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Incoming fellow Kerry Manzo to immerse herself in the print world of twentieth–century East and West African Literature

By Kathleen Telling

Kerry Manzo is a third year doctoral student in the Comparative Literature, Globalization, and Translation program at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

She received a Harry Ransom Center dissertation fellowship, generously supported by the Creekmore and Adele Fath Charitable Foundation and The University of Texas at Austin Office of Graduate Studies, for her dissertation, “Authenticity and African Literature.”

 

Incoming fellow Kerry Manzo.
Incoming fellow Kerry Manzo.

Tell us about your research:

 

My research looks at past and emerging trends in literature and publishing in West and East Africa, specifically at how demands or desires for something called “authentic” African literature have impacted and continue to impact African literature and publishing. The work I am doing at the Ransom Center is for my dissertation chapter on West African writers’ collectives and affiliations of the mid-twentieth century.

 

Which collections at the Ransom Center are most relevant to your research?

 

The Charles R. Larson papers, the Robert M. Wren Africa papers 1963, 1968-1989, the Research in African Literature records.

 

Outside of your primary research interest, are there other collection items at the Ransom Center that you hope to see?

 

The Bernth Lindfors collection of Amos Tutuola.

 

Can you share a particularly exciting moment of discovery while working in other research libraries or special collections?

 

This will be my first experience working in special collections. I hope there will be many exciting moments of discovery to share in later years.

 

Beyond researching, what is top of your must-see/do list while in Austin?

 

I enjoy the food scene in Austin, so while I am there, I look forward to eating at Uchi and Qui. I would also enjoy doing some hiking or biking at nearby state parks.

 

Norman O. Dawn, special effects card for Call of the Yukon, 1926; J. W. F. Herschel, Halley’s Comet, 1836–7; Page from commonplace book owned by Edith May Southey Warter, undated; Frank Reaugh, Windy Day, painting: oil on canvas, 1900; Anna Atkins, Peacock Feathers, cyanotype, 1845.
Norman O. Dawn, special effects card for Call of the Yukon, 1926; J. W. F. Herschel, Halley’s Comet, 1836–7; Page from commonplace book owned by Edith May Southey Warter, undated; Frank Reaugh, Windy Day, painting: oil on canvas, 1900; Anna Atkins, Peacock Feathers, cyanotype, 1845.

 

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