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Periodical issue Periodical issue Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Canonization and teaching of African literatures
Editor:Granqvist, RaoulISNI
Year:1990
Periodical:Matatu: Journal for African Culture and Society (ISSN 0932-9714)
Volume:7
Pages:190
Language:English
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:literary education
literature
Abstract:After an introductory chapter on the canonization of African literatures by Raoul Granqvist, Richard K. Priebe advocates an expansion and a problematization of the canon which he believes has been too much occupied with 'allegories of salvage' and has discriminated against texts where the child acts as a figure of transformation. Rhonda Cobham explains the success of 'Things fall apart' (1985), by Chinua Achebe as a consequence of this author's ability to incorporate Western values into a celebration of traditional life. Bernth Lindfors' study of the literature syllabus of 26 universities in 14 anglophone African countries shows that the canon adopted is conservative and little different from the one generally used in the West. The fourth essay, by Anthony Appiah, is mainly a diatribe against the 'nativism' and 'Afrocentric particularism' represented by Chinweizi and others in 'Toward the decolonization of African literature' (1980). Thomas A. Hale gives a specific, personal glimpse of another function held by a canon: the employment of African literatures as a vanguard to question and challenge established conservative thinking. Elizabeth Gunner, finally, gives a historical survey of the canon formation of African literatures in the United Kingdom, where its traditional position on the margins of the dominant canon has gained it a certain degree of independence and combative authority. This special issue also contains poems, conference reports, and book reviews. Notes, ref., sum. in English, German and French.
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