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Deconstructing Postcolonial Scopic Regimes : The Subversion of Power Imaginaries in the Novels of Ngugi wa Thiong'o and Sony Labou Tansi

Title data

Ndi, Gilbert Shang:
Deconstructing Postcolonial Scopic Regimes : The Subversion of Power Imaginaries in the Novels of Ngugi wa Thiong'o and Sony Labou Tansi.
In: International Journal of English and Literature. Vol. 11 (2020) Issue 1 . - pp. 1-8.
ISSN 2141-2626
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5897/IJEL2019.1289

Abstract in another language

This paper examines the relationship between visuality, knowledge and power in the postcolonial African novel. With examples from selected texts of Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Sony Labou Tansi, it argues that visual culture, usually employed in the analysis of cultural images and material iconographies in media studies, can aptly be employed in textual analysis given that postcolonial novels are primarily engaged with the undoing of dominant visual regimes. Against the background of hegemonic regimes based on instrumentalist and subjectifying surveillance of the subject, Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Labou Tansi build their texts on visual tactics and practices that subvert the capacity of the state apparatus to see, hence to know the subject. Bordering on humour, parody, graffiti, bricolage and surrealist representation, the two authors “play” with the state Panopticon, creating avenues for countervailing meanings that elude the dominant regimes of vision, knowledge and power. The subversive visual practices are inscribed within a conception of literary textualities that is based on plurivocality, heteroglossia, dialogism and the non-transparent text. Through the deconstruction of dominant visual architecture, both authors open up spaces for democratic conception of power that takes account of inter-subjectivity and non-hegemonic participation in the postcolonial public sphere.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Postcolony; visual culture; visuality; subversion; dictatorship
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature > Chair Romance Languages and General Linguistics > Chair Romance Languages and General Linguistics - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martina Drescher
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 800 Literature > 890 Other literatures
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2020 13:34
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2020 13:34
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/58728