2005 Student Research Conference:
18th Annual Student Research Conference

Social Science

Perspectives on Power: Culture, Hegemony and History in African Literature
Kevin M. Mungai
Dr. Sylvia Macauley, Faculty Mentor

One of the shortcomings of studies of African resistance is their tendency to focus almost exclusively on political struggle which is then examined in the context of restrictive chronological periods. The problem with that approach is two-fold: first, the narrowness of the definition limits our understanding of the concept of resistance; second, the chronological periodization not only privileges one period (the colonial) over the other thereby distorting the true history of the continent; but also prevents a more nuanced understanding of the concept in all its complexities. Using selected literary texts, this paper rethinks the concept of power by examining the multiple perspectives on forms of hegemony as articulated in these texts. The paper will adopt a thematic, rather than chronological, approach based on categories of hegemony as well as the conditions and consequences of support for and opposition to such manifestations of power. This will also be an interdisciplinary study drawing upon methodologies from the disciplines of history and literature.

Keywords: Power, Resistance, Hegemony, Conditions, Consequences, Support, Opposition, Thematic

Topic(s):History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 57-1
Location: VH 1416
Time: 3:45

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