My scholarly interest is in: African-American Literature, African Literature, African Diasporic Literature, Women’s studies & Feminist Theory, and Postcolonial Studies from the 20th century to the present.
Reason: Before graduation I already developed the love for literature, after my second year, I started teaching English and literature part-time at a small high school. History, geography, culture, and social change through the lens of literature.
After graduation I got an English Literature teaching job as well as take several freelance reviewing jobs. I recently got a ground-breaking manuscript for review, titled”——”.
This journal gradually helped me appropriate my scholarly interest. After carefully reviewing the write up, Curiosity for more information lead me to reading more articles and journals. I have now come to understand and better appreciate the complexities and, in fact, complications that surround such concepts as “Diaspora”, “Pan-Africanism”, “Hybridization”, “Creolization” and “Transculturation” especially when situated within the context of Modernity. My understanding of transatlantic contacts and interrelationships (or what Gilroy calls The Black Atlantic), both historically and in contemporary times, has been reshaped.
This book has exposed me to these theoretical concepts and helped me appreciate how these fundamental issues translate into the lived experiences of black people in America, and how these experiences influence the creative enterprise of writers of this hue. The insightful postulations of C.L.R James, MichelRolph Trouillot, Paul Gilroy, Aime Cesaire, W.E.B Du Bois, Edouard Glissant and many others, all help me appropriate and clearly put into perspective the critical issues of racial relationships and, essentially, contact with the other. In Black Skin, White Mask, Frantz Fanon expatiates upon what he calls “the black man and psychopathology”, how that the black man’s ego and overall construction of self is completely broken down “at the slightest contact with the white world.” There was a sense in which this idea, after I read Fanon, brought to me a refreshing understanding of Bigger Thomas’ actions and reactions in Richard Wright’s Native Son.
I am also particularly interested in the movement amongst Afro-American scholars/writers to dispense with the traditional portrait of the African-American as essentially a victim of racialism; the attention increasingly being channeled towards accepting the complex realities of race and finding ways to exploit such realities; the establishing of means and measures of inhabiting those spatial realities, not as a victim but as an integral, whole part of the system. This clearly is the position of James Baldwin as reflected in his essay titled “Everybody’s Protest Novel” where he condemns stereotypical portrayals of the realities of black people in America right from Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin to Wright’s Native Son. This much has equally been reflected in the thoughts and writings of other Afro-American scholars/writers including Percival Everett (as demonstrated in his novel, Erasure), Suzan-Lori Parks amongst others. I believe that there is a strong nexus between African Literature and African-American Literature, in that both canons encapsulate writings that come from the same deep place of contact with the other and how that contact has defined reality in many ways for Africans, either rooted in Africa or displaced across the other end(s) of the Atlantic. This correlation becomes more lucid when it is captured in postcolonial theorizations. Of course, the concerns are shifting; from decolonization preoccupations in mid-20th Century African Literature and racially inspired discrimination in 20th-Century African-American Literature. Yet, the overarching presence of the coefficient of interracial, intercultural contact cannot be dismissed from the equation of these literatures. African Literature is appealing to me based on the fact that I relate to it not only on the intellectual level but also on the experiential level, being an African who has lived all my life in Africa.