Ulf Hannerz, Professor emeritus, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

Afropolitan Horizons: A Nigerian Literary Anthropology

Since the 1950s, Nigeria has had a lively literary scene, with a number of internationally recognized authors. A recurrent feature in much of this writing has been an openness to the world outside: to Great Britain, the colonial power, to begin with, and then increasingly to the United States, but to other countries and regions as well.

I did field research in a Nigerian town in the 1970s and 1980s, and have continued to follow the literary scene. This seminar is about my current experiment in literary anthropology, relating varieties of Nigerian fiction writing to other writing about the country over the past sixty years or so (including some by anthropologists), and to my own field experience, with some emphasis on the continuous theme of transnational openness.

Ulf Hannerz is Professor Emeritus of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University, and has taught at several American, European and Australian universities. He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a former Chair of the European Association of Social Anthropologists. His research has been especially in urban anthropology, media anthropology and transnational cultural processes, with field studies in West Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States. Among his books are Soulside (1969), Exploring the City (1980), Cultural Complexity (1992), Transnational Connections (1996), Foreign News (2004), Anthropology’s World (2010), Writing Future Worlds (2016) and Small Countries (ed., with Andre Gingrich, 2017); several of them have also appeared in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Polish translations.

All seminars in the series.