Award Information

Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Fellowship 2017
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
University of the Free State
Biafra as Third Space: Reading the Dynamics of Dominance in Biafra/Nigeria Civil War Literature

The Biafra/Nigeria civil war to several fine scholars was a genocide against Igbos (Hawley 2008, Achebe 1968 and Omotosho1987), a pogrom (Korieh 2012, Ejiogu 2013); a revolution (Falode 2011), or the story of a lost utopia (Agbada 1996). These studies and other brilliant ones foreground some of the issues that defined the war but are limited to discourses on ethnicity and cultural difference. They present Biafra as a simplistic struggle against Nigeria - Igbos vs Nigeria. This study employs the theory of intersectionality and the concept of third space to examine power dynamics in the textual representations of the war and its effect on the agitations for Biafra. It probes the notion of ethnic solidarity and belonging by problematising power relations, linear emancipation, and identity. I examine the possibility of Biafra as a space for negotiating the politics of being and identity, and not a call to secession.