1st Edition

Decolonising Childhoods in Eastern Africa
Literary and Cultural Representations

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after July 13, 2021
ISBN 9780367685614
July 13, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
224 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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


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