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Postcoloniality, Knowledge, and Creativity in Buchi Emecheta’s Early Autobiographical Fiction: In the Ditch and Second Class Citizen
Rezzan Kocaöner Silkü (Ege University, Izmir, Turkey) [BIO]
Knowledge and creativity in the new world order are closely related to social, gendered, ethnic, and spatial classifications. As Lindah Mhando asserts, “prevailing definitions of gender in African studies have exclusively come from social sciences disciplines, or the art productions of modern European civilization” (3). In “New Ethnicities, Stuart Hall also states that “the black subject and black experience ... are constructed historically, culturally, [and] politically” and representations are linked with certain “codes which have a history, a position within the discursive formations of a particular space and time” (226). As Mhando further emphasizes, “‘subaltern’/’postcolonial’ perspectives ... demand a different conceptualization of knowledge and knowing” (1). Therefore, postcolonialism not only has spatial and temporal connotations, but it also is associated with some alternative strategies to produce knowledge as distinct from the universalist claims of Eurocentric ideology. The postcolonial representation of black subjectivity also deviates from the patriarchal discourse about African woman and aims to liberate her through social transformation.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1944, to a working-class family and educated in the Western-style, Buchi Emecheta challenges the existing representations of both the white gaze and the Nigerian patriarchy by realistically depicting the patriarchal, racial, and sexist attitudes towards African woman. Jago Morrison describes Emecheta’s work as “celebrated because of its insertion of a sexual political dimension to the fictional representation of Nigeria ... to renegotiate reductive ideas about the boundaries of both ethnic and gender identification” (201). Thus, in light of postcolonial and feminist theories, this paper aims to discuss how Buchi Emecheta establishes a cross-cultural link between the British and Nigerian societies and becomes a role model for the transformation of African woman through creativity and knowledge in her early autobiographical fiction, In the Ditch and Second Class Citizen.
Patron: President of Austria, Dr. Heinz Fischer
KCTOS: Knowledge, Creativity and