Digital iterations of African literary texts present scholarly opportunities to interrogate how literature produced and circulated on digital media becomes entangled with the capitalist politics of datafication. In the data paradigm described in the article, literary representations are subject to the workings of neoliberal capital and the constraints of algorithmic systems. Through a postcolonial approach that puts the digital humanities in conversation with African literary studies, the article transcends how digital technologies have evidently changed African literature and tackles the costs of digital literary cultures and networks from Africa. I examine data relations through an African literary culture, which, in the current moment, indisputably exhibits the attainment of new and complex elements including the integration of digital affordances in the production and critical reception of texts. How African literary expressions in a digital age circulate in market-driven digital platforms like Facebook and YouTube makes the subjects of data capitalism or the coloniality of data as important for African literature as the expanded literary networks enabled by the digital.
This article has been published by the Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry.
Yékú, J. (2022). Digital African Literatures and the Coloniality of Data. The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, 1-18. doi:10.1017/pli.2022.19