The Affective Forces of the State: Overcoming Biographies of Violence in Yejide Kilanko’s Daughters Who Walk this Path


  • Cristina Cruz-Gutiérrez Universitat de les Illes Balears



forced intimacy, Kilanko, biographies of violence, Nigeria, affect


This article delves into the abuses stemming from the Nigerian state forces and their failure to protect Nigerian citizens as illustrated in Yejide Kilanko’s Daughters Who Walk this Path (2012). The novel narrates the struggles undergone by young Morayo as she is repeatedly abused as a child by an elder cousin, Bros T. Here, I seek to trace a parallelism between the instances of physical and affective violence against Morayo and the episodes of “intra-societal violence” (Hill 2012: 15) occurring in Nigeria from the 1980s to the mid-1990s, when the country’s sociopolitical sphere was marked by the social chaos resulting from armed robberies, military coups, rigged elections, and instances of police brutality towards women. I shall analyze such episodes as instances of ‘forced intimacy’ within the public and private spheres, which translates into the impositions of negative forms of affect upon personal and collective development. In this context, the physical and psychological abuses suffered by Morayo will be presented as shaping what Ahmed refers to as one’s “biographies of violence” (2017: 23). My ultimate aim is to trace Morayo’s development of what I will describe as ‘affective resilience’ against the affective forces of the state.



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How to Cite

Cruz-Gutiérrez, C. (2024). The Affective Forces of the State: Overcoming Biographies of Violence in Yejide Kilanko’s Daughters Who Walk this Path. Miscelánea: A Journal of English and American Studies, 69, 131–150.



ARTICLES: Literature, film and cultural studies

Funding data

Received 2023-03-24
Accepted 2024-02-22
Published 2024-06-24