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Free e-seminar on diasporic identity in Nigerian Idol

July 4, 2013

Via Steve Lyon

Our next EASA Media Anthropology Network e-seminar will run from 9 July- 23 July 2013 (that is, from next week). We will discuss a paper by Theresa Conner titled ‘Accept No Limitations’: Expressions of Diasporic Identity in Nigerian Idol’.

The paper is available to download from the Media Anthropology Network website.

These sessions are free and open to anyone with a genuine interest in the anthropology of media. To participate please subscribe to our mailing list via this page.

The session will be chaired by Veronica Barassi (Goldsmiths College, UK) and the discussant will be Steve Lyon (Durham University, UK).


The issues of identity that dominate many of today’s discourses on media and culture are complex: these are the issues of how cultural representations take form within media and the extent to which identity is constructed through media. This chapter on the Nigerian adaptation of Idols brings one of the more dynamic aspects of these discourses into focus: the cultural representations of a diaspora or diasporic identity. The chapter evaluates the expressions of diasporic identity which are present in the first series of Nigerian Idol. Nigerian Idol represents a diasporic adaptation of the Idols format. In this chapter, I distinguish the important dimensions in the first series of the show which establish this position. One of these dimensions concerns aspects of the show’s development that point to the national, pan-regional and international television communities of an African diaspora. The performances of two of this series’ contestants ground another dimension: their indigenous, African and non-African cultural representations draw together the rubrics of this diaspora.

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