Comfort Udah

Comfort Udah

University of Toronto
Screen Shot 2022-12-29 at 5.02.36 PM

Dr. Comfort Azubuko-Udah is an Assistant Professor of African Literature at the University of Toronto, and she works at the intersection of African and Postcolonial literatures, ecocriticism and environmental humanities. Her scholarship and teaching focus on environmental justice, urbanity, and storytelling, particularly in conversation with global politics in African spaces and landscapes.

Talk Information:

Storying Piped and Domestic Water in Nigerian Literature
October 28, 2022 | 9:00 AM

In most of its naturally occurring states, water has historically served as a rich source of narratives about everyday human life and the development of our civilizations. As a worthy spectacle and robust object of exploration and meaning making, water abounds in literature from all over the world and throughout recorded history. Even in literary criticism, Elizabeth DeLoughrey explores a recent oceanic turn in the environmental humanities. We have an abundance of narratives that represent the oceans as sublime and dangerous, rivers as the anchors of societies and sources of socioeconomic power, streams and marshes as the sites of communal self-actualization, springs and geysers as objects of marvel and aesthetic appreciation, and even dams as the technological sublime. If at all the conversation is shifted to potable water, particularly piped potable water, much less is said. The relative absence of everyday domesticated water sources, particularly in African literature, is just strange enough to merit this inquiry; why is such a ubiquitous aspect of everyday life so largely absent from African realist fiction? And, if we were to attend to it, what kind of work could it do for the narrativization of African urbanity?

Play Video