“Do you need some more explanation?” Practice-led research and the novel Fishing for Naija

Popoola, Olumide. 2016. “Do you need some more explanation?” Practice-led research and the novel Fishing for Naija. Writing in Practice, 2, ISSN 2058-5535 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article discusses a practice-led PhD in creative writing that comprises a novel and critical reflection. Border-crossing, borrowed from Gloria Anzaldúa’s book Borderlands/La Frontera (1987), forms the overarching keyword and central tool to contextually tie together theoretical research and practical investigations around language, voice, character development and plot.
In the novel, questions of positioning and representation are answered for the protagonist Karl, a young trans* person. We witness Karl and his best friend Abu’s coming of age, and explorations of gender, against the backdrop of gentrification in the King’s Cross area of London, oil exploitation in the Niger Delta, and the London (or UK) riots of 2011.
The novel de-contextualizes Yoruba pronouns within the English text, marrying contemporary concepts of gender with Yoruba mythology, in form of the god of the crossroads, Eshu. Eshu is re-imagined in a queer reading (or more precisely writing) to propel us into new possibilities of addressing gender.
The project aims to un-silence ancient (mythological) spaces of queer and trans* possibility from within Yoruba cosmology and draws on scholarly discussions of Eshu to uncover the potential of trans* inclusivity.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature


February 2016Published

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Date Deposited:

11 Apr 2016 14:05

Last Modified:

24 Nov 2016 12:38

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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