1st Edition

Postcolonial Agency in African and Diasporic Literature and Film A Study in Globalectics

By Lokangaka Losambe Copyright 2022
    204 Pages
    by Routledge

    204 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book chronicles the rise and the development of postcolonial agency since Africa’s encounter with Western modernity through African and African diaspora literature and film.

    Using African and African diasporic imaginaries (creative writings, autobiographies, polemical writings, and filmic media), the author shows how African subjects have resisted enslavement and colonial domination over the past centuries, and how they have sought to reshape "global modernity". Authors and film makers whose works are examined in detail include Olaudah Equiano, Haile Gerima, Amma Asante, George Washington Williams, William Sheppard, Wole Soyinka, Dani Kouyaté, Chris Abani, Chimamanda Adichie, and Leila Aboulela.

    Providing a critical study of nativism, hybridity and post-hybrid conjunctive consciousness, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of African and African diasporic literature, history, and cultural studies.

    Table of Contents




    1. Olaudah Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, The African, Written by Himself; Haile Gerima’s Sankofa (film); Amma Asante’s Belle (film) *


    2. The Anti-Enslavement/-Colonial Activist: George Washington Williams (1849-1891) *

    3. The Postcolonial Pragmatist: William Henry Sheppard (1865-1927) *

    4. The Other Allies *


    5. The Colonial Encounter and Postcolonial Agency in Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman and Dani Kouyaté’s Keita! L’éritage du Griot (Film) *

    6. Postcolonial Conjunctive Consciousness in the Literature of the New African Diaspora: Chris Abani’s The Virgin of Flames, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, Leila Aboulela’s The Translator *

    CODA: Francis Abiola Irele and the African Imagination *



    INDEX *


    Lokangaka Losambe is the Frederick M. and Fannie C.P. Corse Professor of English at the University of Vermont, USA.

    "Engaging an impressive range of literary and cultural texts spanning centuries and continents, Losambe celebrates a "postcolonial agency" that -- at times counter-intuitively -- unites decoloniality and ambivalence, in a studied meditation on the politics of interstitality."

    Laura T. Murphy, Professor of Human Rights and Contemporary Slavery, Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

    "An expansive and illuminating study of figures who disrupted colonial and other dehumanizing agendas from within the establishment, not as alienated collaborators but as mindful yet subversive insiders. This book invites us to redefine the notion of anti-/postcolonial agency in its unending dialogue with and against Western modernity."

    Moradewun Adejunmobi, Professor of African American and African Studies, University of California, Davis, USA

    "This book raises crucial questions to rethink African modernity: 'How did we get here?' 'Why are we still witnessing class, racial, ethnic, gender, sexual religious hostilities and injustices?' 'What conditions would allow for the possibility of a new humanity that promotes and celebrates multiculturalism, mutualism, biodiversity, and conviviality?' The author approaches these questions through readings of major cultural producers who have profoundly shaped the historical, political and philosophical map of knowledge. His subtle and complex analysis of these rich texts is a tour de force and a unique contribution that will enrich the African Archive."

    Frieda Ekotto, Lorna Goodison Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies, The University of Michigan, USA

    "The breadth and depth of Lokangaka Losambe’s literary research resulting in this book is very impressive. Losambe opens our eyes and minds to the crisscrossing and integrative experiences of Africans in the Home Continent and Diaspora and, instead of lamenting the European disruption of others with colonialism, picks on the agency exercised by the people of African descent. In the book’s three sections consisting of a total of six chapters and a concluding coda, Losambe distills from fiction, autobiography, plays, and other forms of "letters" the essence of the African people’s postcolonial agency through their imaginative writings to affirm the fecund African imagination at home and in the diaspora. This book is meticulous, profound, and groundbreaking. With it Losambe restores a measure of classicism to the criticism of African literature today." 

    Tanure Ojaide, Ph.D., Frank Porter Graham Professor of Africana Studies, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA 

    "This is a rewarding book: expansive in its coverage, valuable in its contemporaneity. Reading widely from the eighteenth century to the twenty-first, Lokangaka Losambe explores the contributions of a multiracial gathering that includes missionaries, memoirists, novelists, and filmmakers. In doing so, he brings out the incisive visions that a long tradition of African and African Diasporic intellectual work makes available. This book surely enriches our conversations in African and Black Diasporic cultural criticism."

    Olakunle George, Professor of English, Brown University, USA