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Le Queer Impérial

Male homoerotic desire in francophone colonial and postcolonial literature

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Julin Everett

In Le Queer Impérial Julin Everett explores the taboo subject of male homoerotic desire between black Africans and white Europeans in francophone colonial and postcolonial literatures. Everett exposes the intersection of power and desire in blanc-noir relationships in colonial and postcolonial black Africa and postimperial Europe. Reading these literatures for their portrayals of race, gender and sexuality, Everett begins a conversation about personal and political violence in the face of forbidden desires.
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Edited by Felicity Hand and Esther Pujolràs-Noguer

Writers of Indian origin seldom appear in the South African literary landscape, although the participation of Indian South Africans in the anti-apartheid struggle was anything but insignificant. The collective experiences of violence and the plea for reconciliation that punctuate the rhythms of post-apartheid South Africa delineate a national script in which ethnic, class, and gender affiliations coalesce and patterns of connectedness between diverse communities are forged. Relations and Networks in South African Indian Writing brings the experience of South African Indians to the fore, demonstrating how their search for identity is an integral part of the national scene’s project of connectedness. By exploring how ‘Indianness’ is articulated in the South African national script through the works of contemporary South African Indian writers, such as Aziz Hassim, Ahmed Essop, Farida Karodia, Achmat Dangor, Shamim Sarif, Ronnie Govender, Rubendra Govender, Neelan Govender, Tholsi Mudly, Ashwin Singh, and Imraan Coovadia, along with the prison memoirists Dr Goonam and Fatima Meer, the book offers a theoretical model of South–South subjectivities that is deeply rooted in the Indian Ocean world and its cosmopolitanisms. Relations and Networks demonstrates convincingly the permeability of identity that is the marker of the Indian Ocean space, a space defined by ‘relations and networks’ established within and beyond ethnic, class, and gender categories.


CONTRIBUTORS
Isabel Alonso–Breto, M.J. Daymond, Felicity Hand, Salvador Faura, Farhad Khoyratty, Esther Pujolràs–Noguer, J. Coplen Rose, Modhumita Roy, Lindy Stiebel, Juan Miguel Zarandona
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Habari ya English? What about Kiswahili?

East Africa as a Literary and Linguistic Contact Zone

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Edited by Lutz Diegner and Frank Schulze-Engler

This wide-ranging collection deals with the dynamics of current developments in literature, language, and culture in Kenya and Tanzania. It testifies to a spirited exchange of ideas between writers and academics and promotes transdisciplinary dialogue among several academic fields – anglophone and Swahili studies, literary studies and linguistics, East African and German academic discourse, Kenyan and Tanzanian perspectives. The contributions create a ‘contact zone’ of their own that will generate productive impulses for transdisciplinary research and allow readers to gain new insights into trajectories of Swahili and anglophone writing in East Africa.
Topics covered include literary language choice and translation, popular fiction and codeswitching, Swahili hip-hop texts, HIV/AIDS discourse, the advance of ‘Sheng’ and ‘Engsh’ in literary-linguistic space, contemporary women’s literature in Kenya, and special studies of Abdulrazak Gurnah and David G. Maillu.

CONTRIBUTORS
MIKHAIL D. GROMOV • ABDULRAZAK GURNAH • SISSY HELFF • LILLIAN KAVITI • EUPHRASE KEZILAHABI • SAID A.M. KHAMIS • ALDIN K. MUTEMBEI • YVONNE ADHIAMBO OWUOR • UTA REUSTER–JAHN • ALINA N. RINKANYA • GABRIEL RUHUMBIKA • CLARISSA VIERKE • KYALLO WADI WAMITILA
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Edited by Gordon Collier

The notion of ‘landlines’ intimates communication, and is a fairly safe bet as far as most of the writing offered here, critical and creative, is concerned. In a way, of course, the metaphor is a rearguard action, and blows up in one’s face, as it were, suggesting as it does a system of telephonic communication that is no longer typical of Africa, which is at the forefront of cellphone culture. On the more positive side, it is hoped that ‘landlines’ evoke traditional values, permitting the endorsement of communicative standards that are higher than those fostered by the ‘etherial’ chaos of cyberspace.
The essays included are overwhelmingly concerned with Nigeria (productive power-house of the continent), covering such writers as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Vincent Egbuson, Buchi Emecheta, D.O. Fágúnwà, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Femi Osofisan (two articles), Wole Soyinka, and Ahmed Yerima. The Nigerian novel (four articles) is roughly matched by studies of Nigerian dramatists (five articles). Also offered are three essays on fiction from outside Nigeria, by Alexander McCall Smith (Botswana), J.M. Coetzee (South Africa), and Marie NDiaye (France), and a treatment of the poetry of Jack Mapanje (Malawi). A further, wide-ranging essay, on cityscapes, discusses novels from Cameroon, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, and Kenya, as well as paintings from Equatorial Guinea and public placarding in Accra. Social awareness, a firm sense of history and traditional culture, the contemporary challenges of gender and identity-politics, and the perennial theme of endemic corruption are themes that underpin all of the contributions to Matatu 47.
Matatu has traditionally fostered the publication of creative writing, and the present issue is no exception, featuring as it does poetry from Trinidad, a play from Nigeria, and short stories from Burundi, Ghana, and Nigeria. The volume closes with in-depth reviews of books on Yorùbá proverbs, Chinua Achebe, and transnational literature.

