Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2018

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



This dissertation explores Nigerian national identity through the lens of collective memory and national narrative studies, arguing that an emerging Nigerian national identity draws from a behavioral template I call the Nigerian National Narrative Template. Giving attention to emerging, grassroots nationalism is important because much scholarly work on Africa discusses either sub-national tribal conflict or failed states. This contrasts with other prominent anthropological work on the importance of globalization and national boundary transcendence. More work needs to be done on emerging forms of nation-state identity, particularly in Africa. The present work seeks to remedy this using by collective memory and national narrative studies. After outlining my methods, I provide historical background, an overview of the importance of collective memory, evidence of informant belief in great Nigerian potential, examples of how informants perform the above national narrative template in speech, and illustrations of how my informants deploy this national template in action.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

James V. Wertsch, Shanti Parikh

Committee Members

Timothy Parsons, John Baugh, Bret Gustafson


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