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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:From the brink of oblivion: the anxious masculinism of Nigerian market literatures
Author:Newell, StephanieISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Nigeria
Onitsha market literature
popular literature (form)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3820308
Abstract:The earliest mass-produced popular literature (in the form of pamphlets) in Nigeria has been labelled, rather inaccurately, 'Onitsha market literature'. This literature is generally considered to be transitional, even passť, produced inside a bubble of inexplicable creativity that burst abruptly with the outbreak of the Biafra War in 1967. Nigerian market literature is fraught with a gender ideology, however, that persists in contemporary popular literatures. There is too much material of historical interest and contemporary relevance to pass it by. In particular, it foreshadows, sometimes even echoes, the gender preoccupations of many contemporary popular literatures which are written, printed and distributed subnationally in Nigeria. The pamphlets were the sites where contradictory notions of masculine power jostled for dominance, adapting to the altered social relations and new female identities accompanying decolonization and urbanization in Nigeria. On the basis of a rereading of these much neglected Nigerian pamphlets the author comments on the contradictory and tension-ridden nature of urban masculine identities at a time when gender roles were in the process of being actively renegotiated. Bibliogr., notes, ref.