The historical priority of 'Africanist' literary scholarship over the 'Nationalist' variety consists of the fact that, according to Gérard, European Africanist interest in the continent's languages and literatures dates from the Enlightenment, whereas 'Nationalist' literary scholarship emerged only after, and because of political decolonization in the late twentieth century. For it to play such a role, it must accede to a position of power relative to other discourses, both within and beyond the domains of literature and the Humanities, a point central to much of contemporary post-modern critical theory. Two early observations of Soyinka and Achebe draw attention to the exceptionally problematic nature of the conventional dichotomy between 'foreign' and 'local,' external and homegrown in the constituted publics of modern African literature. Being 'African' as a criterion of participating in the critical discourse is always, of course, refracted through other somewhat less hypostatized mediations.