With Thamir R. S. Az-Zubaidy
Representation of Environmentalism: A Postcolonial Ecocritical Study of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
The narratives of African writers who have experienced living in a colony and being colonized subjects have played a significant role in shifting the universal perspective towards African literature. This paper focuses on the environmental tropes in Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart (1958) and explores the realities of colonial exploitations of land and people. Thus, it examines Achebe’s novel in the context of the postcolonial ecocritical premise. The primary interest of this paper is the representation of interactions between people who may not identify themselves as environmentalists and their immediate local environments. Achebe’s novel portrays Africa before colonization as a society with a strong bond with land and determined to preserve this sacred affinity against colonial endeavors. As suggested in the novel, land plays an influential role in indigenous traditional customs and beliefs. Land is thought to be intimate, sacred, spiritual and, eco-friendly. Accordingly, any unfair conduct toward land is never tolerated. The novel conveys how the settlers’ policies that sought to manipulate indigenous land as part of their colonial project of territorial conquest and forced assimilation provoke African people against colonization and exploitation of the land. In addition to casting light on indigenous people’s affinity with land, the paper points out the role of storytelling as a technique through which indigenous people cope with and also undermine colonial narratives of land.
Dr. Haydar Jabr Koban is an Assistant Professor in Postcolonial and Comparative Literature. His PhD dissertation title: Literary Representation of Environmentalism: A Postcolonial Ecocritical Study in Selected Global South novels. He is currently a faculty member of Al-Ma’moun University College, Baghdad – Iraq. He has lectured in many local and international institutions and has written several articles on Postcolonialism, Environmentalism, women’s narratives, and the Middle East. He is a specialist in Postcolonial literature and the representation of the Arab world and the Middle East in Arabic and Western literature. His research interests directly relate to the rights of marginalized minorities, migration and diaspora, women’s studies, violence, and terror, resistance and survival, histories and memorization, and other pertinent debates. Besides the academic career, He is a simultaneous interpreter with excellent experience in interpretation, a poet and novelist. He has a published volume of poetry (An Offering of Peace) and a novel in the process of text editing.