228 Records out of 22207 Records

African literature in the digital age : class and sexual politics in new writing from Nigeria and Kenya

Author: Adenekan, Olorunshola

Awarding University: University of Birmingham, England

Level : PhD

Year: 2012

Holding Libraries: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library ;

Subject Terms: African literature ; Nigeria ; Sexual politics ; Digital libraries ;

Abstract:

Using wide-ranging literature and theoretical concepts published digitally and in print, this thesis will build the emerging picture of African literature in English that is being published in the digital space. The study will analyse the technological production of classed and sexualised bodies in new African writing in cyberspace by some of the young writers from Nigeria and Kenya, as well as writing from a few of their contemporaries from other African countries. This thesis will also analyse the differences between the agenda of the previous generation including representation and perspectives - and that of a new generation in cyberspace. In the process, I hope to show how literature in cyberspace is asking questions as much of psychic landscapes as of the material world. To my knowledge, there is no substantive literary study done so far that contextualizes this digital experience.

Images of motion in the selected works of Alex La Guma

Author: Ndago, Abenea Odhiambo

Awarding University: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Level : MA

Year: 2010

Holding Libraries: University of Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library ;

Subject Terms: LaGuma, Alex ; Apartheid ; African literature ; Literary criticism ; South Africa ;

Abstract:

This project discusses the importance of images of motion in the selected works of Alex La Guma. Even though we concentrate on his major works A Walk in the Night, In the Fog of the Seasons' End and Time of the Butcherbird, we also include the two short stories 'Blankets' and 'Coffee for the Road'. This has been done both in order to enhance a wider view of the author's works and also because the relationship between the author's first longer work and the last suggests motion. We approach the idea of motion in two ways. The first involves discussing it in terms of how the author places images within the context of apartheid and how the same images prophesy the end of the brutal regime. The second aspect involves how La Guma uses temporal progression as a literary tool for fighting the system. We group images of motion into five broad categories. Characters and how they contribute to motion using protest form the first group. Moreover, the images of animals are examined in order to show their relevance in the tight against apartheid. We discuss how images of animals stand for both redemption and deterioration of the system. Sensory and abstract images of motion represent the third and fourth categories respectively: While sensory images deal with those that can be conceived of through the senses, abstract ones are experienced through imagination and are therefore mainly temporal. Empowerment of the marginalized and oppressed culture represents the fifth category of images of motion.

Transgressing boundaries : gender, identity, culture, and 'other' in postcolonial women's narratives in Africa

Author: Oldfield, Elizabeth

Awarding University: University of Derby, England

Level : PhD

Year: 2010

Holding Libraries: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library ;

Subject Terms: Gender ; Identity ; Culture ; African literature ; Women ;

Abstract:

Fictions written between 1939 and 2005 by indigenous and white (post)colonial women writers who emerge from an African/European cultural experience form the focus of this study. Their voyages into the European diasporic space in Africa within the context of their texts are important since they speak of how African women?s literature develops from, and is situated in relation to, colonialism. African literature constitutes one facet of the new literatures in English from formerly colonised countries. However the accomplishments of indigenous writer Grace Ogot are eclipsed by the critical acclaim received by her male counterparts, whilst Elspeth Huxley, Barbara Kimenye and Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye, who emanate from Western culture but adopt an African perspective, are not accommodated by the ?expatriate literature? genre. Hence, indigenous and white (post)colonial women?s narratives by authors issuing from an African/European cultural experience are brought together to foreground European influence as an apparent phenomenon common to both categories of writers, with consequences for the representation of gender, identity, culture and the ?Other?. The selected texts are set in Kenya and Uganda, and a main concern is with the extent to which the works are impacted upon by setting and intercultural influences. However, this thesis argues that the ?African? women?s creation of textuality is at once the formulation and expression of female individualities and a transgression of boundaries. Furthermore, Kimenye and Macgoye?s children?s literature illustrates the representation and configuration of a voice and identity for the female ?Other? and writer, which enables a re-negotiation of identity and subsequently a crossing of borders.

