‘No one knows what he is until he is told’: Audience and personhood in a colonial African diary

Ruth Watson
This article explores questions of audience and personhood in the diary of Akinpelu Obisesan, a Yoruba man who lived in colonial Nigeria. In particular, it examines how Obisesan wrote between the genres of autobiography and biography so as to generate a sphere for self-fashioning in the colonial context. After introducing Obisesan and exploring briefly the relationship between autobiography, diary writing and the self, I show how Obisesan’s diary narrated a deeply relational form of personhood,...
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