Afropolitan satire: a critical investigation and Volta: a novel

Umeanyaegbuna, Chukwujekwu Oguejiofor (2024) Afropolitan satire: a critical investigation and Volta: a novel. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis investigates satire as a mode for expressing the African diasporic experience, using a synergy between creative and critical research.

The critical research probes the intersections of satire and African migration, termed Afropolitanism, by examining what it means to posit the following Afropolitan novels as satirical creations: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah (2013), NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names (2013) and Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers (2016). The study analyses the different kinds of satiric devices in these novels, drawing on principles from the various western satiric traditions, showing these writers’ relationships to other twentieth-century satirical writers (western and African), and also exploring the origins of these Afropolitan novels in African oral traditions. The research scrutinises these novels’ treatment of economic inequality, unsafe political climates, shaky racial relations, thorny class boundaries. It argues that relocating overseas squeezes Africans into new behaviour, culture, and perspectives that necessitate them to modify their identities and beliefs which have hitherto underpinned their existence. This new frame of mind upsets the foundations of their moral reasoning. Furthermore, it contends that these unexpected changes lend themselves to a kind of satire that fluctuates artistically and multiculturally.

The creative strand (“Volta,” a novel) is interwoven with the findings from the critical aspect, using the architecture of satire to construct a novel that explores a protagonist fraught with unexpected displacements in circumstances, physical and psychological. It extends the critical research by exploring the question of globalisation when identity and belonging are fractured, and migrants struggle for acceptance and validation but are constantly hampered by many shades of prejudice and obstacles. “Volta” delves into the harrowing effects of a forced escape from home, the abandonment of an opulent past to embrace a prickly transformation in a foreign society that offers only a marginal compensation for every effort.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing
Depositing User: Nicola Veasy
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2024 11:02
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2024 11:02


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