The use of myth in Grace Ogot's prose fiction

Author: Ojiambo, Evelyn Nafula

Awarding University: Kenyatta University, Kenya

Level : MA

Year: 2009

Holding Libraries: Kenyatta University Moi Library ;

Subject Terms: Ogot, Grace ; Literary criticism ; Novels ; Folklore ; African literature ;

Abstract:

This study investigates the use of myth in Grace Ogot's prose fiction. It highlights the importance of myth as a vital artistic resource to the contemporary writer, the relevance of myth in articulating contemporary concerns, and the impact of myth in contemporary writing. According to Bernth Lindfors (1973), identifying myth in writing is not exhaustive analysis. He suggests an in-depth study of its impact on the written work. This study further investigates the importance of myth to the contemporary writer in terms of form, content and technique. The analysis focuses on the prose fiction of Grace Ogot namely, Land Without Thunder, The Other Woman, The Promised Land and The Strange Bride, which consist of her short story collections and novels. These are examined in order to demonstrate the vitality of myth in the short story and novel genres. The use of myth in Grace Ogot's fiction has not been comprehensively examined. Hence, this study seeks to show Ogot's contribution in using myth to address modernity and its complexities. Library research and textual analysis have richly informed the analysis in this thesis. The aesthetic approach as proposed by Isidore Okpewho (1983), forms the theoretical basis for analysis. Okpewho proposes an important relationship between myth and contemporary African writing, and perceives myth as a creative resource. The writer is seen to assume creative freedom at different levels while using myth, which Okpewho categorizes into four segments; Tradition Preserved, Tradition Observed, Tradition Refined and Tradition Revised. These form the four main analytical chapters of this thesis. In the first segment, the study investigates predominant mythic elements and how they are preserved in Grace Ogot's prose fiction. The second segment analyses the mythic elements appropriated in either form or content hence the mode in which they are observed. The third segment examines Ogot's working towards adopting mythic figures that allow or assist her in addressing modernity and in turn refines them. The fourth segment interrogates Ogot's total withdrawal form the use of myths and mythic elements and as a result works towards creating new myths that explore modernity. In so doing, the use of myth is revised. The study findings show that Ogot extensively borrows from the myths of her community. The myths are re-appropriated in either form or content or both depending on the concerns being projected. Grace Ogot's reliance on myth to explore modernity is greater than the need to create new myths. Her achievement is seen in the way she uses the familiar (myth) to address the unfamiliar (modernity). The study thus demonstrates that myth has served as a vital artistic resource to the African writer in articulating contemporaneity.

Semantic absurdities and social vision for Africa in Jared Angira's poetry

Author: Nyagemi, Bwocha

Awarding University: Kenyatta University, Kenya

Level : MA

Year: 2008

Holding Libraries: Kenyatta University Moi Library ;

Subject Terms: Angira, Jared ; Literary criticism ; African literature ; Poetry ;

Abstract:

This is a study of the semantic absurdities in Jared Angira's poetry and the social vision for Africa as espoused in his poetry. The study explores Tides of Time: Selected Poems (1996) and Lament of the Silent & Other Poems (2004). It identifies and analyzes the use of paradox, oxymoron, irony, contrast and juxtaposition which are collectively referred to as semantic absurdities. This is the craft within the poetry that helps unveil the message Angira has about the poor and other downtrodden groups of people in society, and unearth his social vision. Although Angira's poetry has been anthologized by a number of writers from Africa, it is important to note that most of this poetry goes uncritiqued. As far as we have established, no one has studied our proposed topic in the few studies conducted on the poetry of Jared Angira. This has provided us with a wide gap on which we have based our study. We seek to establish what Angira is saying about the poor masses that populate our society, the underlying factors for such a grim situation and the probable way out as suggested by the artist. The study has employed Practical Stylistics and Marxist Literary Critical approaches whereby the poems that are rich in the selected semantically absurd words and/or expressions have been analyzed in a bid to decode the message encoded therein, and also the espoused social vision. The work is to be structurally divided as follows: The first section will be made up of conceptual Chapter 1 that maps out the way forward for the study. Chapter 2 deals with the semantic absurdities in Tides of Time: Selected Poems, the message for the poor and downtrodden in the society and social vision borne in the poetry. Chapter 3 focuses on the semantic absurdities in Lament of the Silent & Other Poems, the message for the poor and downtrodden in the society and social vision borne in the poetry. Chapter 4 which is the conclusion highlights the point of convergence of the two anthologies and discusses the relation of the findings to our objectives. It recommends the aspects that could be studied by lovers of Angira's poetry. The study has tackled some of the aspects of both form and content in Angira's poetry.

