Adapting to life in “Strange England”: Interrogating identity and ideology from S.A.T. Taylor’s 1937 Travelogue; “An African In An English School”

  • Kwame Osei-Poku
Keywords: African-authored, adaptation, acculturation, identity, ideology, West Africa, travelogue


This article is based on the premise that African authored travel writing about European socio-cultural spaces during the colonial period has the potential to interrogate notions about contemporary African identity while contributing to the collective ideological construction of the wider African society. Recent studies in African thought and ideology have provoked research into African-authored travel writing and the extent to which such travelogues have influenced discussions about the opinions and ideas, as well as a collective self-examination of African identities. These African-authored travelogues do not only represent a critical mass of source materials that highlight the racial discriminatory practices which many Africans encountered and still grapple with as sojourners and travellers to the British (Western) metropolises, but they also serve as a means of reimagining the diverse ways which Africans negotiate the identity quandaries they find themselves in within the context of a hegemonic milieu. The article focuses on the broader issues of identity and thematic ideological categories, using close reading strategies within a multidisciplinary context in analysing an African authored travelogue, “An African in an English School,” which was published in the December, 1937 edition of The West African Review magazine, and written by S.A.T. Taylor. Taylor writes about his impressions of the British educational system and difference, while simultaneously highlighting stereotypical perceptions about Africans by Europeans or the people of England.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2458-746X
print ISSN: 0855-1502