Belonging in Afropolitan texts from Ghana, Nigeria and their diasporas


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Nailor, Pernille (2022). Belonging in Afropolitan texts from Ghana, Nigeria and their diasporas. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis argues that the cultural production that has become associated with Afropolitanism since this term was first popularised in the mid-2000s offers an important case study of belonging in the early twenty-first century. This cultural production, the thesis contends, pushes the boundaries for what it means to form attachments across borders by portraying belonging as a multivocal, multi-layered and multi-local concept, but also as a deeply personal and affective affair. Illustrating that Afropolitan cultural production at the same time portrays belonging as a highly differential and intersectional concept which is determined and negotiated in interaction between social actors, the thesis argues that it often becomes full of complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity. By teasing out some of these tensions and contradictions, the cultural production in question thus provides a compelling new perspective on what it means to belong.

Identifying a wider landscape of contemporary Afropolitan cultural production from Ghana, Nigeria and their diasporas and situating this production in the context of the ideas and thematic trajectories that have emerged as part of the ongoing debates on Afropolitanism, the thesis reads belonging across a broad selection of texts – six of which are novels and four of which either consist of other forms of writing or music and TV. Taking a case study approach, the thesis analyses the various formations of belonging in each of the ten texts whilst also discussing any patterns that develop as it moves from text to text.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of African Studies and Anthropology
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania


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