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A Prescience of African Cultural Studies

The Future of Literature in Africa is Not What It Was

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Handel Kashope Wright

In A Prescience of African Cultural Studies, Handel Kashope Wright makes an argument for undertaking a necessary paradigm shift: from literature studies in Africa to African Cultural Studies. There are several major themes in this text; in particular, it rejects mainstream notions of literature as (self)deceptively «apolitical» and decidedly non-utilitarian. As an alternative, Wright proposes African Cultural Studies as an African-centered discourse and praxis that incorporates written, oral, and performance forms, and overtly addresses political and sociocultural issues. He articulates African Cultural Studies in relation to existing cultural studies, its taken for granted British origin and genealogy, and its global trajectories. Finally, Wright elaborates on African Cultural Studies by reconceptualizing drama (emphasizing performance over written text), incorporating film and electronic media and exploring the potential contribution African cultural studies could make to both the discourse and process of development in Africa.