Adebayo’s article examines the diffcult road that African literature had to take toward becoming acceptable in its own right between the 1930s and the 1950s. In the 1960s, after political independence in most African states, African literature found a central place in world literature. In Nigeria specifically, notable writers like Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Flora Nwapa, J. P. Clark, Christopher Okigbo, and Buchi Emecheta gave Nigerian literature worldwide acclaim. However, because the criticism of African literary criticism developed to a large extent as a reaction against negative Eurocentric appraisal of the creative works of Africans, it was not compared favorably to other foreign literatures. There was acute protectionism of African literature from perceived foreign incursion and supplanting, which led to a call for an Afrocentric criticism. The 1980s and 1990s witnessed a surge of universalism in creation and criticism. It saw the rise of well-known professors of comparative literature who encouraged opening up African literature to other literature and also founded the first Nigerian journal of comparative literature. However, it was not until the beginning of the twenty-first century that comparative literature reappeared as a serious area of discourse in Nigerian universities. The discipline has entered a new era of fertile international academic exchange.

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