Towards a Transcultural Future: Literature and Human Rights in a ‘Post’-Colonial World


Studying postcolonial literatures in English can (and indeed should) make a human rights activist of the reader – there is, after all, any amount of evidence to show the injustices and inhumanity thrown up by processes of decolonization and the struggle with past legacies and present corruptions. Yet the human-rights aspect of postcolonial literary studies has been somewhat marginalized by scholars preoccupied with more fashionable questions of theory.
The present collection seeks to redress this neglect, whereby the definition of human rights adopted is intentionally broad. The volume reflects the human rights situation in many countries from Mauritius to New Zealand, from the Cameroon to Canada. It includes a focus on the Malawian writer Jack Mapanje.
The contributors’ concerns embrace topics as varied as denotified tribes in India, female genital mutilation in Africa, native residential schools in Canada, political violence in Northern Ireland, the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the discourse of the Treaty of Waitangi. The editors hope that the very variety of responses to the invitation to reflect on questions of “Literature and Human Rights” will both stimulate further discussion and prompt action.
Contributors are: Edward O. Ako, Hilarious N. Ambe, Ken Arvidson, Jogamaya Bayer, Maggie Ann Bowers, Chandra Chatterjee, Lindsey Collen, G.N. Devy, James Gibbs, J.U. Jacobs, Karen King–Aribisala, Sindiwe Magona, Lee Maracle, Stuart Marlow, Don Mattera, Wumi Raji. Lesego Rampolokeng, Dieter Riemenschneider, Ahmed Saleh, Jamie S. Scott, Mark Shackleton, Johannes A. Smit, Peter O. Stummer, Robert Sullivan, Rajiva Wijesinha, Chantal Zabus

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GEOFFREY V. DAVIS and PETER H. MARSDEN teach in the Department of English at the University of Aachen (Germany).
”This well produced book contains much of value…” in: NELM News, Vol. 45, December 2006
Acknowledgements Introduction Letter from Mary Robinson’s office Jack Mapanje’s address to the conference Letter from Dr. Hastings Banda James GIBBS: Still in Bounds James GIBBS: The Back-Seat Critic and the Front-Line Poet: The Case of Jack Mapanje, Scholar, Teacher, Poet, Detainee, Exile Ahmed SALEH: Interview with Jack Mapanje Edward O. AKO: Nationalism in Recent Cameroon Anglophone Literature Hilarious N. AMBE: The Anglophone-Francophone Marriage and Anglophone Dramatic Compositions in the Cameroon Republic Wumi RAJI: Ken Saro-Wiwa’s “Four Farcical Plays” and the Postcolonial Imagination Karen KING-ARIBISALA: Picnic at Ekpe Don MATTERA: Sea and sand Sindiwe MAGONA: Reading from To My Children’s Children Lesego RAMPOLOKENG: A play, this land is the stage Lesego RAMPOLOKENG: The Fela Sermon (for Thomas Brückner) Chantal ZABUS: Between Rites and Rights: Excision on Trial in African Women’s Texts and Human Contexts Chandra CHATTERJEE: Anita Desai: The Compulsions of a Cosmetic Setting J.U. JACOBS: Reconciling Languages in Antjie Krog’s Country of My Skull Johannes A. SMIT: When ‘Trek’, ‘Gulf’ and ‘Guilt’ Go Stuart MARLOW: The Dramaturgy of Political Violence: Challenges to Accepted Notions of Dramatic Discourse Ken ARVIDSON: Testing Our Limits: Regionalism, Nationalism, and Selfhood in the Anglophone Literature/s of Oceania Dieter RIEMENSCHNEIDER: “Governor high up, up, up, and Te Kemara down low, small, a worm, a crawler”: The political and poetic discourse of the Treaty of Waitangi Robert SULLIVAN: Chippewa Band of Nawash First Nation, Cape Croker Reservation, Georgian Bay, Canada Robert SULLIVAN: Literature and Human Rights Jamie S. SCOTT: Residential Schools and Native Canadian Writers Lee MARACLE: Raven Understood Mark SHACKLETON: Monique Mojica’s Princess Pocahontas and the Blue Spots and Thomas King’s Green Grass, Running Water: Countering Misrepresentations of ‘Indianness’ in Recent Native North American Writing Maggie Ann BOWERS: Eco-Criticism in a (Post-)Colonial Context and Leslie Marmon Silo’s Almanac of the dead Lindsey COLLEN: Darkness, the Mother of G.N. DEVY: For a Nomad called Thief Rajiva WIJESINHA: Richard de Zoysa: His Life, Some Work…and a Death Peter O. STUMMER: The New Cultural Divide: The Image of China and the Chinese (Literary) Diaspora Jogamaya BAYER: Is the Coming of Justice Infinitely Deferred? Gallery of Contributors and Subjects Notes on Contributors