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Title: Re-imagining Nigerian unity : identity, ethno-nationalism and the depiction of the nation in Nigerian novels by female authors
Author: Embleton, Nadia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 659X
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2019
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The research undertaken in this thesis looks to fill the gap in understanding how female authors construct images of the Nigerian national identity in relation to the characters ethno-national identity. Within this it seeks to understand how the role of the mother figure is portrayed in relation to nurturing these supra-national and ethno-national identities, and the way in which independent female characters are depicted as playing crucial roles in furthering the process of Nigerian nation building. Thus, my critical line of inquiry will engage with the following questions: (1) How do Nigerian novels by female authors build national identities in their narratives? (2) What does a Nigerian identity look like in these novels? (3) If the narratives of these female authors are not concerned with nationalism, then what is the thematic focus of these works in relation to identity in Nigerian society? The core of my analysis will be a direct engagement with the aesthetics of Nigerian novels by female authors, both early and contemporary. As identity is an important aspect of my critical inquiry I will look to use post-colonial discourses as a framework through which to understand the more contemporary constructions of black and African identities. Through the application of concepts such as W.E.B Du Bois' (1994) 'double consciousness', Alcinda Honwana's (2012) idea of 'waithood' and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's (2016) concept of 'choicelessness' I analyse the experience of young Nigerians based in Nigeria and the diaspora in negotiating both an ethno-national and Nigerian identity. Finally, I will also engage with discourses surrounding nationalism, both in its general theoretical context. I argue that the characters and experiences constructed by female authors are more inclusive and empathetic to all Nigerians regardless of gender. That female authors narratives demonstrate the importance of female figures in the construction of the nation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral