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FRIAS Kolloquium - Onookome Okome

Onookome Okome

African Studies, Literature and Cinema
University of Alberta

Onitsha Market Pamphlets and the Other Africa
Wann 15.07.2024
von 15:00 bis 16:00
Wo FRIAS Seminar Room
Termin übernehmen vCal

Onitsha Market Pamphlets and the Other Africa

Four centuries after Europe’s Age of Enlightenment, Africa remains an enigma, especially to outsiders. But this is not because the continent is congenitally inscrutable, rather it is most likely because the discourse about Africa that emerged after Europe’s Age of Exploration seemed to have calcified since the 18th century, allowing for little modification to the idea of Africa to take place. Literature, all of kinds of the written word, has something to do with the making and perpetuation of this discourse. Reacting to this discourse that upended the humanity of the African, the first group of modern writers from the continent sort to redefine this disfigured body by challenging the ideas of race implicit in this discourse. This led to the homogenization of the new episteme produced about Africa and the African. This is the group we refer to as postcolonial writers and scholars, a group whose ideas of and about the continent are often mediated by ties to European metropolis. Is there another Africa whose epistemic values are not represented in the writing of what has now become the hegemonic postcolonial critique of Europe and non-African worlds? This presentation argues that there is indeed another Africa that is occluded in the writing of what has been labelled as elite African literatures. Onitsha market pamphlets and many such expressions all across Africa give us a glimpse into this other Africa. This presentation will speak to the Africa in these pamphlets by reading some of the pamphlets.