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Oduor Obura

Associated Doctoral Fellow

 

Campus Neues Palais
building 2, room 1,10

University of Potsdam
Am Neuen Palais 10
14469 Potsdam

Dissertation Project

Rethinking Childhood and Postcoloniality in East African Fiction

There are dominant global modes of perceptions and beings that are not cognizant of existent diversities. Such modes have found their way into institutions such as the United Nations. They are often Eurocentric in tradition and hegemonic in character. This study will focus on the discursive construct of childhood to illuminate the hegemonic order.  It also explores some of the ways in which the themes of childhood have become politically important, even influential, texts in postcoloniality.  It will highlight childhood’s possible interventions, in the minority world’s influences over the majority. To what extent do representations of childhood confirm, distill, or challenge dominant histories, established global ontological and epistemic paradigms? This research will, therefore, unearth representations of childhood and the successful or failed limits of these representations. This study proposes to present the examination of childhood through a postcolonial theoretical perspective as a means of engaging global configurations that are discordant with local histories. The study is predicated on the literary cartography of East African fictional writing as seen through the representative sample of the purposively selected works. The study will consist of a library-based manipulation of data and a brief field-based inquiry. The findings will be of great benefit to practitioners in policy formulations on childhood and to cultural analysts worldwide. 


Paper Presentations

"Archaeology of Childhood in East African Fiction." Presented at the Dar es Salaam University Eastern African Literature and Cultural Studies Conference Cartographies of War and Peace in  Eastern Africa. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. August 24th, 2017.