Contributors are: E.B. Adeleke, Tony E. Afejuku, Sophia Akhuemokhan, Niyi Akingbe, Sunday Victor Akwu, Félix Ayoh’Omidire, Dele Bamidele, Gilbert Braspenning, Clare Counihan, Jane Duran, Summer Edward, Pelumi Folajimi, Fausat M. Ibrahim, Isaiah U. Ilo, Ayodele S. Jegede, Mahrukh Khan, Adele King, Adebayo Mosobalaje, Dorothy Odartey–Wellington, H. Oby Okolocha, Harry Olufunwa, Owojecho Omoha, Wumi Raji, Marie–Thérèse Toyi, Flora A. Trebi–Ollennu, Kenneth Usongo, and Lendzemo Constantine Yuka.


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After "Rwanda"

In Search of a New Ethics

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Jean-Paul Martinon

Is writing about peace after the Rwandan Genocide self-defeating? Whether it is the intensity of the massacres, the popularity of the genocide, or the imaginary forms of cruelty, however one looks at it, everything in the Rwandan Genocide appears to defy once again the possibility of thinking peace anew. In order to address this problem, this book investigates the work of specific French and Rwandese philosophers in order to renew our understanding of peace today. Through this path-breaking investigation, peace no longer stands for an ideal in the future, but becomes a structure of inter-subjectivity that guarantees that the violence of language always prevails over any other form of violence. This book is the very first monograph in philosophy related to the events of 1994 in Rwanda.
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The Politics of Adaptation

Contemporary African Drama and Greek Tragedy

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Astrid Van Weyenberg

This book explores contemporary African adaptations of classical Greek tragedies. Six South African and Nigerian dramatic texts – by Yael Farber, Mark Fleishman, Athol Fugard, Femi Osofisan, and Wole Soyinka – are analysed through the thematic lens of resistance, revolution, reconciliation, and mourning.
The opening chapters focus on plays that mobilize Greek tragedy to inspire political change, discussing how Sophocles’ heroine Antigone is reconfigured as a freedom fighter and how Euripides’ Dionysos is transformed into a revolutionary leader.
The later chapters shift the focus to plays that explore the costs and consequences of political change, examining how the cycle of violence dramatized in Aeschylus’ Oresteia trilogy acquires relevance in post-apartheid South Africa, and how the mourning of Euripides’ Trojan Women resonates in and beyond Nigeria.
Throughout, the emphasis is on how playwrights, through adaptation, perform a cultural politics directed at the Europe that has traditionally considered ancient Greece as its property, foundation, and legitimization. Van Weyenberg additionally discusses how contemporary African reworkings of Greek tragedies invite us to reconsider how we think about the genre of tragedy and about the cultural process of adaptation.
Against George Steiner’s famous claim that tragedy has died, this book demonstrates that Greek tragedy holds relevance today. But it also reveals that adaptations do more than simply keeping the texts they draw on alive: through adaptation, playwrights open up a space for politics. In this dynamic between adaptation and pre-text, the politics of adaptation is performed.
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Oral Literature for Children

Rethinking Orality, Literacy, Performance, and Documentation Practices

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Aaron Mushengyezi

This book is the first ever major effort to document and study hundreds of texts from an African (Ugandan) oral culture for children – folktales, riddles, and rhymes – and at the same time to make them available in the local languages and to focus on their cultural and national value. The author surveys the history of collecting in Uganda and situates the texts in their broader geographical, historical, socio-cultural and educational setting, including the early collecting efforts of heritage-minded Ugandans and European missionaries. Most of this preservational work is elusive and under-explored – so that the present book constitutes a major pioneering summary of Ugandan oral culture for children.
The book addresses key questions such as: What happens when we collect, transcribe, and translate an oral text? How do we transfer components of the oral text to the page? What are the challenges of translating oral forms targeting specifi¬cally a child audience, and what choices ought to be made in the process? The book provides possible ways of rethink¬ing the debate about orality and literacy as modes of representation – the generic interrelationship between the oral and the written text, and how the two can enter dialogue through transcription and translation. The latter are effective means to archive these oral forms for children and use them to promote literacy and numeracy skills in predominantly oral communities.
In the current institutions of formal education in Uganda, this coexistence of orality and literacy is evident in the class¬room environment, where the oral text is turned into words on the page to encourage literacy. Through transcription, the collector is able to capture oral texts in other forms – audio, written, visual, and digital. With the new technologies available, the task is not as arduous as in the past, and the information thus captured is made available in all its wealth for purposes of instruction or entertainment.
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Style in African Literature

Essays on Literary Stylistics and Narrative Styles

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Edited by J.K.S. Makokha, Ogone John Obiero and Russell West-Pavlov

