Writing Nigeria: Time and Nature in the Poetry of Niyi Osundare


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


English and Literary Studies


This proposed project which is a combination of research and writing is a revision of my PhD thesis. It investigates varied ways in which time and nature are thematised in the poetic corpus of the multiple award-winning Nigerian writer Niyi Osundare. Its frame is woven from Bakhtinian notions of time in literature complemented by various strands of ecocritical theory. Using lenses provided by Osundare, it interrogates the Yoruba animist worldview on time and nature. It foregrounds how autobiographical aspects of Osundare's poetry are shaped by animist conceptions of sacred time and place. It also analyses animist beliefs on the origin of the earth and the human responsibility to preserve it. Further, it studies geologic time, taking Nigeria as a specific site in which the workings of the Anthropocene and the Capitalocene are manifest.