Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

Women Writing, Writing Women in Nigeria

How are the narrative concerns of Nigerian female writers constructed in relation to the structure to their society?

2015 - 2019

The specificity and uniqueness of narratives in the drama written by female creative writers from Nigeria became the concern of critics at the beginning of the 1980s. Prior to this time, critical attention was not paid to early female writers in Nigeria for many reasons, chief of which was the fact that, early African literary critics were male. They viewed early female dramatic writings as unserious and lacking uniqueness in its narrative structure and subject matters. In spite of the unchanged thematic and narrative concerns of drama by female writers, there has been a surge in male romance of the works hitherto considered lacking in substance.

In my research I will be analyzing creative writings across two genre of literature –narrative prose and drama- with emphasis on the thematic concern, structure and narrative techniques of the works of Zulu Sofola, Buchi Emencheta and Bunmi Oyeyemi Julius-Adeoye. My work will attempt the following questions: What are these specificities and uniqueness found in the novels and dramas written by Nigerian female writers? What are the narrative concerns of their creative writings? How is the structure of their narratives constructed? What is the relationship between the characters in the works and the language used by the writers? Where are their stories located? Finally, what is the interaction between the social realities of the writers’ environment and the realities found in their works?

In my analysis of the chosen texts, I will adopt narratological theory as my theoretical framework with focus on Roland Barthes five narrative codes in order to answer questions raised in the research.

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