Negotiating (Trans)national Identities in Ugandan Literature


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships




My study proposes that examining how Ugandan literary texts portray constructions and negotiations of national identities in different epochs (early colonial, late colonial, independence and post-independence) helps us to appreciate the multifarious nature of identities, as we explore how national identity intersects with other overlapping and cross-cutting identities like race, ethnicity, gender, religious denomination, and political affiliation. Using content analysis, I read selected primary texts within the social, cultural, and political contexts in which they were produced in order to explore the representation of key events in Uganda’s history and to investigate how selected writers depict these events in their constructions of Ugandan (trans)national identities. I also carry out a more distant reading that aims to survey the field of Ugandan literature in English, in search of broad thematic and narrative trends, while homing in on the selected focal texts in order to explicate and elaborate these.