1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of African Popular Culture

Edited By Grace A Musila Copyright 2022
    498 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This handbook brings together an international team of scholars from different disciplines to reflect on African popular cultural imaginaries. These imaginaries – in the sense of cultural productions, contexts, consumers, producers, platforms, and the material, affective and discursive resources they circulate – are influential in shaping African realities. Collectively, the chapters assembled in this handbook index the genres, methods, mediums, questions and encounters that preoccupy producers, consumers and scholars of African popular cultural forms across a range of geohistorical and temporal contexts.

    Drawing on forms such as newspaper columns, televised English Premier League football, speculative arts, romance fiction, comedy, cinema, music and digital genres, the contributors explore the possibilities and ambiguities unleashed by the production, circulation, consumption, remediation and critique of these forms. Among the questions explored across these essays are the freedoms and constraints of popular genres; the forms of self-making, pleasure and harm that these imaginaries enable; the negotiations of multiple moral regimes in everyday life; and, inevitably, the fecund terrain of contradictions definitive of many popular forms, which variously enable and undermine world-making.

    An authoritative scholarly resource on popular culture in Africa, this handbook is an essential read for students and scholars of African culture, society and media.

    Foreword by Karin Barber

    Thirteen Ways of Reading African Popular Culture

    Grace A Musila

    1. Ethiopian Imprints: Reading and Writing Ethiopia in 1930s South Africa
    2. Corinne Sandwith

    3. Local Authors, Ephemeral Texts: Anglo-Scribes and Anglo-Literates in West African Newspapers
    4. Stephanie Newell

    5. Varieties of Romance in Contemporary Popular Togolese Literature
    6. Susanne Gerhmann

    7. Against ‘African Popular Literature’, or: The Weeping Woman
    8. Ranka Primorac

    9. Gendering the Popular: Making a Case for FEMRITE in Uganda and Beyond
    10. Lynda Gichanda Spencer and Erik Falk

    11. Scandals, Controversies and African Literary Prizes: Between Intertextuality and Plagiarism
    12. Doseline Kiguru

    13. TED Talks, Blogging, and Celebrity: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and the Popular Imagination
    14. Steve Almquist

    15. Flash Fiction Ghana and Popular Culture: An Overview
    16. Adwoa Opoku-Agyemang and Kwabena Opoku-Agyemang

    17. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Methods of Speculation in African Popular Culture
    18. Nedine Moonsamy

    19. Literature in the Great Lakes Region: Between Resistance and Resilience
    20. Maëline Le Lay

    21. Funding Popular Culture in Tanzania: Crowdfunding, Self-Funding and the Live Performance as Fundraiser
    22. Nikitta Dede Adjirakor

    23. Nigerian Film Audiences on the Internet: Influences, Preferences and Contentions
    24. Añulika Agina

    25. "Don’t Tell Me You Want to Marry a White Man!": The Encounter with Euro-American Characters and Settings in African Commercial Cinema
    26. Alessandro Jedlowski

    27. Popular Culture and the Women Fandom of English Premier League Football in Eldoret, Kenya
    28. Solomon Waliaula

    29. Modelling Success: Women and Self-Making in Kenyan Digital Spaces
    30. Dina Ligaga

    31. Recognizing LGBTQ+ Faces beyond the Mauritian Nation-State
    32. Ryan Poinsamy

    33. Coding the City: Mapping Eco-Systems and Zones of Opportunity in Kinshasa’s Emerging Tech Scene
    34. Katrien Pype

    35. Matters of Kwaito and Why Kwaito Matters
    36. Rangoato Hlasane and Bhekizizwe Peterson

    37. Meaning and Multiplicity: Complexity and Play in Tanzanian Hip Hop
    38. David Kerr

    39. Politics and the Music Video in Nigeria
    40. Femi Eromosele

    41. The Police is Your Friend: Instagram Comedy and the Defamiliarization of the Postcolonial State
    42. James Yékú

    43. "Di one Wey Dey Pain me Pass…!": Social Satire, Caricature and Mimicry in the Comic Act of AY
    44. Rotimi Fasan

    45. #ObinimStickerChallenge: Visual Mediations of Suspicion in Religious Prosumer Parody Media in Contemporary Ghana

            Joseph Oduro-Frimpong


    Grace A Musila teaches African literature at the University of the Witwatersrand. She is editor of Wangari Maathai’s Registers of Freedom (2020); author of A Death Retold in Truth and Rumour: Kenya, Britain and the Julie Ward Murder (2015); and co-editor of Rethinking Eastern African Intellectual Landscapes (2012, with James Ogude and Dina Ligaga).

    "Routledge Handbook of African Popular Culture, which brings together an international team of scholars from different disciplines to reflect on African popular cultural imaginaries, is an important contribution to the burgeoning discipline of popular culture in Africa. Published in 2022, Grace Musila’s edited tome is a valuable demonstration of the important ways this subfield seeks to bring newspaper columns, televised English Premier League football, speculative arts, romance fiction, comedy, cinema, music, and digital genres into a productive dialogue with each other." - Nick Mdika Tembo, Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies