Decolonising Childhoods in Eastern Africa : Literary and Cultural Representations book cover
1st Edition

Decolonising Childhoods in Eastern Africa
Literary and Cultural Representations

ISBN 9780367685614
Published July 13, 2021 by Routledge
198 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book deconstructs Eurocentric narratives and showcases local voices to re-examine childhood in Eastern Africa.

Moving away from portrayals of eastern African childhood as characterised by want, the author argues for a differentiated and pluralist nature of the eastern African childhood. Taking a chronological approach, the author provides a multidisciplinary critical reading of Africanist research on childhood in eastern Africa, drawing from anthropological and cultural studies, while examining writings from the pre-imperial and colonial periods. Moving into the contemporary period, the book reveals the continuity, tensions and ruptures of these portrayals in humanitarian, legal, and journalistic discourses, before exploring postcolonial writings on childhood in works by Eastern African novelists.

Based on such a multidisciplinary perspective, this book will be of interest to scholars of African literature, eastern African history, critical childhood studies, museums and Africanist epistemologies.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Multiple Childhoods  Part I  2. Bula Matadi and Incompleteness: Conceptual Decolonisation of Childhood  3. Africanist Childhood in Critical Frontiers  4. Archaeology of Childhood: Pre-imperial and Colonial Periods  5. Continuities and Contestations of Monodirectional Epistemology  Part II  6. The Land of Childhoods: Yvonne Owuor’s Dust  7. The Childhoods of Yvonne Owuor’s The Dragonfly Sea 8. Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu: Endangered and Engendered Childhoods  9. Conclusion: Childhoods Then, Now, Here and Next 10. Appendix


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Oduor Obura holds a PhD from the University of Potsdam, Germany.