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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Journal of Postcolonial Writing

For a Special Issue on
Narratives of Capital: The Intersections of Economics and African Literature

Abstract deadline
28 February 2022

Manuscript deadline
27 May 2022

Cover image - Journal of Postcolonial Writing

Special Issue Editor(s)

Daniel Chukwuemeka, University of Bristol, UK
[email protected]

Susanna Sacks, The College of Wooster, USA
[email protected]

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Narratives of Capital: The Intersections of Economics and African Literature

Aim and Intellectual Scope of Issue

“Narratives of Capital” seeks to highlight economic theoriesthat underpin artistic productions from the Global South. Through contributions across literary theory, art history, and cultural sociology, the special issue curates an interdisciplinary conversation that investigates how literary artists in postcolonial African economies respond to and help to investigate the economics of literary production.This topic has receivedincreasing attention over the past two decades, from James English’s critique of the economics of the literary prize in The Economy of Prestigeto Rachel Mennies’s attention to the cost of those prizes. Yet while most economic analysis of literary production—and literary critique of economic production—has taken a Western standpoint for granted, a growing body of scholarship from the Global South implores us to consider histories of colonial extraction, while simultaneously showing how African literature offers alternative economic imaginaries.

Through this special issue, we seek to highlight theories of economic practice and imaginaries of capital that emerge from and respond to lived conditions in the Global South. Scholarship in this area has already taken many directions: in some cases, exploring the economic structures literature envisions; in others, looking at how current and historical economic systems structure literary production in Africa. Bringing together literary theory and economic analysis to better understand the material imaginaries of African literature, the articles in this special issue ask: how does the ‘literary hustle’respond to and shape contemporary literary landscapes? Howare global economic structures—of colonialism, capitalism, and regulation—articulated in African literature, and how do they affect African literary production? And what alternative economic imaginaries does African literature offer?

Key Themes

We seek articles that use a range of historical and formal analyses to challenge received presumptions about the role of material resources in literary production, as well asthose that examine the representation of economic structures in literary and cultural texts. Such articles will, among other interventions,examine how modes of capital distribution reimagine the relationship between production, demand, waste, etc. We are interested in drawing together works from a range of disciplinary perspectives and investments to imagine more broadly what happens when there is an encounter between economics or economies and Africa literature. Topics may include:

  • The economics of publication or literary exchange, both formal and informal
  • Economic approaches to the study of literature, including analyses of new media audiences
  • The performance of authorship by African writers in the Global North
  • Literary critiques of economic structures (neoliberalism, globalization, etc.)
  • Literary theories of economy
  • Electronic literature, e-waste, and post-economics
  • Categories of migration and the marketing of ‘world literature’
  • Emerging literary-economic figures from the Global South, including the Afropolitan or the hustler
  • Hydrofiction and oceanic studies as spaces of exchange and value-production

Submission Instructions

Please submit 200–250-word abstracts to Daniel Chukwuemeka ([email protected]) and Susanna Sacks ([email protected]) no later than 28 February 2022. We also invite soft proposals and inquiries prior to this date.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article