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Project: Materialising Violence: Speculative Fiction and New Cultures of Resistance from Sub-Saharan Africa

This project considers representations of socio-economic and -ecological violence in contemporary speculative fiction from sub-Saharan Africa, examining how these narratives provide a new critical imaginary for challenges that – though rooted in formal colonialism – are specific to Africa’s millennial present.

Project information

Project manager
Rebecca Duncan
Other project members
Johan Höglund
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University
The Crafoord Foundation
January 2020 – August 2021
Comparative literature (Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages)

More about the project

This project examines how speculative forms in fiction from sub-Saharan Africa represent and contest socio-economic and -ecological violence.

On the one hand, the project situates these narratives in the context of popular occult discourses currently in circulation across the African continent. On the other, it relates them to emergent African activist movements around ongoing inequality, and to recent work in decolonial thinking.

The project thus addresses African speculative imaginaries as responses to challenges that – though rooted in formal colonialism – are also specific to the new millennium. Its aim is to analyse the conceptions of oppression, resistance and future justice encoded in contemporary African speculative texts. In particular, it focuses how these fictions combine the affordances of speculative genre with elements of indigenous cosmology and folklore to decolonise social and socio-ecological relationships from vantages across the sub-Saharan region.

The project is part of:
Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies
Aesthetics of Empire Research Cluster