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Psychosomatic dis-ease and critical futurities in post-independence African literatures Seminar

Dr Eleanor Jones
13:00 - 14:00
9 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.

Since the very earliest days of European imperialism, Africa has held a dual place in the Western imaginary, encapsulating the West's deepest fears and most optimistic dreams about the future. Discursively speaking, little has changed in the intervening centuries, with Africa still perceived in the West as both a chaotic space of violent negativity, and an emerging market ripe for profiteering. Within various African nations themselves, meanwhile, the drive toward building collective national futurities has remained a dominant discourse since independence, with futurity necessarily tied to the twin processes of material production and sexual reproduction. 

This paper will examine the ways in which this multilateral and multilayered staking of an affectively and politically driven futurity in the African body can be understood in cultural terms, using an approach conceptually informed by the distinct but interrelated fields of queer theory and disability studies. Drawing on examples from African literatures in both Portuguese and English, I seek to read the textualisation of psychosomatic distress and disability in African fiction as a discursive refraction of politically imposed constructs of futurity. 


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Speaker information

Dr Eleanor Jones ,Following a BA and MA focused on Portuguese-speaking cultures, I specialised in one of the countries of Portuguese-speaking Africa – Mozambique – for my doctoral research. My thesis explored the myriad representations and uses of the body in poetry and prose by six Mozambican authors. During and after my doctorate, completed at the University of Manchester, I also taught courses on cultures from around the Portuguese-speaking world at both Manchester and at the Universities of Sheffield and Birmingham, before joining Southampton in September 2016.

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