Cajetan Iheka wins 2019 ASLE book prize

Naturalizing Africa
July 17, 2019

Judges (Ryan Hediger, Erin James, Robin Murray, Jesse Oak Taylor, and Hsuan Hsu) commented:

Naturalizing Africa brings together the previously separate conversations of postcolonial ecocriticism, environmental justice, and new materialism. It deftly weaves together the work of major ecocritical scholars such as Nixon, Haraway, Caminero-Santangelo, Iovino and Oppermann, and to sharply critique a status quo (the anthropocentrism of postcolonial studies). It explores the uncomfortable fact that the struggle for human liberation can cause ecological harm. In so doing, it foregrounds the question of how the autonomy of nonhuman nature–and disparate needs of human and nonhuman populations–can be factored into accounts of anti-colonial resistance. While it is not the first to discuss the role of non-humans in postcolonial ecocriticisim, it is more ambitious and nuanced than those that have come before, and close readings of familiar and less-often-studied African texts nicely model its intervention. Above all, Naturalizing Africa’s discussion of the environmental politics of postcolonial resistance is bold, refreshing, and timely. ”

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