Abstract

Science fiction is a recent genre classification in Nigerian literature. Currently, there is only a limited body of work available in English, but it has been growing steadily since 2000. African literature tends to be analyzed from the perspectives of race and ethnicity, (post)colonialism and globalisation. However, I am more interested in the role that science-fiction could play in the conversation about science and scientists. Canonical works from North American and European authors have been considered in this way, but to my knowledge little has been done to interrogate the narratives around science in Nigerian literature. In particular, the figure of the scientist has been examined extensively in Western literature, but not in Nigerian science fiction (Nigerian SF). The most recent research indicates that long-enduring stereotypes are finally being eroded. The representations of scientists in contemporary fiction do not fit as easily into a typology as they did prior to the 21st century (Haynes 1993, 2003, 2016). This study identifies and characterises a sample of scientist figures in Nigerian science fiction, and examines them in relation to archetypes in Western literature.

This is an abridged online version of a thesis, focusing on statistical analysis.

Research questions

Introduction

It is not widely known that Nigerian SF exists, and so one of the first tasks of this thesis is to identify a corresponding body of literature. This requires qualifying the terms ‘Nigerian’ and ‘science fiction’. In this analysis, the term ‘Nigerian’ refers to the author and includes both residents of Nigeria and members of the diaspora.