Book

The Pan-African Nation

Andrew Apter

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780226023540
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226023564 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226023564.001.0001
The Pan-African Nation

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When Nigeria hosted the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977, it celebrated a global vision of black nationhood and citizenship animated by the exuberance of its recent oil boom. This book tells the full story of this cultural extravaganza, from Nigeria's spectacular rebirth as a rapidly developing petro-state to its dramatic demise when the boom went bust. According to this book, FESTAC expanded the horizons of blackness in Nigeria to mirror the global circuits of its economy. By showcasing masks, dances, images, and souvenirs from its many diverse ethnic groups, Nigeria forged a new national culture. In the grandeur of this oil-fed confidence, the nation subsumed all black and African cultures within its empire of cultural signs and erased its colonial legacies from collective memory. As the oil economy collapsed, however, cultural signs became unstable, contributing to rampant violence and dissimulation. The Pan-African Nation unpacks FESTAC as a historically situated mirror of production in Nigeria. More broadly, it points towards a critique of the political economy of the sign in postcolonial Africa.

Keywords: Nigeria; FESTAC; black nationhood; citizenship; oil; ethnic groups; black culture; African culture; oil economy

Book.  344 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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Table of Contents

Introduction in The Pan-African Nation

Chapter

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Rebirth of a Nation in The Pan-African Nation

Chapter

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Nigeria at Large in The Pan-African Nation

Chapter

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Producing the People in The Pan-African Nation

Chapter

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The Politics of Illusion in The Pan-African Nation

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Conclusion in The Pan-African Nation

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