The symbolic deviation of rural women characters in lauretta Ngcobo's novel : and they didn't die

Author: Njeru, Faith Wambogo

Awarding University: Kenyatta University, Kenya

Level : MA

Year: 2008

Holding Libraries: Kenyatta University Moi Library ;

Subject Terms: Ngcobo, Lauretta ; Women's studies ; African literature ; Literary criticism ;

Abstract:

This study examines how Ngcobo in the novel And They Didn't Die (1999) depicts the rural women characters' digression from what was considered to be the norm. From our research, we found the `normalcy' to be the oppressive forces that impinge on the women's liberty. The forces include: the hostile climate, patriarchy and apartheid. The artistic portrayal of these forces through the use of symbolism was analysed. The research found that the perceived normalcy is entrapping. Hence we have investigated how the rural women characters stretch their boundaries of social conventions in which they are confined. The assumption is that when entrapped, women can defy and act in defence of what they perceive to be their rights. In our supposition, we concur with Wieringa (1995) that women have been subverting the codes that undermine the spaces in which they move in more creative and Machiavellian ways. The study employs four strands of feminist theory: the social eco-feminist, radical feminist, Marxist Feminist and African Feminist Theories. In engaging the social eco-feminist theory, the study portrays the relationship between the exploitation of women and that of nature. We also demonstrate the author's use of symbols, some of which are related to nature and to some extent they are a backup in highlighting the characters and the conflicts in the story. This makes the weaving of the text as clear as possible. In so doing, the study divulges the crucial role of symbols in portraying their totality in the work of art. The use of radical feminist theory helped in interpreting patriarchy as illustrated by apartheid and African culture. The Marxist Feminist perspective helped in analyzing the capitalistic nature of apartheid and highlighted how the women characters subverted the system's schemes. The African feminist perspective creates a fair gender rapport between females and males and attempts to appraise literature by using African's aesthetic standards, worldview and experience. Apart from examining the deviation of rural women characters from the perceived norms of apartheid, patriarchy and environment, the study finally appraised the women's endevours in over coming the challenges.

Rereading selected black African autobiographies : a deconstructionist approach

Author: Kamau, Benson Kairu

Awarding University: Kenyatta University, Kenya

Level : PhD

Year: 2006

Holding Libraries: Kenyatta University Moi Library ;

Subject Terms: Autobiographies/African literature/Literary criticism/Writers/Laye, Camara/Gatheru, Mugo/Mphahlele, Ezekiel ;

Abstract:

This study examines the nature of writing and reading of Black African autobiography. Specifically, it analyzes the transformation of persons into narratives, the concept of self and non-self in shaping the story and the diversity of meaning in selected autobiographies. To do this the study uses purposive sampling of three autobiographies; Camara Laye's The African Child, Mugo Gatheru's Child of Two Worlds and Ezekiel Mphahlele's Down Second Avenue. These three texts form the core of this study although other autobiographies are used for comparison at various stages. Our theoretical framework combines the strategies of deconstruction and sociology of literature. Deconstruction allows us to interrogate the premises and assumptions that are taken as given by readers of autobiography, while the sociology of literature gives us the chance to link the process of creating the self with the underlying social context. The present study argues that while life may sometimes render itself to linear development in the same way a work of art proceeds, there are unique circumstances that compel the literature African to write his life. There exists a favourable narrative tradition especially the oral autobiographical discourses among non-literate African communities that the educated African utilize to tell their stories. In addition colonialism, which took different systems in different African regions, is such a disruptive force that it compels the authors to record its consequences. However the study also reveals that there are internal influences as well. Reflective environments coupled with the human urge to immortalize oneself are important motivations to the three authors to tell their lives. Another finding of this study is that while the African Autobiography is modeled on its Western counterpart, it differs from it in some key respects. The African autobiographer, for instance incorporates the individual and the communal within the largely African philosophical worldview of 'I am because were are' rather than the Descartian 'I think therefore I am'. Again the binary differentiation of either/or is deconstructed into an inclusive concept of both/and in African autobiography. This same worldview inevitably shapes the treatment of such themes as gender and time in these autobiographies. The study also reveals that self-recreation in the selected autobiographies depends on memory, incorporation of ritual and the degree to which an individual author manages the resources of fiction such as character, plot and scene. Finally the study finds that there exists an unwritten contract between the autobiographer and the reader. While it is not written, both parties seem to proceed -to write or to read-with the awareness of the other's expectation. And that the urge to read other people's stories is inherent in all of us as a way of sharing where the author gives himself on the page and the reader gives back through reading

