CFP: Mapping New Nigerian Literature (3/16/07; MLA '07)

full name / name of organization: 
Maik Nwosu
contact email: 

At least two developments have been catalytic in shaping the aesthetic and social concerns of much contemporary Nigerian writing. In 1988, the publication of six poetry collections by new Nigerian writers (a project facilitated by the Association of Nigerian Authors) signified the emergence in print of a new generation of Nigerian writers. This development was complemented by the award of the Booker Prize to Ben Okri's The Famished Road in 1991, thus deepening the international dimension of Nigerian literature which Wole Soyinka's Nobel Prize had signified a few years earlier. The developments have to be seen in the context of the "Structural Adjustment Program" prescribed by the International Monetary Fund, which the military government had begun implementing with unsalutary consequences. It was both the best of times and the worst of times for Nigerian writers, especially the then-emerging generation. Not only does the literature produced by this generation reflect this pa

radox, it has also occasioned some of the most provocative questions to be raised about recent African literature – questions about generational identity and chronology, originality and national literary traditions, self-publishing, and readership. Coupled with the emergence of a "diasporic" tendency in this literary tradition--the well-publicized works of fiction by foreign-based writers of Nigerian origin--a recent question concerns the production of African literature within the cultural institution of foreign agents and publishers. Consequently, we have decided to organize a special session at the 2007 MLA conference in Chicago to discuss this subject. Interested panelists should send a 250-word abstract on any aspect of new Nigerian literature, particularly those identified above, to Maik Nwosu at the University of Denver, Colorado ( or Akin Adesokan at Indiana University, Bloomington ( Deadline for abstracts: March 16, 2007.

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Received on Thu Feb 01 2007 - 17:34:45 EST