Introduction

Authored by: Moradewun Adejunmobi , Carli Coetzee

Routledge Handbook of African Literature

Print publication date:  March  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN:
eBook ISBN: 9781315229546
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315229546-1

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Abstract

This Handbook is a volume of critical approaches applied to literature, and its subject is African literary studies. Its contents are intended to materialize a project of expanding and complexifying scholarship in African literary studies as a research area in its own right. Our goal as editors has been to make a range of critical engagements with African literature more visible to scholars working in this area, but also to provide additional impetus for pushing beyond the boundaries of familiar critical engagements with African literature. The result in this edited work is an emphasis on more recent rather than more established critical approaches. Specifically, The Handbook of African Literature aims to serve as an aggregation of studies of African literary texts embodying some of the newer critical approaches from the end of the twentieth to the early decades of the twenty-first century. Deliberately, chapters in this Handbook are not grouped under such customary headings as ‘Postcolonial Theory’ or ‘Globalism’ or ‘Afropessimism’ though these terms and related propositions are surely implicated in the kinds of interpretations advanced by several of our contributors. Because the adopted headings do not correspond to any specific and already-determined body of principles, they better enable the Handbook to fulfill its mission as a template for extending the scope of African literary studies. In short, these are headings whose subjects of inquiry are far from being settled and sedimented. For this reason, they remain open to revision and for the accretion of additional analytical proposals as opportunity presents itself.

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