This inaugural volume in the African Perspectives series features the workof new and well-established scholars on the diversity and heterogeneityof African newspapers published from 1880 through the present.Newspapers played a critical role in spreading political awareness amongreaders who were subject to European colonial rule, often engaging inanticolonial and nationalist discourse or popularizing support for Africannationalism and Pan-Africanism. Newspapers also served as incubatorsof literary experimentation and new and varied cultural communities.
The contributors highlight the actual practices of newspaper productionat different regional sites and historical junctures, while also developinga set of methodologies and theories of wider relevance to socialhistorians and literary scholars. The first of four thematic sections,"African Newspaper Networks," considers the work of newspapereditors and contributors in relating local events and concerns to issuesaffecting others across the continent and beyond. "Experiments withGenre" explores the literary culture of newspapers that nurtured thedevelopment of new literary genres, such as newspaper poetry, realistfiction, photoplays, and travel writing in African languages and inEnglish. "Newspapers and Their Publics" looks at the ways in whichAfrican newspapers fostered the creation of new kinds of communitiesand served as networks for public interaction, political and otherwise.The final section, "Afterlives," is about the longue durée of history thatnewspapers helped to structure, and how, throughout the twentiethcentury, print allowed contributors to view their writing as material meantfor posterity.