Placing Ghanaian and Native American / First Nations Literatures in Conversation: A Special Issue of the European Journal of American Studies

Due Date: 03-06-2023

In theorizing this volume, we take seriously Chadwick Allen’s point that “[comparative reading] is certainly a strange objective for anticolonial or Indigenous-centered readings of a body of distinct literatures emanating from distinct cultures, brought together by the historical accident of having been written in the shared language of those who colonized the communities of their authors” (Trans Indigenous xiii). While taking cognizance of Allen’s emphasis on distinctiveness, however, there is the need to adapt it more creatively, critique it, depart from it, etc., especially when it is applied to Africa, where a common history of colonial experience has become a basis for mobilization and grounds for an awareness of a certain lack of distinctiveness among colonized entities. As Rebecca Macklin puts it, the need is to “create spaces of co-resistance” (“Unsettling Fictions” 29). Indeed, so complex is this subject that it has to be addressed from different perspectives, so that instead of comparing Indigenous texts with other Indigenous texts, or Ghanaian literatures within postcolonial and pan-African traditions, they should be placed in a context that allows us to see points of intersection that have not previously been revealed. As Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o remarks, “the traditional organization of literature along national boundaries is like bathing in a river instead of sailing” (Globalectics 56). In this special issue, we invite scholars to join us on wa Thiong’o’s open seas, searching for unexpected points of connection, not only querying the conceptual boundaries between Indigenous and postcolonial but also searching for points of intersection.

Deadline for proposals: 6 March 2023

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