Postcolonial and contemporary African literatures have always been marked by an acute sensitivity to the politics of language, an attentiveness inscribed in the linguistic fabric of their own modes of expression. It is curious however, that despite the prevalence of a much-touted ‘linguistic turn’ in twentieth century theory and cultural production, language has frequently been neglected by literary studies in general. Even more curiously, postcolonial literary studies, an erstwhile emergent and now established discipline which has from the outset contained important elements of linguistic critique, has eschewed any sustained engagement with this topic. This absence is salient in the study of African literatures, despite, for instance, the prominence of orature in the African literary tradition right up to the present day, and sporadic meditations on the part of such luminaries as Achebe and Ngũgĩ. Beyond this, however, there has been little scholarly work attuned to the multifarious aspects of language and linguistic politics in the study of African literature. The present volume aims to rectify such lacunae by making a substantial interdisciplinary and transcultural contribution to the gradual reinstatement of the ‘linguistic turn’ in African literary studies. The volume focuses variously on postcolonial and transcultural African literatures, areas of literary production where the confluence of several languages, whether indigenous and (post)colonial in the first case, and local and global in the second case, appears to be a central and decisive factor in the formation and transformation of the continent and its peoples’ cultural identities.
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"The Original Explosion That Created Worlds"

Essays on Werewere Liking’s Art and Writings

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Edited by John Conteh-Morgan and Irène Assiba d'Almeida

“The Original Explosion That Created Worlds” is the first book entirely devoted to the Cameroonian Werewere Liking, one of the most important writers and innovative artists of post-colonial Africa. The book includes a wide-ranging collection of essays by some of Liking’s finest critics addressing her life and work, from her earlier fiction and social criticism to her later experimental drama, which has been produced on stages around the world. Several essays also look at Liking’s culture-based entrepreneurial work, in which she has attempted to establish a new economic support for African artistic expression.
Liking’s excellent but little-known poetry and art criticism, her iconoclastic novels and essays are all the subject of close critical attention in particular studies. There is also consideration of the challenges that her original language and fictional forms present to a literary translator. Liking’s work has provoked an extensive commentary, in the popular press as well as in scholarly journals and her critical reception both inside and outside of Africa is carefully examined. The final important inclusions are two plays by Liking published here for the first time in English translations– Liquid Heroes and This Africa of ours...
“The Original Explosion That Created Worlds”: Essays on Werewere Liking’s Art and Writings may serve as an introduction to the work of one of Africa’s most important contemporary artists and one of the most astute commentators on the position of Africa in the new century. To those already familiar with Liking’s novels, poetry, plays, criticism or other cultural work it offers an expanded and deepened understanding of her working contexts and the amazing reach of her cultural expression. The book is of necessary interest to all readers, students, and scholars of postcolonial African literatures, of translation studies, and of gender issues.
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Africa and Its Significant Others

Forty Years of Intercultural Entanglement

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Edited by Isabel Hoving, Frans-Willem Korsten and Ernst van Alphen

When did the intimate dialogue between Africa, Europe, and the Americas begin? Looking back, it seems as if these three continents have always been each other’s significant others. Europe created its own modern identity by using Africa as a mirror, but Africans traveled to Europe and America long before the European age of discovery, and African cultures can be said to lie at the root of European culture. This intertwining has become ever more visible: Nowadays Africa emerges as a highly visible presence in the Americas, and African American styles capture Europe’s youth, many of whom are of (North-) African descent. This entanglement, however, remains both productive and destructive. The continental economies are intertwined in ways disastrous for Africa, and African knowledge is all too often exported and translated for US and European scholarly aims, which increases the intercontinental knowledge gap. This volume proposes a fresh look at the vigorous and painful, but inescapable, relationships between these significant others. It does so as a gesture of gratitude and respect to one of the pioneering figures in this field. Dutch Africanist and literary scholar Mineke Schipper, who is taking her leave from her chair in Intercultural Literary Studies at the University of Leiden. Where have the past four decades of African studies brought us? What is the present-day state of this intercontinental dialogue? Sixteen of Mineke’s colleagues and friends in Europe, Africa and the Americas look back and assess the relations and debates between Africa-Europe-America: Ann Adams, Ernst van Alphen, Mieke Bal, Liesbeth Bekers, Wilfried van Damme, Ariel Dorfman, Peter Geschiere, Kathleen Gyssels, Isabel Hoving, Frans-Willem Korsten, Babacar M’Baye, Harry Olufunwa, Ankie Peypers, Steven Shankman, Miriam Tlali, and Chantal Zabus write about the place of Africa in today’s African Diaspora, about what sisterhood between African and European women really means, about the drawbacks of an overly strong focus on culture in debates about Africa, about Europe’s reluctance to see Africa as other than its mirror or its playing field, about the images of Africans in seventeenth-century Dutch writing, about genital excision, the flaunting of the African female body and the new self-writing, about new ways to look at classic African novels, and about the invigorating, disturbing, political art of intercultural reading.