STREAM: The Environment in Contemporary African Literature, Film, Music and Art

STREAM: The Environment in Contemporary African Literature, Film, Music and Art

Recently through international news media millions of viewers have become witnesses to eco-catastrophes ranging from typhoons, landslides, floods, wildfires and to the rubbles of war-torn cities such as Aleppo and Mosul alongside Donald Trump’s controversial decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Accord.  With Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Fukushima and Chernobyl, the Lucky Star nuclear incident not completely faded from memory, the world is faced with North Korea’s nuclear program which threatens to cross the world to an apocalypse it is not prepared for. With these global environmental worries, it becomes imperative for Africans to continue to engage in these conversations from their unique geographical location, the burden of colonial history and the imbalances of a globalized world. What is the place of Africa in these global environmental concerns? What particular environmental issues is Africa faced with and where does Africa stand in the global picture? African ‘creatives’ have engaged these issues in diverse ways and in different degrees that continue to beg critical engagements.

This thematic stream therefore aims to bring together theoretical and critical discussions on the different ways African creative writers, film-makers, musicians and artists have (or have not) imagined the African environment or the global environmental crisis. We invite proposals for panels or papers addressing the portrayal of the environment and its crises which cover the following areas but may address any relevant aspect of the theme:

  • urban environmental concerns
  • desertification, floods, deforestation, droughts and drying bodies of water
  • mining and the environment
  • petro-exploitations, ‘resource curse’
  • waste, sanitation and public health
  • poverty and the environment
  • human-animal relationships
  • infrastructure, development and the environment
  • tourism, safaris and wildlife
  • electricity failure as an environmental issue
  • housing, shelters and dwelling
  • migration, diaspora and the environment
  • vernacular environmentalism
  • war, genocide, violence and the environment
  • town-planning and the environment
  • environmental resistance and activism
  • Africa, western industrialism and toxic wastes
  • Africa and nuclear fear
  • politics, corruption and the environment
  • the body and the environment
  • global capitalism and the African environment
  • the ‘dubaization’ of African cities
  • malaria and the environment

Confirmed panels


Chair: Cajetan Iheka

  • African Literature and the Search for the (Non)Human, Iheka, Cajetan,  (University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, United States)
  • Subjectifying and Objectifying Nature: the Environment as a Being in Nigerian Literature, Ojaide, Tanure, (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, United States) and Aliyu, Saeedat, Bolajoko, (Kwara State University, Malete, Nigeria)
  • Ecofeminism in Francophone African Female Literature: Adélaïdé Fassinou’s Fiction, Ishaya, Nandi (College of Education, Gindiri, Nigeria, Jos, Nigeria)
  • Ecology of the Body: A Reading of Chris Abani’s Graceland, Kaze, Douglas, Eric, (University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria

Petro-Exploitations / Resource Curse

Chair : Philip Aghoghovwia

  • All for oil money? Petro-Politics and Security in Nigeria’s Niger Delta Region, Babatunde, Abosede, (University of Ilorin, Nigeria, Ilorin, Nigeria)
  • People, Fire, and the Promethean Allegory in the Niger Delta: Jest as Environmentalism in Ogaga Ifowodo’s The Oil Lamb, AGHOGHOVWIA, PHILIP, (University of the Free State, BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa)
  • “Early Visions of Ecological Catastrophe: Palm Oil in Amos Tutuola’s The Palm-Wine Drinkard”, Rooks, Elinor,(Independent Scholar, Penrith, United Kingdom)
  • The Blessing and the Curse; An Ecocritical reading of Nnimmo Bassey’s “When the Earth Bleeds, Suwa Gbolagun, Vashti, (University of Salford, Salford, Manchester, United Kingdom)

Urban Environmental Concerns

Chair: Oluwole Coker

  • Sucking Mother Africa Dry: Images of Neo-Colonial Capitalism and their Tragedies in Jeta Amata’s Black November and Garrett Batty’s Freetown, Ogunoye, Oladimeji, Raphael, (Doctoral Student, Department of English, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria | Programme Officer, Ife Institute of Advanced Studies, Ile-Ife, Nigeria)
  • Deconstructing Urban Mythologies: Osuofia in London and Postcolonial Representations of the City of London in the Nigerian Film , Onyerionwu, Ezechi, (Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, Aba, Nigeria)
  • Landscape Aesthetics: the Representation of Lagos as a ‘Modernising’ City, Egya, Sule, Emmanuel, (Department of English, IBB University, Lapai, Nigeria)
  • Nature’s Revolt: Aesthetics of Law and Environmental Consciousness in African Popular Culture, COKER, OLUWOLE, Michael, (Obafemi Awolowo University, IleIfe, Nigeria., Ile-Ife, Nigeria)


If you have any queries or suggestions please contact Douglas E. Kaze ( For panel and paper submissions please follow the instructions on the website 

Photo credit: Oxfam East Africa via Wikimedia Commons (

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