Writing domestic travel in Yoruba and English print culture, southwestern Nigeria, 1914-2014

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


Travel writing criticism has sometimes suggested that little travel writing has been produced by Africans. This thesis shows that this is not the case, through a literary study of writing about travel published in Yoruba-speaking southwestern Nigeria between 1914 and 2014. This is a study of writing about domestic travel – Nigerians travelling within Nigeria – and of both Yoruba- and English-language texts. It is both a study of conventional ‘travel writing’ such as first-person travelogues, and of the motif of travel in writing more broadly: it encompasses serialised newspaper columns, historical writing, novels, autobiography, book-length travelogues and online writing. As well as close readings, this study draws on archival research and an in-depth interview with travel writer Pelu Awofeso.

This is not an exhaustive study but rather a series of case studies, placed in their historical context. I examine southwestern Nigerian writers’ representations of laces within Nigeria and changing communal identities: local, translocal, regional and national. I explore their ideas about the benefits of travel and travel writing, knowledge and cosmopolitanism. I argue that we can read these texts as products of a local print culture, addressed to local readers, as well as in relation to the broader travel writing tradition.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Barber, Karin, Supervisor
  • Brown, Stewart, Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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