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Grant number like: FT-260081-18

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Nathan Edward Suhr-Sytsma
Emory University (Atlanta, GA 30322-1018)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2018 – 7/31/2018

The Role of Poetry in Contemporary African Literary Communities

Research and preparation of an article on the role of poetry in African literary communities.

What is the future of literature? While the Internet revolution is often thought to call into question the future of literary reading in North America, African writing today suggests that the rise of digital media should not be confused with the decline of the literary. This project examines contemporary African poetry in English and the communities through which it circulates in order to ask in what sense this new poetry serves as a paradigm of the literary and its fortunes in the twenty-first century. In pursuit of a better grasp on literature’s cultural, ethical, and subjective work, the project probes the extent to which a writer’s location still matters in an era of digital publication. Drawing on fieldwork as well as theoretical discussions of lyric poetry and original textual interpretation, it foregrounds diverse African actors’ understanding of why the literary still matters for their current situation and possible futures.