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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Modernizing love: gender, romantic passion and youth literary culture in colonial Nigeria
Author:Aderinto, SaheedISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 0001-9720)
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:interpersonal relations
colonial period
External link:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0001972015000236
Abstract:This article concerns literary culture and the representation of romantic love in colonial Nigeria's print media. It examines how Nigerians, during the first half of the twentieth century, began redefining love, as both a biocultural and a historical construction, through what the author calls the modernization of African romantic passion. Through letters to editors and articles, print media showed that love, like education, politics and other institutions of colonial power, could be modernized to reflect Nigerians' quest to embrace 'civilization' and Western modernity. Modern romantic love did not just replace the precolonial or 'traditional' norms; rather, selective appropriation of precolonial gender and romantic norms created a hybrid that was neither African nor totally Western. While much has been written on African textual and print culture, gender, marriage and sexuality under colonial rule, the subject of romantic passion has received limited attention. Those few published works on the subject overlook it as a significant element of modernization that was championed by Africans who sought new avenues to express their emotion for the consumption of the reading public. This article attempts to retrieve the literary culture of colonial Nigerian youth by weaving textual analyses of representations of love into the wider socio-cultural transformation under alien rule. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French [Journal abstract]