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Digital/social media and Afrophone literatures 
Uta Reuster-Jahn (Hamburg University)
Stephanie Bosch Santana (UCLA)
Abdalla Uba Adamu (Bayero University Kano, Nigeria)
Umma Aliyu Musa (Asien-Afrika-Institut)
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Language and Literature (x) Futures (y)
Philosophikum, S61
Wednesday 31 May, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

The use of social media in Africa is massively impacting literature on the continent. The materiality of texts on the screen together with the inherent technical properties of social media platforms, lead to new and hybrid aesthetics, formats, genres, content and networks of Afrophone literatures.

Long Abstract:

The increasing use of social media across Africa is having a massive impact on the production and consumption of literature on the continent. The Internet, and social media in particular, have undoubtedly opened up new possibilities for the production, publication, distribution, and consumption of African literature, while at the same time shifting the balance of power among actors previously involved in the traditional book chain. There is a research gap on the ways that digital and social media are affecting Afrophone literatures - in Hausa, Swahili and a number of not so widely used languages. The new materiality of texts on the screen together with the inherent technical properties of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, lead to new and hybrid aesthetics, new formats, new genres, new content and new forms of networks in the production of Afrophone literature. This is even more so, as social media offer possibilities of circumventing content regulation procedures and censorship. At the same time social media platforms create new gatekeepers. Moreover, the publication of literature in social media, with its possibilities for interaction, has the potential of changing the roles of the actors - authors, readers, publishers, booksellers, and critics - involved in Afrophone literary production. In the African context, these developments occur against the backdrop of a challenging publishing environment and industry that often lacks crucial state support.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 31 May, 2023, -