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.
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.
Philosophical Foundations of the African Humanities through Postcolonial Perspectives critiques recent claims that the humanities, especially in public universities in poor countries, have lost their significance, defining missions, methods and standards due to the pressure to justify their existence. The predominant responses to these claims have been that the humanities are relevant for creating a “world culture” to address the world’s problems. This book argues that behind such arguments lies a false neutrality constructed to deny the values intrinsic to marginalized cultures and peoples and to justify their perceived inferiority. These essays by scholars in postcolonial studies critique these false claims about the humanities through critical analyses of alterity, difference, and how the Other is perceived, defined and subdued. Contributors: Gordon S.K. Adika, Kofi N. Awoonor, E. John Collins, Kari Dako, Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu, James Gibbs, Helen Lauer, Bernth Lindfors, J.H. Kwabena Nketia, Abena Oduro, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Olúfémi Táíwò, Alexis B. Tengan, Kwasi Wiredu, Francis Nii-Yartey
Timescapes of Waiting explores the intersections of temporality and space by examining various manifestations of spatial (im-)mobility. The individual articles approach these spaces from a variety of academic perspectives – including the realms of history, architecture, law and literary and cultural studies – in order to probe the fluid relationships between power, time and space.
The contributors offer discussion and analysis of waiting spaces like ante-chambers, prisons, hospitals, and refugee camps, and also of more elusive spaces such as communities and nation-states.
Contributors: Olaf Berwald, Elise Brault-Dreux, Richard Hardack, Kerstin Howaldt, Robin Kellermann, Amanda Lagji, Margaret Olin, Helmut Puff, Katrin Röder, Christoph Singer, Cornelia Wächter, Robert Wirth.