Here is the assignment for your third paper:
Africa has long been exploited by the West who, beginning in 1652, have raped, pillaged, plundered, and manipulated Africa’s citizens, resources, and markets. As a result of this violence, many African nations have struggled to foster education and the arts, and thus African artists face great challenges to the development and dissemination of their work. This is now changing, in part because of the economic growth occurring in the region, but also because of movements such as Afrofuturism, Afropolitanism, pan-Africanism, and the proliferation of African speculative literature.
Nigerians In Space is a work of Afrofuturism that can be argued to bear characteristics of the above movements. Given this, it is engaged in conversation with Afro-pessimism, colonialism, global capitalism, globalism, neoliberalism, and other such discourses. I want you to analyze Nigerians In Space’s engagement with one or more of these discourses, and explain how/why the novel is engaged with that discourse, and why it matters.
One way to begin this assignment would be to make a list of some of the characteristics or events that stand out, for example:
—This is a novel in which the African characters are not confined to Africa, poverty, or the institution of slavery.
—This is a novel in which the direction of travel is from west to east rather than the other way around.
Feel free to use one or both of these examples, so long as you develop them and explain why they are significant. Be concrete and specific. I’m not asking you to be brilliant, but rather to demonstrate that you understand that artists and authors use art and literature to are explore and express the concrete realities that shape the present, e.g., culture, history, hunger, poverty, and violence.
Put another way: literature, like sex is always already political, which means that it is responding to and actively trying to influence the society in which it emerges. I want you to explain to me one or more of the ways in which Nigerians In Space is commenting on contemporary Africa and/or Nigeria, and why it matters.
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