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Eco-Critical Literature

Regreening African Landscapes

Ogaga Okuyade

Publication Year: 2013

Eco-Critical Literature: Regreening African Landscapescritically examines the representations, constructions, and imaginings of the relationship between the human and non-human worlds in contemporary African literature and culture. It offers innovative, incisive, and critical perspectives on the importance of sustaining a symbiotic relationship between humans and their environment. The book thus carries African scholarship beyond the mere analysis of themes and style to ethical and activist roles of literature having an impact on readers and the public. It is a scholarship geared towards rectifying ecological imbalance that is prevalent in many parts of the continent that forms the setting, context, and thematic discourse of the works or authors studied in this book. Besides sensitizing the African readership to the need for the restoration of harmony between man and the environment, this book equally aims to further familiarize scholars and students working on African literature and culture with the theoretical concerns of eco-criticism.

Published by: African Books Collective


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p. C-C

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-ii


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pp. iii-iv

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pp. v-viii

Eco-critical Literature: Regreening African Landscapes is perhaps the first major book project to date on eco-criticism written or edited by an African literary scholar. I congratulate the intellectually indefatigable Dr. Ogaga Okuyade for his foresight, intellectual acumen, industry, and determination to pioneer this field of study in contemporary African literature and ...

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Introduction: African Cultural Art Forms, Eco-activism, and (Eco)-logical Consciousness

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pp. ix-xviii

One of the most problematic issues the world continues to contend with even beyond the close of the twentieth century is the unimaginable disappearance of the nonhuman world. Mankind continues to make concerted efforts to ensure that the other worlds are kept alive since the human ...

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1. Representations of the Effects of Colonial Land Policies in two Zimbabwean Novels

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pp. 1-14

In Africa as a whole, and Zimbabwe in particular, published works on criticism of the representations of the environment in fiction are scarce. One of the possible reasons for this lack is that criticism of African literature has tended to explore themes related to the liberation struggle, betrayal ...

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2. Landscaping as a Plot and Character Development Medium in Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s Wizard of the Crow

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pp. 15-30

The current urbanization trend in the twenty-first century has made the African writer who cannot be divorced from his/her environment to focus more on urban concerns and settings. Yet, underneath these concerns is his/her effort to restore some sort of balance/healing to the society in ...

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3. Eco-activism in Contemporary African Literature: Zakes Mda’s Heart of Redness and Tanure Ojaide’s The Activist

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pp. 31-46

A major topical issue occupying the attention of both developed and developing nations the world over is caring for the environment. There are warnings about the perils of global warming and the earth facing ecological crises. This condition is believed to have been triggered by the adverse ...

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4. Isidore Okpewho’s Tides and Ken Saro-Wiwa’s A Month and a Day: A Kinesis of Eco-activism from Theory to Praxis

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pp. 47-74

Literary scholars interested in issues bordering on how to redeem the vanishing greenness of the earth continue to admonish humanity to cultivate eco-commitment to the preservationist cause. For such eco-critics, the writer should employ his/her imaginative prowess to salvage the...

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5. Nature and Environment in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Arrow of God

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pp. 75-94

Chinua Achebe’s rural novels are arguably the most popular and most studied African literary works globally. From 1958 when he wrote his first novel, Things Fall Apart, until 2007 when he won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize, several scholars have written books and...

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6. Degraded Environment and Destabilized Women in Kaine Agary’s Yellow-Yellow

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pp. 95-108

The outburst of ecologically conscious writing in Nigeria since the 1990s is by no means fortuitous. The phenomena can be described as a programmed response to the danger posed by the large-scale ecological dis-aster occasioned by oil exploration and industrialization. This new literary ...

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7. The Niger Delta, Environment, Women and the Politics of Survival in Kaine Agary’s Yellow-Yellow

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pp. 109-122

Since the discovery of economically viable petroleum in the Niger Delta of Nigeria in 1957, the natives have witnessed their ecological, social, and economic apparatus rapidly deteriorating. The damage from oil operations is unremitting and collective, and has acted synergistically with other sources ...

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8. Women as Victims, Environmentalists and Eco-activists in Vincent Egbuson’s Love My Planet

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pp. 123-138

Environmental degradation involves the abuse and misuse of the environment through various ways and means. For many years, the African environment has undergone different forms of exploitation and degradation, especially with the incursion of the whites into the continent. These range ...

