Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Through the broadening and recontextualization of diaspora, Narrating Nigeriopolitanism: The Multiplicity of Nigerian Identity at Home and Abroad introduces Nigeriopolitanism as an interpretive model for the understanding of the Nigerian diaspora beyond its international or cross-country model. While acknowledging the role and import of cross-national understandings of diaspora and their impacts in constructing Nigerian identities, this dissertation broadens the concept of diaspora through its application to the intra-Nigerian mobilities across distinct Nigerian regions which result in the formation of complex and diverse Nigerian identities. In this way, fixed notions of nationality within a country of diverse and distinct languages, cultures and regions become pressurized. The delimitation of Afropolitanism has called into question, its relevance to Africans living in the continent. With its focus on diaspora-based Africans with varying ties to the continent in dispelling limited stereotypical notions of African identity, the concept espouses an understanding of diaspora that gives precedence to cross-national mobilities, omitting the intra-national diaspora within a country. This study is therefore a stride to bridge this lacuna.

The history of the precolonial regions that now make up Nigeria reveals the arbitrariness of the merging of different nations with distinct linguistic, geographical, and cultural identities as a unified construct. This amalgamation consequently results in the transmutation of intra-national mobilities and diaspora. I argue that the concept of intra-Nigerian diaspora provides the ancillary for its inter-Nigerian diaspora counterpart and functions as the means through which Nigerian writers such as Chinua Achebe, Chukwuemeka Ike, Buchi Emecheta, Kaine Agary, and Chimamanda Adichie engage the subject of Nigerian identity; by which means, they not only push against fixed notions of Nigerian identity espoused in some British writings on Nigeria but also situate the discourse within a global discourse. Consequently, this study theorizes Nigeriopolitanism as a tool employed by many Nigerian authors to complicate and negotiate Nigerian identities; hence, the authors use their works as sites for their varying understandings, visions, expressions and negotiations of Nigerian identities via the agency of their characters both in Nigeria and abroad. In this way, Nigeriopolitanism is an acknowledgement of how the intra- as well as the extra-Nigerian diaspora has contributed to shaping the Nigeriopolitan.

Date

4-12-2020

Committee Chair

Weltman, Sharon Aronofsky

Available for download on Tuesday, April 13, 2027

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