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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53224
Doc. No:TL23178
Call number:‭3312467‬
Main Entry:Laura Teresa Murphy
Title & Author:Enduring memory: Metaphors of the slave trade in West African literatureLaura Teresa Murphy
College:Harvard University
Date:2008
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2008
Page No:257
Abstract:Enduring Memory: Metaphors of the Slave Trade in West African Literature investigates the means by which West Africans have preserved, both consciously and unconsciously, the memory of the era of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the postcolonial period. This study intervenes in "black Atlantic" discourse by focusing attention on specifically African representations of the loss and suffering which resulted from the slave trade. My readings of West African literature reveal that Africans do not merely remember the slave trade differently than African Americans; they represent it differently. While scholars of West African literature have declared an amnesia in communal memory regarding the slave trade and mourn an alleged failure to memorialize it in creative forms, I argue that memories of the slave trade are overlooked in African literature because they are not revealed in the forms of overt narrativization so familiar in African American literature. Drawing methodological inspiration from the work of interdisciplinary scholars such as Marianne Hirsch, Ranjana Khanna, and Rosalind Shaw, this study contends that the physical and psychological legacy of the slave trade endures in West African culture and literature in forms of alternative memory and metaphorization such as tragic repetition, fear and gossip, and images of suffering, bondage, and impotent sexuality. Authors such as Ben Okri, Ayi Kwei Armah, Ama Ata Aidoo, Amos Tutuola, and Chinua Achebe, so often read as responding solely to the colonial and independence projects, share a critical investment in the activation of longterm memories of the slave trade, thereby renegotiating the limits of the postcolonial project.
Subject:Language, literature and linguistics; Black Atlantic; Memory; Nigeria; Slave trade; Transatlantic; West African literature; African literature; 0316:African literature
Added Entry:A. Irele
Added Entry:Harvard University