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Qiyu Chen


Qiyu Chen is a fifth-year PhD student in Comparative Literature with a dual-title in African Studies. Her dissertation entitled "The Making and Unmaking of African Literary Canons: Circulation, Genre, and Gender during the Cold War" examines the many alternative African literary canons formed during the Cold War beyond the most well-known postcolonial Anglophone African literary canon. Focusing on literary networks on the African continent, and other Third World locales, such as Socialist China, this project discovers routes of circulation and translation of African literature beyond the Western metropolis-(post) colony nexus. This project also brings to the fore less-studied genres (as compared to the African novel) of African literature, such as, short story, autobiography, and theater, evaluating their presentation in print materials and rethinking their relation to decolonization movements. Zooming in onto the stories of individual African intellectuals, this dissertation aims to show their agency or lack thereof when navigating the Cold War publishing infrastructure.