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From the (semi-)periphery one can see the world: African literature in the context of world-literature

Grant number: 20/03902-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2021
Effective date (End): March 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Comparative Literature
Principal researcher:Elena Brugioni
Grantee:Marta Maria Banasiak
Home Institution: Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem (IEL). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Starting from the theoretical proposal of world-literature developed by Warwick Research Collective, the present project seeks to develop a transnational and translinguistic reflection on the narratives coming from the divergent spaces of the African continent, with the objective of rethinking the role of African literature in the global/planetary space. The comparative analysis will focus on the representations of the multiple effects of world capitalist expansion in the work of four African writers, two of whom are anglophone - the South African J.M. Coetzee and the Somali Nurrudin Farrah, and two lusophone - the Mozambican João Paulo Borges Coelho and the Angolan Ondjaki. It is argued that by placing the work of the four writers in a context that goes beyond national and linguistic boundaries and, consequently, their placement within broader paradigms - the (semi-) peripheral and the global one, allows the search for new expressions/interpretations of African narrative which define the (semi-) periphery not only as a point of theoretical and conceptual reference but mainly as a place of enunciation. The issues addressed, in addition to the political-social situation directly linked to the condition of the post-colony (Mbembe, 2001), will also run through those related to global crises, such as the ecological and migratory crises or the exploitation of raw-materials. Thus, the analysis relies on a transdisciplinary approach based on a diverse range of the humanities, with emphasis on ecocriticism, since this is the second paradigm, which, in addition to world literature, guides new ways of thinking about the links between global literatures. (AU)