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Centre for Imperial and Post Colonial StudiesNews and events

The Locations of African Literature: On the Politics of Visibility Seminar

Dr Madhu Krishnan
13:00 - 14:00
2 May 2018
65/1095, Avenue Campus, SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Mary Andrew at .

Event details

Part of the CIPCS Seminar Series Spring 2018. Download the full programme below.

When considered as a body of work which constitutes a subcategory of the global literary market, ‘African literature’, as a genre or marker, has inspired a range of critical truisms about its location, its relative valuation in both aesthetic and material terms, the patterns of consumption with which it is met and the questions of authenticity and representation to which it gives rise. Bringing into dialogue questions around the literary with larger conceptual debates around cultural materialism, this paper draws on my experience running a pilot workshop on arts management, literary activism and literary institutions at the annual Writivism Festival, held in Kampala, in August 2016, to intervene in these debates. Attended by 35 arts practitioners from 16 African countries, the workshop and its subsequent activities provide an alternative locus, operating outside of the centre/periphery systems of the world literary market, for considering the relationships between institutions and the literary as pertains to African cultural production. Viewing the networks which arose as a result of the workshop and its ongoing activities to support the development of continentally-based cultural initiatives, this paper draws out alternative topographies for considering the mediation of African literary writing, its location in the world and its constitution of cultural practices as a projection into the future.


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Speaker information

Dr Madhu Krishnan,Senior Lecturer in 20th/21st Century Postcolonial Writing, Department of English, University of Bristol

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