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Transatlantic Literary Triangle: The ‘Africanness’ of Writers of African Origin and Descent


  • Nwoalezea Patrick Nwoalezea

Summary, in English

Africa has suffered two traumatizing events in history that have helped shape the present day individual, be it on the continent or in the diaspora. First there was the transatlantic slave trade that spanned from the 15th century to the late 19th century and saw the inhuman and forceful transportation of Africans to plantations and homes in the Americas. Then came colonialism immediately after slavery (late 19th century), which involved the arbitrary partitioning and ruling of Africans by Western European nations through the use of oppression, exploitation and extortion. These two unfortunate events in history have directly or indirectly influenced the life of the present day African and people of African descent in the diaspora. Writers with African background very often dwell on themes surrounding slavery and colonialism.
This work investigates the ‘Africanness’ of writers of African origin throughout the world. A specific selection of literary works by writers of African origin and descent in English, French and Spanish was studied. Using literary theories on post colonialism, authorial intention, otherness, hybridity, signifying, appropriation, intertextuality and power/knowledge, a close look at major themes found in these works led to the conclusion that writers of African origin mostly share a common underlying preoccupation in their works, by virtue of the fact that they share a common heritage. Particular attention was paid to the direct or indirect evocation of slavery, colonialism, African traditional beliefs and practices leading to the construction of the ‘African’ and black ‘otherness’.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Languages and Literatures


  • LCM - Literature
  • Culture and Media


  • Paul Tenngart (PhD)