Project

African Literature / Literatura africana

Goal: It explores the reception in Spain of African literature by focusing on BDAFRICA, a bibliographical database of works of fiction by African-born authors published in Spain, in Spanish between 1972 and 2019. It provides a critical reflection on the constraints of defining the object of study when African literature is discussed, due to the complexity and heterogeneity of such literature. It also proposes a concise historiographical journey through the Western canon formation of African literature. Additionally, it evidences the lack of quantitative studies on the reception in Spain of African literature in English.To cater to this need, the aim of this paper is to report and analyse the groundbreaking statistical data the database itself provides by following a descriptive approach. The findings of this study, which provides reliable and unprecedented quantitative and qualitative data, are original in the sense that they map and highlight the problems of the reception of African literature in English, and translated in Spain. This shows BDÁFRICA, which is free and available online, as a primary (re)source for work to pave the way for the development of postcolonial literature research in Spain. This specialised bibliographical database is undoubtedly an invaluable tool, especially for researchers, translators and publishing houses interested in African literature.

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María Remedios Fernández Ruiz
added a research item
El objetivo de este artículo es ofrecer una propuesta de clasificación de los rasgos presentes, en mayor o menor medida, en la literatura poscolonial en cualquier idioma. A pesar de que esta taxonomía toma como punto de partida definiciones teóricas previas de los conceptos clave relacionados con la literatura poscolonial (Edwards 2008, Nayar 2008 y Ramone 2011), parece ser la primera clasificación formal que se ha elaborado al respecto. De este modo, se analizan conceptos consolidados a la par que presenta la nueva noción de plasticidad de géneros literarios y explora las corrientes actuales en la investigación de la interseccionalidad. Como resultado, proporcionaremos un decálogo de características de la literatura poscolonial que favorecerá la crítica literaria y los estudios de literatura comparada. Palabras Clave: literatura poscolonial; taxonomía; teoría de la literatura; crítica poscolonial; plasticidad. This paper aims to offer a classification proposal of the features that are typically found, to a greater or lesser extent, in postcolonial texts in any language. In spite of the fact that this taxonomy model is based on previous theoretical definitions of the key concepts related to postcolonial literature (Edwards 2008, Nayar 2008, and Ramone 2011), it seems to be the first formal classification to be devised. It examines well-established concepts, presents the new notion of plasticity of literary genres and explores the current trends regarding research on intersectionality. The decalogue of characteristics of postocolonial literature obtained as a result will facilitate literary criticism and comparative literature studies. Keywords: Postcolonial literature; Taxonomy; Literary theory; Postcolonial criticism; Plasticity.
María Remedios Fernández Ruiz
added 3 research items
Inherent features of African postcolonial literature have hampered reception quantification, which is even more often neglected in countries with limited experience of African decolonization processes. This has been exemplified through the Spanish case, where there was no quantitative data available to report on current reception trends. Hence, by exploiting the BDAFRICA database, a relevant specialized bibliographical research tool, we have provided an unparalleled study that covers 42 years of African literature reception in Spain (1972-2014). The methods described in this paper are descriptive. Quantitative information that is subject to a descriptive analysis has been selected from BDAFRICA. The results provide clear evidence of the sustained increase in the production of African fiction books and offer academia unparalleled data, thereby opening the door to manifold research lines.
Stemming from poststructuralist interpretations of space and following Bhabha’s third space enunciation, in this paper we have coined the term fourth space and used this concept as a heuristic tool to address the need to establish a coherent standpoint for the analysis of postcolonial literature reception within a society with no immediate relation to the specific decolonisation process of the author’s country. We explore this concept through the case of the Spanish reception of African postcolonial literature. In Spain, this perspective has remained under-theorised in an era when representation of hybridity is at a vital point, since such representation will provide the social scaffolding for each person’s identity construction. Under these circumstances, literature can be transformative and the role of translation as a decolonising tool can help to create unbiased knowledge through an intentionally objective and unprejudiced interpretation of the original texts. We will analyse how those differentiating elements affect the translational process. A raíz de las interpretaciones postestructuralistas del espacio y siguiendo parcialmente la articulación del tercer espacio de Bhabha, en este artículo hemos acuñado el término cuarto espacio, utilizando este concepto como una herramienta heurística que aborde la necesidad de establecer una postura coherente con el análisis de la recepción de la literatura poscolonial en una sociedad que carezca de una relación inmediata con el proceso de descolonización específico del país del autor. Exploramos el concepto a través de la recepción de la literatura poscolonial africana en España. En este país, dicha perspectiva aún tiene muchas vertientes sin desarrollar en una época en la que la representación de la hibridación está en un momento vital, ya que la representación proporciona el andamiaje social para la construcción de la identidad individual. En este contexto, la literatura se torna transformadora y el rol que asume la traducción como herramienta descolonizadora puede contribuir a crear conocimiento sin sesgos a partir de una interpretación del texto original que se pretende sea objetiva y carente de prejuicios. Se analizará cómo estos elementos diferenciadores afectan al proceso traslativo.
Aquest article examina la recepció de la literatura africana en llengua anglesa a Espanya d'acord amb BDÁFRICA, base de dades bibliogràfica que recull obres d'autors nascuts a Àfrica i publicades en espanyol i a Espanya entre 1972 i 2014. Ofereix una reflexió crítica de les dificultats per a definir la literatura africana com a objecte d'estudi, a causa de la seva complexitat i heterogeneïtat. A més, proposa un recorregut historiogràfic concís per la conformació del cànon d'aquesta literatura que s'ha realitzat des d'Occident. Així mateix, demostra la manca d'estudis estadístics sobre la recepció de la literatura africana en llengua anglesa a Espanya. Responent a aquesta necessitat, l'objectiu de l'article és detallar i analitzar les dades estadístiques inèdites que proporciona la base de dades adoptant una metodologia descriptiva. Els resultats d'aquest estudi, que aporta dades quantitatives i qualitatives fiables i innovadores, són originals en la mesura que reflecteixen i assenyalen els problemes de la traducció de la literatura africana en llengua anglesa a Espanya. BDÁFRICA, que és gratuïta i està disponible a la xarxa, pretén ser un recurs i una font que estimuli el desenvolupament de la investigació en literatura postcolonial a Espanya. Sens dubte, aquesta base de dades bibliogràfica especialitzada és una eina molt valuosa, especialment per a investigadors, traductors i editorials interessats en literatura africana.
María Remedios Fernández Ruiz
added a project goal
It explores the reception in Spain of African literature by focusing on BDAFRICA, a bibliographical database of works of fiction by African-born authors published in Spain, in Spanish between 1972 and 2019. It provides a critical reflection on the constraints of defining the object of study when African literature is discussed, due to the complexity and heterogeneity of such literature. It also proposes a concise historiographical journey through the Western canon formation of African literature. Additionally, it evidences the lack of quantitative studies on the reception in Spain of African literature in English.To cater to this need, the aim of this paper is to report and analyse the groundbreaking statistical data the database itself provides by following a descriptive approach. The findings of this study, which provides reliable and unprecedented quantitative and qualitative data, are original in the sense that they map and highlight the problems of the reception of African literature in English, and translated in Spain. This shows BDÁFRICA, which is free and available online, as a primary (re)source for work to pave the way for the development of postcolonial literature research in Spain. This specialised bibliographical database is undoubtedly an invaluable tool, especially for researchers, translators and publishing houses interested in African literature.