Analysis of style and themes in J.M.Coetzee novel : Disgrace

Author: Kamau, Joseph Wahome

Awarding University: Kenyatta University, Kenya

Level : MA

Year: 2006

Holding Libraries: Kenyatta University Moi Library ;

Subject Terms: African literature/Literary criticism/Coetzee, J M /Disgrace (Title) ;

Abstract:

The study evaluates the role of J.M. Coetzee plays in addressing the social political and economic concerns of his society. It also establishes Coetzee?s opinion as the social, political and economic drama of post apartheid South Africa unfolds. In order to analyse themes and features of styles in the selected text, we employ two theoretical frameworks, Foucault?s perception of power, authority, knowledge and truth within the wider postmodernism theory. In his analysis, Foucault demonstrate how power and authority is exercised in our societies, he also questions the concept of a singular objective truth that is transcendental instead he advocates for multiple and situated knowledge. The theory is appropriate in analyzing the experience of South Africa society which for a very long time has been experimenting disharmony that seem to emerge from the knowledge various individuals and communities hold over each other, as a result different attitudes about each other has emerged which in turns inform their social political and economic relationships. Stylistic theory is important for this study for it help us analyse the language of the text. As new knowledge emerges, language is no longer viewed as an instrument that is used to carry a text message but it is viewed as part of that message. Hence we have used this theory to explore how the selected text utilizes symbolism, allusion, irony and paradox to enhance communication about post apartheid South Africa social, political and economic realities. The study is divided into four main chapters; Chapter one forma the introduction, while chapter two evaluate thematic concerns, chapter three analyses features of style whereas chapter four concluded our study. This is a qualitative library research that involves textual and historical analyses. The study uses purposive sampling method. Data from both primary and secondary texts is analysed to provide historical and textual contexts in which to evaluate Coetzee?s concerns and opinions about post apartheid South Africa.

Ugatuzi wa utamaduni wa kikoloni katika tamthilia za Ngugi wa Thiong'o

Author: Ng'ang'a, Samuel Irungu

Awarding University:

Level : PhD

Year: 2006

Holding Libraries: British Institute in Eastern Africa Library ;

Subject Terms: Ngugi wa Thiong'o ; Swahili language ; African literature ; Literary criticism ;

Abstract:

ABSTRACT NOT AVAILABLE

Characterization and change in Sembene Ousmane's God's bit of wood

Author: Mwihia, Margaret Njoki

Awarding University: Kenyatta University, Kenya

Level : MA

Year: 2006

Holding Libraries: Kenyatta University Moi Library ;

Subject Terms: African literature ; Ousmane, Sembene ; Literary criticism ; Fiction ;

Abstract:

This study is an evaluation of the characters in Sembene Ousmane's God's Bits of wood, as they struggle for change. In the evaluation, a thorough analysis of the behavior of characters as they perform their roles has been done. These characters are divided into two classes and an exploration into their relationships in a capitalist setup is done with regards to change. This includes how they themselves are changed by this class struggle and to what extent they effect change in their society. This change is in the levels of their economic, social and cultural status. Sembene's characters are evaluated in their two classes namely the capitalist and the workers as they move towards change. Sembene's characters comprise of society in total. Each character is a representation of real human beings in a capitalist setup and hence the analysis deals with them both individually and communally. This study is facilitated by the Marxist theory whose main interest is in the struggle which is evident in any capitalist society where two classes are always in opposition due to their economic differences. In dealing with characters, content and form are inseparable and so this study has borrowed a little from Marshall (1962) and Fosters (1927) on characterization to enhance the analysis. The working class are African men employed by the railway management and are oppressed by their employers socially and economically and this is the main cause of the struggle and the revolution which follows. Sembene's characters also include women and children who get involved in the strike indirectly and play a great role in changing the whole society. Sembene's setting is in Senegal and the characters revolve around a historical strike by the railway workers in demand for better wages and working conditions. This study has been done through extensive research in the Library and the Internet specifically on Sembene's novel God's Bits of Wood and various critics of the same basing on Marxist approach. A number of Marxist writers have also been used.