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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.

The Postcolonial Orient

The Politics of Difference and the Project of Provincialising Europe

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Vasant Kaiwar

In The Postcolonial Orient, Vasant Kaiwar presents a far-reaching analysis of the political, economic, and ideological cross-currents that have shaped and informed postcolonial studies preceding and following the 1989 moment of world history. The valences of the ‘post’ in postcolonialism are unfolded via some key historical-political postcolonial texts showing, inter alia, that they are replete with elements of Romantic Orientalism and the Oriental Renaissance. Kaiwar mobilises a critical body of classical and contemporary Marxism to demonstrate that far richer understandings of ‘Europe’ not to mention ‘colonialism’, ‘modernity’ and ‘difference’ are possible than with a postcolonialism captive to phenomenological-existentialism and post-structuralism, concluding that a narrative so enriched is indispensable for a transformative non-Eurocentric internationalism.

Noorman Abdullah

chapter; the relationship between discourse and power using a Foucauldian framework in the seventh chapter; and the lack of an adequate thema- tisation of Eurocentrism in the teaching of the social sciences so as to overcome the prob- lem of irrelevance and academic dependency. Th e fi nal chapter in the

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Cleo Cantone

This book constitutes a seminal contribution to the fields of Islamic architectural history and gender studies. It is the first major empirical study of the history and current state of mosque building in Senegal and the first study of mosque space from a gender perspective. The author positions Senegalese mosques within the field of Islamic architectural history, unraveling their history through pre-colonial travelers’ accounts to conversations with present-day planners, imams and women who continually shape and reshape the mosques they worship in. Using contemporary Dakar as a case study, the book’s second aim is to explore the role of women in the “making and remaking” of mosques. In particular, the rise of non-tariqa grass-roots movements (i.e.: the “Sunni/Ibadou” movement) has empowered women (particularly young women) and has greatly strengthened their capacity to use mosques as places of spirituality, education and socialization. The text is aimed at several specialized readerships: readers interested in Islam in West Africa, in the role of women in Islam, as well as those interested in the sociology and art-history of mosques.

Subjects Barbarian, Monstrous, and Wild

Encounters in the Arts and Contemporary Politics

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Edited by Maria Boletsi and Tyler Sage

Subjects Barbarian, Monstrous, and Wild responds to a contemporary political climate in which historically invested figures of otherness—barbarians, savages, monsters—have become common discursive currency. Through questionable historical comparisons, politicians and journalists evoke barbaric or primitive forces threatening civilization in order to exacerbate the fear of others, diagnose civilizational decline, or feed nostalgic restorative projects. These evocations often demand that forms of oppression, discrimination, and violence be continued or renewed.
In this context, the collected essays explore the dispossessing effects of these figures but also their capacities for reimagining subjectivity, agency, and resistance to contemporary forms of power. Emphasizing intersections of the aesthetic and the political, these essays read canonical works alongside contemporary literature, film, art, music, and protest cultures. They interrogate the violent histories but also the subversive potentials of figures barbarous, monstrous, or wild, while illustrating the risks in affirmative resignifications or new mobilizations.

Contributors: Sophie van den Bergh, Maria Boletsi, Siebe Bluijs, Giulia Champion, Cui Chen, Tom Curran, Andries Hiskes, Tyler Sage, Cansu Soyupak, Ruby de Vos, Mareen Will

Understanding the Sources of Anti-Westernism

A Dialogue between Michael A. Peters and Jan Nederveen Pieterse

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Tina (A.C.) Besley and Michael A. Peters

modernization (sometimes also specific forms of the West, like ‘Americanism’, ‘Eurocentrism’, maybe ‘ethnocentrism’) and their binary oppositions: anti-West, anti-modernism, anti-modernization, etc. I am not embracing the binary opposition simply noting that binaries often exist as a means for the production of

Priscilla Alderson and Rudrani Dasgupta

Reddy takes a look at working children’s movements and how they were systematically dismantled when the dominant narrative of the child as “victim” began to be globally challenged by the children and their supporters. Liebel and Budde take it further in their chapter on the Eurocentrism prevalent in

Felix Lange

Heinhard Steiger develops a ‘global history approach’ by engaging with the recent critical wave of scholarship on the history of international law. Taking up the theme of Eurocentrism, Steiger critically assesses Carl Schmitt’s Nomos of the Earth as neglecting the legal developments in other parts of the

Seokwoo Lee and Hee Eun Lee

Eurocentrism that has characterized international law over the years. The following set of short notes that are presented in this volume of the Korean Journal of International and Comparative Law is motivated by the relative lack of scholarship on this important, yet underrepresented area of study in

Margot van den Berg and Robbert van Sluijs

Sabino’s intention to give credit where credit is due, in particular to the Africans who built the West Indian plantation economies from the late seventeenth century onward. Chapter 1, “Hubristic Eurocentrism,” discusses several examples of the impact of European-derived linguistic ideologies of