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Fictions of African Dictatorship

Cultural Representations of Postcolonial Power


Edited By Charlotte Baker and Hannah Grayson

Fictions of African Dictatorship examines the fictional representation of the African dictator and the performance of dictatorship across genres. The volume includes contributions focusing on literature, theatre and film, all of which examine the relationship between the fictional and the political. Among the questions the contributors ask: what are the implications of reading a novel for its historical content or accuracy? How does the dictator novel interrogate ideas of veracity? How is power performed and ridiculed? How do different writers reflect on questions of authority in the postcolony, and what are the effects on their stories and modes of narration? This volume untangles some of the intricate workings of dictatorial power in the postcolony, through twelve close readings of works of fiction. It interrogates the intersections between real and literary space, exploring censorship, political critique and creative resistance. Insights into a wide range of lesser known texts and contexts make this volume an original and insightful contribution to scholarship on representations of dictatorship.

Charlotte Baker is Senior Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies at Lancaster University. Her research focuses on Francophone and Anglophone African literature. She is working on a monograph examining the critical engagement of post-independence West African writers with dictatorship. She is also interested in the potential of the arts to bring about social change, particularly for people in sub-Saharan Africa with the genetic condition albinism, and has published widely in this field.

Hannah Grayson is Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies at the University of Stirling. Her research focuses on crisis and recovery in Francophone African fiction, and the relationships between subjects and space. She has conducted AHRC-funded research on the testimonies of people who lived through the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, and continues to work on memory and storytelling in sub-Saharan Africa.