The Bulldozer and the Word

Culture at Work in Postcolonial Nairobi

by Raoul Granqvist (Author)
Monographs 198 Pages


This book examines the operating of cultural work in postcolonial Nairobi from the view that it drives modernity, survival and processes of empowerment. It depicts a city of global and spatial aspirations, divided by a past that transcends its present. It is a neo-colonial and acquisitive city; Western cultural institutions dominate the marketplace. An associative aspect is the gendered city space (streets, bars, pubs), which is overwhelmingly masculine. The book demonstrates that women’s marginalisation impacts variously on the city’s texts, its fiction, theatre, and the iconography of the Matatu vehicle. The major theme of the book is the struggle for cultural recognition and authority. Strategies of social and political accommodation coalesce both creatively and antagonistically in this formulation of Kenyan self-identification.


ISBN (Softcover)
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2004. 198 pp., num. fig.

Biographical notes

Raoul Granqvist (Author)

The Author: Raoul J. Granqvist is Professor of English at the Department of Modern Languages, Umeå University (Sweden). He teaches English and postcolonial literatures with special attention to the semiotics of space and power. He is the writer of Revolution’s Urban Landscape: Bucharest Culture and Postcommunist Change (1999) and other publications.


Title: The Bulldozer and the Word