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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.
Essays on Werewere Liking’s Art and Writings
“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.
Author: Messay Kebede
This book discovers freedom in the colonial idea of African primitiveness. As human transcendence, freedom escapes the drawbacks of otherness, as defended by ethnophilosophy, while exposing the idiosyncratic inspiration of Eurocentric universalism. Decolonization calls for the reconnection with freedom, that is, with myth-making understood as the inaugural act of cultural pluralism. The cultural condition of modernization emerges when the return to the past deploys the future.
In the humanities, the term ‘diaspora’ recently emerged as a promising and powerful heuristic concept. It challenged traditional ways of thinking and invited reconsiderations of theoretical assumptions about the unfolding of cross-cultural and multi-ethnic societies, about power relations, frontiers and boundaries, about cultural transmission, communication and translation. The present collection of essays by renowned writers and scholars addresses these issues and helps to ground the ongoing debate about the African diaspora in a more solid theoretical framework. Part I is dedicated to a general discussion of the concept of African diaspora, its origins and historical development. Part II examines the complex cultural dimensions of African diasporas in relation to significant sites and figures, including the modes and modalities of creative expression from the perspective of both artists/writers and their audiences; finally, Part III focusses on the resources (collections and archives) and iconographies that are available today. As most authors argue, the African diaspora should not be seen merely as a historical phenomenon, but also as an idea or ideology and an object of representation. By exploring this new ground, the essays assembled here provide important new insights for scholars in American and African-American Studies, Cultural Studies, Ethnic Studies, and African Studies. The collection is rounded off by an annotated listing of black autobiographies.
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.
Two Conferences of Western and African Philosophers at Vienna and at Rotterdam / Deux conférences des philosophes d’Ouest et d’Afrique à Vienne et à Rotterdam
Volume Editors: Heinz Kimmerle and Franz M. Wimmer
For the time being African philosophy is treated regularly in research and in teaching at two European scientific institutions: at the University of Vienna and at Erasmus University Rotterdam. In October 1993 there have been held two conferences of Western and African philosophers at both universities. Eleven African and nine Western scholars participated as speakers in these conferences. Four African speakers gave lectures at the Vienna and at the Rotterdam conference. The Vienna conference dealt with general questions of postcolonial philosophy in Africa. The conference at Rotterdam focused on the processes of democratization in African countries since 1989. This volume contains the papers of both conferences.

En ce moment la philosophie Africaine est traité regulièrement dans les recherches et dans l'enseignement à deux instituts scientifiques Européens: à l'Université de Vienne et à l'Université Erasme de Rotterdam. En Octobre 1993 deux conférences de philosophes Occidentals et Africains ont été organisé aux deux universités. Onze savants Africans et neuf savants Occidentals ont participé à ces deux conférences. Quatre savants Africains ont présenté des communications à tous les deux conférences de Vienne et de Rotterdam. La conférence Viennoise s'occupait de questions générales de la philosophie postcoloniale en Afrique. La conférence de Rotterdam focusait aux procès de démocratisation dans des pays africains depuis 1989. Se trouvent en ce volume les contributions à les deux conférences.
Children’s Literature in Africa
Études de littérature comparée.
Les textes rassemblés dans Afrique plurielle mettent en relief quelques aspects de la foisonnante diversité littéraire du continent. Commençant par l'Afrique dite francophone, l'auteur évoque d'abord la littérature bilingue, arabe-français, du Maghreb; il décrit les rapports entre le roman sénégalais contemporain, la tradition locale d'historiographie arabe et les épopées orales en langues vernaculaires; il définit la spécificité littéraire du Zaïre, ancienne colonie belge. Un deuxième groupe d'essais initie le lecteur à des aspects peu connus des littératures anglophones et lusophones, s'attardant en passant à un des premiers maîtres du roman africain, Thomas Mofolo. Les chapitres suivants traitent des problèmes linguistiques que rencontre l'écrivain africain écartelé entre trois modes d'expression: son idiome maternel, qui n'existe souvent que dans l'oralité, la langue européenne de l'ancien colonisateur, encore inaccessible à la majorité de son peuple, et le parler créole qui est en train de se développer dans les centres urbains. S'inspirant enfin de son expérience personnelle, Albert Gérard définit une méthode pour l'historiographie littéraire d'un continent dont presque chaque état est lui-même une entité complexe: polyethnique et plurilingue.
Author: Bernth Lindfors
Some of the essays in this book - notably those concerned with examining Western influences on sub-Saharan African writings (tracing Shakespearean and Brechtian echoes in Nigerian drama, for instance, or following the footprints of Sherlock Holmes in Swahili detective fiction) - fit the traditional definition of comparative literature. These are essays that cross national literary boundaries and sometimes transcend language barriers as well. They look for correspondences in related literary phenomena from widely dispersed areas of the globe, bringing together what is akin from what is akimbo. But most of the essays included here involve closer comparisons. Two focus on works produced in different languages within the same African nation (Yoruba and English in Nigeria, Afrikaans and English in South Africa), and one presents a taxonomy of dominant literary forms in English in three East African nations. Others concentrate on the oeuvre of a single author, and on the likely future output of exiled writers who soon will be returning home. One essay contrasts discursive tendencies within the same text, and another investigates conflicting African and Western religious beliefs. A great variety of comparative methodologies is deployed here; not all of these are transnational, multilingual or pluralistic in scope. The last two groups of essays deal with matters of characterization and authorial reputation. Studies of the depiction of African Americans, politicians and women in a wide range of African literary texts are followed by an assessment of the current standing of anglophone Africa's leading authors. In entering such highly contested terrain, the comparatist approach adopted has been that of the neutral witness to early African attempts - comparatist in their own way - to define an African canon of classic texts.
Authors discussed include: Ama Ata Aidoo (Ghana); Chinua Achebe, John Pepper Clark, Cyprian Ekwensi, D.O. Fagunwa, Wole Soyinka and Amos Tutuola (Nigeria); Peter Abrahams, J.M. Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer, Alex La Guma, Thomas Mofolo, Es'kia Mphahlele and Karel Schoeman (South Africa).