Caribbean Journal of Philosophy, Vol 12, No 2 (2020)

Nigerian Literature and the Postmodern Turn: Plurimediality and Interarts Aesthetics in Modern Nigerian Poetry in English

Ayodeji Isaac Shittu


This essay explores the plurimedial practice of incorporating visual illustration in contemporary Nigerian poetry in English as a postmodern aesthetic practice. An aspect of intermedial studies, Plurimediality studies the relations between verbal/word-text and visual arts as used within the same presentation. Described in this paper as “Interarts Aesthetics”, the incorporation of visual illustration in modern Nigerian poetry is seen as a postmodern practice and a shift from the aesthetics of orature which trademarks postcolonial writings and discourses in African and Nigerian literature. While both critical and creative activities in this area of research have been on for a long time in other national literatures, a review of postcolonial Nigerian literary works in English reveals that the practice is recent. Before this time, it was associated with Children’s Literature which dates back to the 1950s. Evidence of this creative practice in Nigerian adult literary works in English dates back to the late twentieth century and exists in only a few texts including very few Modern Nigerian poetry collections in English. Similarly, there is hardly any significant critical interest in this aspect of Nigerian literary critical studies. Using theories of “Intermediality”, this study explores the practice of incorporating verbal text and visual arts and the relationship between these as multimodal means of knowledge creation and aesthetics communication in modern Nigerian poetry in English.

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