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Bad genre: "counter literature", generic rewritings and imagining African futures [CRG African Literatures] 
Mathilde Rogez (Université de Toulouse - Jean Jaurès)
Mélanie Joseph-Vilain (Université de Bourgogne)
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Mathilde Rogez (Université de Toulouse - Jean Jaurès)
Mélanie Joseph-Vilain (Université de Bourgogne)
Indiana Lods (University of Burgundy (Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France))
Language and Literature (x) Decoloniality & Knowledge Production (y)
Philosophikum, S94
Wednesday 31 May, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

This panel will offer compared analyses of rewritings and inventions of supposedly minor genres in the literature in English from several African countries and how they may be seen as coming together to delineate possible African futures.

Long Abstract:

In recent years, the literary scene in several African countries has seen science fiction, a prospective genre, flourish, together with many avatars-speculative fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction, dystopias… Once considered more minor genres, it seems that those instances of what Bernard Mouralis calls "counter-literature" enable writers to imagine African futures, as well as to explore the ways in which, particularly at the time of ecological crises, local systems may be "imbricated in global ones" (Heise). Indeed, the resurgence of such genres and their local developments-if one thinks of Mohale Mashigo and Nnedi Okorafor's rejection of Afrofuturism in favour of a more African brand of the genre-would deserve to be compared with a simultaneous rewriting of other minor genres like the gothic or crime fiction in South Africa, or the Bildungsroman in Nigeria. Already at the crossroads between a Western heritage and more local traditions, at a time besides when authors writing in English also see their works acquire a more transnational nature with the internet, social networks and the larger and more instantaneous dissemination they allow compared to more traditional means of publishing, those older genres are also twisted and rewritten both to explore the tensions that remain beneath the (increasingly cracked) surface veneer of success in the no longer so new South African democracy or the West African petro-culture, and imagine the (possibly rather bleak) future of these countries. These genres from the past and more modern ones seem to come together to imagine possible African futures.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 31 May, 2023, -