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Journal article

Historicity, power, dissidence: The third-generation poetry and military oppression in Nigeria


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Oxford University Press (OUP)
Africa | Western Africa

Modern Nigerian poetry in English has proved to be a significant medium of action against authoritarian leadership in Nigeria. In historicizing the socio-political condition of regimes, Nigerian poets have responded to circumstances distinct to their historical period. This article examines the work of the younger writers widely regarded as the third generation of Nigerian poets, the condition of its production, and its ‘generational’ response to the dictatorships of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (1985–93) and the late General Sani Abacha (1993–8). The article argues that while older Nigerian poets also responded to the intense oppression caused by these regimes, the third generation poets represent one of the prominent counter-hegemonic cultural practices in the decade between the 1980s and the 1990s. United by a collective spirit, they raise a generational, coherent counter-hegemonic discourse against these regimes, despite the difficulties they had to face. The article is...


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