African Philosophical and Literary Possibilities: Re-reading the Canon | National Humanities Center

Work of the Fellows: Edited Volumes

African Philosophical and Literary Possibilities: Re-reading the Canon

Edited by Aretha Phiri (NHC Fellow, 2018–19)

African Literature; African Philosophy; Decolonization; Epistemology

Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2020

From the publisher’s description:

Recognizing philosophy’s traditional influence on—and literature’s creative stimulus for—sociopolitical discourses, imaginations, and structures, African Philosophical and Literary Possibilities: Re-reading the Canon, edited by Aretha Phiri, probes the cross-referential, interdisciplinary relationships between African literature and African philosophy. The contributors write within the broader context of renewed interest in and concerns around epistemological decolonization and to advance African scholarly transformation. This volume argues that, in their convergent ideological and imaginative attempts to articulate an African conditionality, African philosophy and literature share overlapping concerns and aspirations. In this way, this book engages and examines the intersectional canons of these disciplines in order to determine their intra-continental epistemological transformative possibilities within broader, global societal explorations of the current moment of decolonization. Where much of the scholarship on African philosophy has focused on addressing issues associated with the postcolonial task of African self-assertion in the face of or against Euro-modernist hegemony, this innovative book project shifts the focus and broadens the scope away from merely discoursing with the global North by mapping out how philosophy and literature can be viewed as mutually enriching disciplines within and for Africa.

Literature / Literary Criticism / Philosophy / African Literature / African Philosophy / Decolonization / Epistemology /

Phiri, Aretha (NHC Fellow, 2018–19), ed. African Philosophical and Literary Possibilities: Re-reading the Canon. African Philosophy: Critical Perspectives and Global Dialogue. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2020.