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9. Can the Earth Be Belted? Rethinking Eco-literacy and Ecological Justice in Wangari Maathai’s Unbowed: A Memoir

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pp. 139-160

The term autobiography is so protean in nature that it continues to defy a straitjacket definition even in the twenty-first century considering when it first made its way into the critical vocabulary of humanistic studies. However, scholars and critics have resolved that the term autobiography...

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10. Nature and Social Responsibility in Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Tanure Ojaide’s The Tale of the Harmattan: Cross-Border Studies in Social Responsibility

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pp. 161-174

So begins Rachel Carson’s narrative of a fabled town in America, but it might well be Tanure Ojaide’s Niger Delta. Like Carson, Ojaide sets out in The Tale to seek what has silenced the voices of the spring. The harmattan becomes a sustained metaphor for the devastation that has come...

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11. Poetic Rites, Minority Rights, and the Politics of Otherness in Tanure Ojaide’s Delta Blues and Home Songs

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pp. 175-190

Deeply etched within the textual interstices of Tanure Ojaide’s poetic universe are the thematic trajectories of the ritualized despoliation and violation of the Niger Delta environment. Consistent with this environmental degradation are the hyphenation of minority rights and the divisive and ...

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12. Transcending the Discontents of Global Capitalism: Toward the Dialectics of De-commodified Environment in Daydream of Ants and Other Poems and The Eye of the Earth

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pp. 191-214

This chapter provides an aesthetic framework for understanding the ways in which global capitalism (globalization) has reshaped the topography and benchmarks of environmental, ideological, political, and socioeconomic relations, both at national and global spheres, as well as exerted...

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13. Poetics of Environmental Agitation: A Stylistic Reading of Hope Eghagha’s Rhythms of the Last Testament and The Governor’s Lodge and Other Poems

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pp. 215-238

This paper addresses the theme of environmental and ecological disaster in Nigeria’s Niger Delta from a stylistic viewpoint. It focuses on how Eghagha employs the rhetorical strategies of imagery, metaphor, personification, syntactic repetition, and pronominalization in the two collections of poems ...

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14. Niger Delta Dystopia and Environmental Despoliation in Tanure Ojaide’s Poetry

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pp. 239-258

Oil is central to the dystopian condition of the Niger Delta. It is also the motif which best embodies the narratives on subjection and degradation in the Niger Delta. The Niger Delta is the oil-rich region of Nigeria. It is the coastal area that “lies between the estuaries of the Benin River to the ...

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15. Eco-survival in the Poetry of G. ‘Ebinyo Ogbowei

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pp. 259-272

In 2009, Gilbert ‘Ebinyo Ogbowei released his fourth collection of poetry entitled Song of a Dying River and it was among 161 entries for that year’s national literary competition, the Nigeria-NLG Prize for Literature. The collection made it to the final short-list of nine entries from which the winner would have emerged. However, in spite of the failure of the ...

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16. Poetics of Environmental Degradation in Tanure Ojaide’s Delta Blues

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pp. 273-302

Tanure Ojaide’s Delta Blues and Home Songs (1998) comprises two parts of about the same length, namely “Delta Blues,” which narrates the agonies and sorrows of Nigeria’s Niger Delta and mourns the extra-judicial killing of Kenule Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni environmental activists, and “Home Songs,” which explores the folklore of the Urhobo even as it recalls ...

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17. For Common Corn: Eco-ing Bole Butake’s Concerns in Lake God, The Survivors, and And Palm-Wine Will Flow

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pp. 303-318

Bole Butake is the leading playwright in Cameroon. He has published nine plays and produced most of them for the stage. Most critics, including Bate Besong (1996), Eckhard Breitinger (2001), Eunice Ngongkum (2007), and Hilarious Ambe (2007), consider Butake a political playwright. Although ...

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18. Destabilizing the Images of the African Forest As a Conceptual Space for Renegotiating African Identities during the Zimbabwe Armed Liberation Struggle in the Film Flame (1996)

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pp. 319-336

In Africa, approaches to the appreciation of the ecosystem abound. Most of the approaches emphasize the urgency for the conservation of the environment. Numerous reasons could be adduced for the need to preserve the African environment. In the past, scholarships emphasized the fact ...

Notes on Editor and Contributors

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pp. 337-342


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pp. 343-354

Back cover

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p. BC-BC

E-ISBN-13: 9781940729015
Print-ISBN-13: 9780979085888

Page Count: 372
Publication Year: 2013