Postcolonial Artists and Global Aesthetics

Postcolonial Artists and Global Aesthetics

Akinwumi Adesokan
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 10/21/2011
Format: Paperback 8 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-22345-6
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What happens when social and political processes such as globalization shape cultural production? Drawing on a range of writers and filmmakers from Africa and elsewhere, Akin Adesokan explores the forces at work in the production and circulation of culture in a globalized world. He tackles problems such as artistic representation in the era of decolonization, the uneven development of aesthetics across the world, and the impact of location and commodity culture on genres, with a distinctive approach that exposes the global processes transforming cultural forms.

Author Bio

Akin Adesokan is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University Bloomington and author of the novel Roots in the Sky. His writings have appeared in Screen, Textual Practice, Chimurenga, and Research in African Literatures.


“Drawing on a range of writers and filmmakers from Africa and elsewhere, this distinctive study examines the forces at work in the production and circulation of culture in a globalized world. ”

“Postcolonial Artists and Global Aesthetics thinks politics, art, aesthetics, modes of media production, and ideas about home, always dynamically, through the lens of expatriation. The book offers a necessary alternative to 'globalization' and lends 'postcoloniality' a shot in the critical and theoretical arm. It not only brings together various postcolonial locales (the Caribbean, the Asian subcontinent, Africa, the diaspora), but enacts how they should be thought together.”
 — Grant Farred, Cornell University

“This book is a significant intervention in debates on Postcolonialism and a model of intellectual ambition in its constant crossing of disciplinary and generic boundaries.”
 — Jonathan Haynes, Long Island University

“Adesokan offers a successful, rigorous example of a project that demonstrates the political urgency and conceptual depth of African artists, as well as artists’ investment in mercurial global political networks that stretch across generations and continents.32 Spring 2013”
 — NKA :Jrnl of Contemporary African Art

“Postcolonial Artists and Global Aesthetics is very much a book for postcolonial studies scholars to think with. . . . Adesokan provides a systematic way of thinking about the deep structural links that unite globalization and decolonization, as world-historical social formations, in the work of artists from what was once called the 'Third World.' Borrowing from network theory, Adesokan demonstrates how we might create new cognitive maps of the postcolonial 'Third World' based on links and ties across geographic space and in relationship to the metropoles, an approach that justifies his own pairing of African, Caribbean, and South Asian artists and thinkers.”
 — African Studies Review

“Scholars of African visual culture will be well served by Akin Adesokan’s book, which offers a model for interpreting artworks within the many cultural and economic contexts in which they function. He trains most of his keen analysis on film and written literature, and many of his theoretical interventions will prove salient to the most urgent current discourses in the history and criticism of African art in many media and genres.”
 — Journal of Contemporary African Art

“Postcolonial Artists and Global Aesthetics makes a much-needed contribution to conversations in comparative literature, film studies, and African Studies.”
 — African Studies Quarterly

“Adesokan's erudite study is rich in material and analysis, and the author navigates distinct historical, cultural, and theoretical landscapes with ease.Vol. 43, No. 3”
 — Research in African Literatures

“Highly recommended. ”
 — Choice

“General readers, researchers, and students will learn from this publication that decolonization and globalization are social ingredients for artists to create a story, and that its ethno-nationalistic and multicontinental perspectives could be the sentinel of eliminating isolated thinking and non-exposure to international artistic freedom of expression.Summer 2015”
 — Africa Today

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Generic Transformations at the Crossroads of Capital
1. C. L. R. James Sees the World Steadily
2. Fitful Decolonization: Xala and the Poetics of Double Fetishism
3. Tunde Kelani's Nollywood: Aesthetics of Exhortation
4. Jean-Pierre Bekolo and the Challenges of Aesthetic Populism
5. Imaginary Citizenship: Caryl Phillips's Atlantic World
6. Spirits of Bandung: A Sarcastic Subject Writes to Empire
Conclusion: Being African in the World

List of References

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