Negotiating Afropolitanism

Essays on Borders and Spaces in Contemporary African Literature and Folklore


Negotiating Afropolitanism brings together scholars in African studies from across the world in order to critically examine the representations, transgressions, disruptions, and/or redrawings of borders and spaces in contemporary African literature, culture and folklore. The essays collected here offer innovative and fresh critical perspectives on postcolonial themes within contemporary Africa. Individually they investigate such themes as identity, diaspora, hybridity, translation, the space between, textual frontiers, translocation and multilocalities, migration, nomadology, polylingualism, and multiculturalism. Together they map the rich terrain of culture, literature and folklore in contemporary Africa, from the works of writers such as Idris Chraibi, Wole Soyinka, Ben Okri, E. B. Dongala, Calixthe Beyala, Patrice Nganang, Nuruddin Farah and Abdulrazak Gurnah, to those of Pepetela, Goretti Kyomuhendo, Jamal Mahjoub, Yusuf Dawood, M. G. Vassanji, and J. M. Coetzee, as well as Afrophone oral artists and radio performers. This volume will be of interest to anyone with an interest in African studies, postcolonialism, cultural and literary studies.

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Review Quotes
BRONZE AWARD 2013 from Association of Borderlands Studies.

"This collection of essays not only gives the reader an understanding of the many of the complexities the African countries have dealt with due to the inheritance of post-colonial borders but leads the reader to understand the new aspiration of the African people and their resilient spirit to overcome this inherited problematic maze. The book provides the context for appreciating what can be accomplished if borders and spaces are more effectively dealt with."
Table of contents
Simon Gikandi: Foreword: On Afropolitanism
J. K. S. Makokha: Introduction: In the Spirit of Afropolitanism
Part I: Border Crossings, Precarity, Syncretism
Sim Kilosho Kabale: Afropolitanism and Erudition in Francophone African Novels, 1994 – 2000
Jens Frederic Elze-Volland: Precarity and Picaresque in Contemporary Nigerian Prose: An Exemplary Reading of Ben Okri’s The Famished Road
Sola Ogunbayo: Border-Crossing Through Myth-Making: The Unbarred Muse in Selected Nigerian Literature
Fella Benabed: Syncretic Worldviews in Wole Soyinka’s The Interpreters
Part II: Dissidence, Absence, Transgression
Catherine Kroll: Dogs and Dissidents at the Border: Narrative Outbreak in Patrice Nganang’s Temps de Chien
Jennifer Wawrzinek: Addressing the Absent Other in J. M. Coetzee’s Age of Iron
Phillip Rothwell: Nearly Ending the World the African Way: Pepetela’s Suspension of Capital’s Frontiers and Flows in
O Quase Fim do Mundo
John E. Masterson: A Post-mortem on the Postmodern? Conflict and Corporeality in Nuruddin Farah’s Links
Russell West-Pavlov: Sociology/Matriology in Maghreb Writing: Space and Feminine Transgression in Fanon’s Sociologie d’une révolution and Chraibi’s La Civilisation, ma mere!
Part III: Unhomeliness, Diasporic Narration, Heterotopia
Emilia Ilieva and Lennox Odiemo-Munara: Negotiating Dislocated Identities in the Space of Post-Colonial Chaos: Goretti Kyomuhendo’s Waiting
Nalini Iyer: No Place to Call Home: Citizenship and Belonging in M. G. Vassanji’s The In-Between World of Vikram Lall
Remmy Shiundu Barasa and J. K. S. Makokha: Weaving Exilic Narratives: Homodiegetic Narration and Postcolonial Translocation in Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Admiring Silence
Maria Jesus Cabarcos Traseira: Between Diasporic Identity and Agency: Versions of the Pastoral in Gurnah’s Pilgrims Way and Mahjoub’s Navigation of a Rainmaker
Godwin Siundu: Locating Cultural Ambivalence and Afropolitanism: Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam as Heterotopia in the Fiction of Dawood and Vassanji
Part IV: Language, Borders, Spaces
Mikhail Gromov: Across the Language Border: The Case of Bilingual Writers in Tanzania
Alina N. Rinkanya: Sheng Literature in Kenya: Socio-Linguistic Borders and Spaces in Popular Poetry
Mbugua wa Mungai: “ Na Hawa Watu Lazima Wakuwe Serious!: FM Radio Spaces and Folkloric Performance of Cosmopolitan Identities in Kenya
Michael Wainaina: Empire Speaks Back: Authenticity, Folk Voices and Re-Presentation of Across in Gikuyu Radio Narratives
Index Card
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