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  • World Literary Studies and East African Anglophone Literature

    Erik Falk

    Chapter from the book: Helgesson, S et al. 2018. World Literatures: Exploring the Cosmopolitan-Vernacular Exchange.


    This chapter discusses some of the challenges facing the scholar who approaches African literature from the sociological world literary studies perspective of Pascale Casanova. Drawing on postcolonial theory – and occasionally on book chain and book history studies – it highlights central aspects of Casanova’s theorization that need elaboration to be applicable, such as the postulation of a literary field divided into small- and large-scape poles of production, the national ramifications of the literary field, and the question of audience. The general points are illustrated through a discussion of Ugandan author Doreen Baingana’s short story collection, Tropical Fish. Clearly marketed to an American audience, Baingana’s work displays the anxiety around representativity discussed in postcolonial literary studies but her literary activism shows her to be anything but an estranged migrant writer. Baingana’s simultaneous presence in two literary spheres illustrates the need for empirically based discussion of feedback loops and cultural transfer in the conceptualization of the “world republic of letters”.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Falk, E. 2018. World Literary Studies and East African Anglophone Literature. In: Helgesson, S et al (eds.), World Literatures. Stockholm: Stockholm University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16993/bat.ae

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Additional Information

    Published on Nov. 22, 2018


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