Producing intellectuals: Lagosian books and pamphlets between 1874 and 1922

Muniz Improta Franca, Nara (2014) Producing intellectuals: Lagosian books and pamphlets between 1874 and 1922. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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This thesis explores the connections, networks and debates that characterised Lagosian intellectual life in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, using books and
pamphlets as its substrate. At least three hundred books were published or circulated in Lagos between 1874 and 1922. Who were writing and reading these books? Did they constitute a network of intellectuals?

It will be argued here that those responsible for Lagosian books and pamphlets formed a heterogeneous and incohesive group, not easily defined and here called the “Lagosian
intellectual network”, which included not only authors but readers and other agents of book production. This study uses Arjun Appadurai’s concepts of “disjuncture” and “scapes” to analyse such a complex intellectual network and to appreciate its many dimensions and the fluidity of its relations. The thesis also argues that books should be
studied as social facts in themselves: as Karin Barber suggests, more than communicating ideas, books placed their authors in the intellectual network and were sources of social capital.

The Lagosian intellectual network is here re-localised in Paul Gilroy’s “black Atlantic” context. The scope is widened from authorship to members of the publishing industry
and to readers, while also crossing geographic, religious and ethnic boundaries. Following debates in print, this study contextualises Lagosian intellectual production within a broader print culture project that included West Africa, England, the United States and Brazil.

In this way, the thesis uses Lagosian books and pamphlets to discuss what produces an intellectual. In so doing, it outlines and examines the main features of the Lagosian
intellectual network, analyses the factors that motivated intellectuals to write, read and debate, and enables an understanding of Lagosian print culture as part of a complex, diverse project in which Lagosian publications were inserted within a wider Atlantic network.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > English
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR9080 English literature outside of Great Britain. Including present and former British colonies and dependencies except the United States > PR9340 Africa > PR9387 Nigeria
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2014 14:33
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 15:50

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