Meeting ID 384 103 2435; Pass: 878754
James Yékú (University of Kansas)
#EndSARS: Literary-Cultural Activism and the Afterlives of Hashtags
In this talk, Yékú revisits the #EndSARS campaign against police brutality in Nigeria and, by analyzing the social media movement in Nigeria as a significant moment in the brutal exercise of state power as a site of coercion, he examines how everyday digital subjects mobilized literary and cultural productions as oppositional discourses. By reflecting on the creation of a digital archive of poetry and the project’s later remediation as a print anthology, Yékú examines the ways in which hashtags become entangled with literary activism in Nigeria and become reiterable in new temporal and medial frames long after the social movements that activate them.
James Yékú is an Assistant Professor of African and African American studies at the University of Kansas, where he leads the African digital humanities program. He is the author of Cultural Netizenship: Social Media, Popular Culture, and Performance in Nigeria (Indiana University Press), and a book of poetry, Where the Baedeker Leads (Mawenzi House, Toronto). His current digital projects include Digital Nollywood, an Omeka-based collection of vintage film posters from Nigeria. Yékú was a 2022 fellow at the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS) in Bochum and will, in June 2023, be a postdoctoral fellow at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz where he works with the Cultural Entrepreneurship and Digital Transformation in Africa and Asia research team.