Chinaza Ruth Okonkwo

Wolf Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellow

20212022 Forum on Migration

Chinaza Ruth Okonkwo

Philosophy; History

CAS, 2022

Chinaza Ruth Okonkwo is majoring in philosophy and history with concentrations in moral and political philosophy and world history and minors in Africana Studies, Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, and Native American and Indigenous Studies. They sub-matriculated into the philosophy master's program and will be receiving their master's degree along with their bachelor's degree upon graduation. They are a 2021 Beinecke Scholar, Andrea Mitchell Center Fellow, Mellon Mays Fellow, Perry World House Fellow, Robeson Cooper Scholar, and Benjamin Franklin Scholar. The objective of their project is to examine the way that migration affected the Igbo concept of self and challenged prior indigenous concepts of kinship, identity, and home as a new generation of Igbos began to leave their villages of origin and travel in ways that had never been conceived of before.

The Great Migration: Igbo Movement, Indigeneity, and Identity

This project seeks to draw attention to an understudied event within Igbo history by putting the concept of indigeneity and the subsequent relationship with the land that stems from this concept with mass migrations that occurred during and after the age of colonization as a result of forced labor and/or a desire to acclimate into a changing economic and social world. Using historical, archival, and literary research, this project will examine the ways that migration has impacted an indigenous Igbo conception of home, kinship, and relationship to land. By examining this period of colonization, I will examine how Igbo people’s connection to their villages of origin has transformed.