Kerry Manzo F'18

Kerry  Manzo
Visiting Assistant Professor
State University of New York, College at Purchase

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2018
Doctoral Candidate
Texas Tech University
When We See It, We Shall Be Happy: The Mbari Movement, Queer Emergence, and Counterpublics in the Production of African Literature

This project examines the impact of counterpublics, or social imaginaries constituted by shared attention to texts and discourses, on the production of African literature, with a specific focus on Nigerian modernist and sexual counterpublics. It considers the material influence of the Mbari movement—a 1960s transnational countercultural movement that promoted and connected artists and writers of the black Atlantic—on trends in African publishing. The project also considers discourses of Nigerian queer counterpublics and argues that such discourses must be understood in relation to both indigenous sexual traditions and the implanted heterosexual public. While seemingly disparate topics, at their points and times of emergence both modernist and sexual counterpublics represent significant literary trends that have impacted the larger field of production. Thus, a central task of this dissertation will be to theorize emergence and the emergent as they apply to twentieth- and twenty-first-century West African literary spaces and discourses.