Writing Spatiality in West Africa
Title Details

225 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

Series: African Articulations

Imprint: James Currey

Writing Spatiality in West Africa

Colonial Legacies in the Anglophone/Francophone Novel

by Madhu Krishnan

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
Winner of the 2020 ALA Book of the Year Award - Scholarship

Examines the ways in which space and spatial structures have been constituted, contested and re-imagined in Francophone and Anglophone West African literature since the early 1950s.
From the "imaginative geographies" of conquest identified by Edward Said to the very real and material institution of territorial borders, regions and geographical amalgamations, the control, administration and integration of space are known to have played a central and essential role in the creation of contemporary "Africa". Space continues to be a site of conflict, from separatist struggles to the distribution of resources to the continued absorption ofAfrican territories into the uneven geographies of global capitalism.
In this book, Madhu Krishnan examines the ways in which the anxieties and conflicts engendered by these phenomena are registered in a broad set of literarytexts from British and French West Africa. By placing these novels in dialogue with a range of archival material such as territorial planning documents, legislative papers, records of liberation movements and development projects, this book reveals the submerged articulations between spatial planning and literary expression, generating new readings of canonical West African texts as well as analyses of otherwise under-researched material.

MadhuKrishnan is a Senior Lecturer in 20th/21st Century Postcolonial Writing in the Department of English at the University of Bristol. She is author of Contemporary African Literature in English: Global Locations, Postcolonial Identifications(2014) and Contingent Canons: African Literature and the Politics of Location (2018)
Introduction
Spatiality from Empire to Independence
Post-independence Disillusionment and Spatial Closures
Social Space Beyond the Public Sphere: Women's Writing and Contested Hegemonies
Cosmopolitanism, Migration and Neoliberalism in the Wake of Structural Adjustment
Conclusion
Bibliography
"For any critic who has been frustrated by the persistence of old stereotypes about African literatures, however, Krishnan offers an important recasting of the spatial relations organizing discourse around the continent. At a time when academic and popular interest in Africa and its societies grow ever stronger, this reframing of the worldliness of African literatures is no doubt the book's most salient achievement, one on which Africa scholars can draw for many years to come." JOURNAL OF POSTCOLONIAL LITERARY INQUIRY
"[.] the quality, quantity and range of research, both archival and contemporary, shines through, with African and diasporic figures [.]" AFRICA BOOK LINK
"Krishnan has published a highly interesting book. It offers a pedagogic approach to researchers, teachers, and students of African literature to grasp an overview of the selected novels by applying their knowledge of history to the themes of the novels with a view to understanding the contemporary issues of West Africa in detail." African Studies Quarterly

Hardcover

9781847011909

October 2018

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9781787443266

October 2018

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9781787443259

October 2018

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Title Details

225 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

Series: African Articulations

Imprint: James Currey