Representations of Exile in Anglophone West African Poetry


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships




Existing studies on exilic literary discourse in postcolonial Anglophone West African poetry have focused predominantly on the negative psychological effects of exile such as alienation and nostalgia with less attention paid to its positive attractions in terms of global cultural relations. This study investigates new strategies of re/presenting exile in Anglophone West African poetry. It adopts contextual and critical methods of analysis to explore the various exilic motifs of selected Anglophone West African poets, drawing insights from the works of postcolonial theorists like Homi Bhabha, Edward Said and Gayatri Spivak. The selection of authors is based on the evidence of postcolonial exilic narrations in their works and the reflection of the various generic/formal innovations about the postcolonial condition in Anglophone West Africa. Generally, these poets explore the complexities of exile, not only in physical and geographical terms but also in respect of the interrogations of socio-cultural and psycho-emotional spaces.