By Francois De Blois
First released in 1990. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.
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The era of so-called European ‘protection’ truly commenced in the 1880s and 1890s as governments stepped into the shoes of European trading companies, establishing ‘colonies’ and ‘protectorates’ to the extent that, by the end of the century, the contours of the current West African map had largely taken shape. As we have seen, maps do not present neutral accounts of places. Rather, they are loaded with their own historical narratives, telling their own biased stories about local struggles and victories on the ground.
The central feature of Appadurai’s theory is his redeWnition of global culture away from static, binary, national or linear models: he Introduction Á 11 rejects the idea, popular among anti-globalization activists, that a neocolonial or First World ‘centre’ dominates and dictates cultural realities in ‘peripheral’, ‘dependent’, or ‘Third World’ countries. While he acknowledges global economic and political inequalities, Appadurai’s notion of the ‘-scape’ challenges this prevailing ‘centre– periphery’ model of postcolonial relations.
As the argument between Soyinka and his Marxist detractors demonstrates in Chapter 10, ‘neo-colonial’ may be used by both sides against one another in the argument about African culture. Many West African perspectives exist in the intellectual spaces that open up between the multicultural and the anti-colonial schools of criticism. West African Literatures focuses on this array of critical approaches to literature and culture, exploring West African literary theory and local debates about cultures and texts, as well as the themes and styles to be found in the primary material.