research analyzes whether and how Senegalese migrants from France, the former colonial-power, can build upon their experience abroad to create opportunities after their return. Multitudes of Senegalese migrate to France for a multiplicity of reasons; despite endemic unemployment many choose to return. Senegalese migrants' variety of socioeconomics from living abroad as students, vendors, or corporate-employees, their diverse work experiences abroad may influence the socioeconomic
growth in Senegal. Through migrants’ past experiences in France, we can conclude how those experiences are being used in the development of Senegal. Through interviews, I propose to explore the life-paths and trajectories of returned migrants and whether it’s possible to apply skills learned for sustenance.