College of Arts & Sciences
English and Communication
Board Room (Library)
This talk examines the literary history of the Kenyan detective thriller from the 1970s to the present. Focusing on novels by David G. Maillu, Monica Genya, and Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ, I argue that this neglected history of African genre fiction is propelled by an enduring anxiety about the “integrity” of the postcolonial nation-state embedded in neocolonial relations of power. Where recent critics have read these novels as part of a broader response to the fragmentation of national sovereignty under the pressures of globalization, the talk tracks an enduring yet flexible commitment to the nation-state as the appropriate vehicle for securing postcolonial freedom.
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