CFP: Third Generation Nigerian Writing (6/30/04; journal issue)

full name / name of organization: 
Pius Adesanmi
contact email: 


The mid-1980s signalled the emergence in African literatures of a
phenomenon that has now been consecrated as third generation writing.
While the question of what constitutes a literary generation has never
lent itself to sacrosanct answers and has often generated a profusion of
conflicting positions, the fact remains that a sweeping majority of the
writers whose texts constitute the corpus of third generation writing
were born after 1960, the epochal date of African political independence
from Western European colonialism. This temporal criterion is what
prompted Djiboutian novelist, Abdourahman Waberi, to describe the new
writers as “les enfants de la postcolonie” (children of the postcolony)
in a path-charting essay on the development. In the context of this
continental phenomenon, Nigeria presents certain unique features that
deserve attention: while the rest of Africa presents often singular cases
that have attained Euro-American recognition through prizes or academic
reception as is the case with writers like Moses Isegawa, Tsitsi
Dangarembga, Yvonne Vera, Calixthe Beyala, Armah Darko, Lesego
Rampolokeng, and Waberi, the Nigerians stand out by their numerical
superiority and the overwhelming sense of a collective, generational
identity. The art and politics of these writers are often underpinned by
a generational self-consciousness that is unprecedented in the annals of
Nigerian letters. The overwhelming tendency towards poetry – as opposed
to the predominance of prose fiction in the rest of Africa – and the near
total absence of drama are the other peculiarities of the Nigerian
situation. Despite the importance of these new writers to the broader
context of third generation writing in Africa, their expansive – and ever
expanding – corpus is yet to attract the critical attention it deserves.
To break this critical silence, we seek theoretically-informed essays on
the new generation for a special issue of the South African scholarly
journal, English in Africa (Spring 2005). We are especially interested
in essays using salient aspects of postcolonial and cultural theory to
propose comparative approaches to the works of writers like Toyin
Adewale, Olu Oguibe, Promise Okekwe, Remi Raji, Unoma Azuah, Ogaga
Ifowodo, Chimamanda Adichie, Helon Habila, Wumi Segun, Nduka Otiono, Lola
Shoneyin, Maik Nwosu, Angela Nwosu, Biyi Bandele, Ike Oguine, Okey Ndibe,
Esiaba Irobi, Victor Ehikhamenor, Onookome Okome, Wumi Raji, Emman Shehu,
Amatoritsero Ede, Uche Nduka, and Nnorom Azuonye among several others.
Essays of between 6000-8000 (MLA style format) should reach the guest
editors by June 30, 2004.

Guest Editors:

Pius Adesanmi, Department of Comparative Literature , Penn State
University, 311 Burrowes Building, University Park, PA 16802-6203, USA.

Chris Dunton, Department of English, The National University of Lesotho,
Roma, Lesotho.
Pius Adesanmi, Ph.D
Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature
The Pennsylvania State University
311 Burrowes Building
University Park, PA 16802

814 863 4933 (office)

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Received on Fri Nov 28 2003 - 02:12:36 EST