Matthew Omelsky has recently coined the term "African Anthropocene" to describe how the intertwined crises wrought by global capitalism and man-made ecological disaster have disproportionately affected the African continent. This paper discusses a short story collection by the Ugandan writer Dilman Dila, A Killing in the Sun (2014), as one instance of an African aesthetics that uniquely registers and responds to this dual crisis. I focus in particular on the "vampire story" that opens this collection, arguing that Dila not only reinvents, but, in critical ways, "mutates" the canonical Euro-American vampire figure. In reimagining the aristocratic European vampire as a mutant, genetically modified swarm of mosquitos, Dila's story suggests new, environmental forms of the monstrous emerging at the confluence of ecological catastrophe and corporate neocolonialism. At the same time, I show how Dila's fiction draws on the history of colonialism in Africa in imagining modes of survival within this vampiric ecology. In order to unpack the political implications of what I call Dila's "mutational aesthetics," I trace Dila's attempts to imagine forms of human-nonhuman entanglement that delink from a Western episteme and its ideological carapace of "the human," providing instead post-humanist visions of survival and refuge.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 142-157
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.