Femi Eromosele is a PhD candidate in the department of African Literature, University of the Witwatersrand. His research is largely situated at the intersection of literature and discourses of health and illness.
This research explores the representation of madness in African fiction. Though madness is a constant feature in literary texts, the mad are rarely the focus of critical approaches. Apprehended as tropes signifying postcolonial absurdity or states of rebellion, the mad continue to be elided through modes of interpretation which mirror the "real life" violence against the mentally distressed. "Narrative comorbidity" thus captures not just the practice of using madness as a source of signification, but also the multiple points at which violence and disabling practices are directed at the mentally distressed. Looking primarily at texts from sub-Saharan Africa, this research foregrounds madness as a subjective position, with particular attention to the ways narratives partake in the perpetuation, disruption, or resistance against forms of discursive power. It explores issues of state violence and psychiatric violence, drawing inspiration from the fields of mad studies and disability studies.