The essays in this volume capture the exciting energy of the emergent novel in East and West Africa, drawing on diffe¬rent theoretical insights to offer fresh and engaging perspectives on what has been variously termed the ‘new wave’, ‘emer¬gent generation’, and ‘third generation’. Subjects addressed include the politics of identity, especially when (re)constructed outside the homeland or when African indigenous values are eroded by globaliz¬ation, transnationalism, and the exilic condition or the self undergoes fragmen¬tation. Other essays examine once-taboo concerns, including gendered accounts of same-sex sexualities.
Most of the essays deal with shifting perceptions by African women of their social condition in patriarchy in relation to such issues as polygamy, adultery, male domination, and the woman’s quest for fulfilment and respect through access to quality education and full economic and socio-political participation. Themes taken up by other novels examined in¬clude the sexual exploitation of women and criminality generally and the ex¬posure of children to violence. Likewise examined is the contemporary textual¬izing of orality (the trickster figure).
Writers discussed include Chima¬manda Ngozi Adichie, Okey Ndibe, Helon Habila, Ike Oguine, Chris Abani, Tanure Ojaide, Maik Nwosu, Unoma Azuah, Jude Dibia, Lola Shoneyin, Mary Karooro Okurut, Violet Barungi, Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, Abidemi Sanusi, Akachi Ezeigbo, Sefi Atta, Kaine Agary, Kojo Laing, Ahmadou Kourouma, Uwen Akpan, and Alobwed’Epie
Besides searching book reviews, an interview with the writer Tijan M. Sallah, a full report on the 6th Ethiopian International Film Festival, and a stimulating selection of creative writing (including a showcase of recent South African poetry), this issue of Matatu offers general essays on African women’s poetry, anglophone Cameroonian literature, and Zimbabwean fiction of the Gukurahundi period, along with studies of J.M. Coetzee, Kalpana Lalji, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Aminata Sow Fall, Wole Soyinka, and Yvonne Vera.
The bulk of this issue, however, is given over to coverage of cultural and sociological topics from North Africa to the Cape, ranging from cultural identity in contemporary North Africa, two contributions on Kenyan naming ceremonies and initiation songs, and three studies of the function of Shona and Ndebele proverbs, to national history in Zimbabwean autobiography, traditional mourning dress of the Akans of Ghana, and the precolonial origins of traditional leadership in South Africa. Contributors: Jude Aigbe Agho, Nasima Ali, Uchenna Bethrand Anih, Aboneh Ashagrie, Francis T. Cheo, Gordon Collier, Abdel Karim Daragmeh, Geoffrey V. Davis, Nozizwe Dhlamini, Kola Eke, Phyllis Forster, Frances Hardie, James Hlongwana, Pede Hollist, John M. Kobia, Samuelson Freddie Khunou, Mea Lashbrooke, María J. López, Brian Macaskill, Evans Mandova, Richard Sgadreck Maposa, Michael Mazuru, Corwin L. Mhlahlo. Zanoxolo Mnqobi Mkhize, Kobus Moolman, Thamsanqa Moyo, Felix M. Muchomba, Collins Kenga Mumbo, Tabitha Wanja Mwangi, Bhekezakhe Ncube, Christopher Joseph Odhiambo, Ode S. Ogede, H. Oby Okolocha, Wumi Raji, Dosia Reichhardt, Rashi Rohatgi, Kamal Salhi, Ekremah Shehab, Faith Sibanda, John A Stotesbury, Nick Mdika Tembo, Kenneth Usongo, Wellington Wasosa.
This book is a collection of papers from an international inter-disciplinary conference focusing on storytelling and human life. The chapters in this volume provide unique accounts of how stories shape the narratives and discourses of people’s lives and work; and those of their families and broader social networks. From making sense of history; to documenting biographies and current pedagogical approaches; to exploring current and emerging spatial and media trends; this book explores the possibilities of narrative approaches as a theoretical scaffold across numerous disciplines and in diverse contexts. Central to all the chapters is the idea of stories being a creative and reflexive means to make sense of people’s past, current realities and future possibilities.
Contributors are Prue Bramwell-Davis, Brendon Briggs, Laurinda Brown, Rachel Chung, Elizabeth Cummings, Szymon Czerkawski, Denise Dantas, Joanna Davidson, Nina Dvorko, Sarah Eagle, Theresa Edlmann, Gavin Fairbairn, Keven Fletcher, Sarah Garvey, Phyllis Hastings, Tracy Ann Hayes, Welby Ings, Stephanie Jacobs, Dean Jobb, Caroline M. Kisiel, Maria-Dolores Lozano, Mădălina Moraru, Michael R. Ogden, Nancy Peled, Valerie Perry, Melissa Lee Price, Rasa Račiūnaitė-Paužuolienė, Irena Ragaišienė, Remko Smid, Paulette Stevens, Cheryl Svensson, Mary O’Brien Tyrrell, Shunichi Ueno, Leona Ungerer, Sarah White, Wai-ling Wong and Bridget Anthonia Makwemoisa Yakubu.
Fictions written between 1939 and 2005 by indigenous and white (post)colonial women writers emerging from an African–European cultural experience form the focus of this study. Their voyages into the European diasporic space in Africa are important for conveying how African women’s literature is situated in relation to colonialism. Notwithstanding the centrality of African literature in the new postcolonial literatures in English, the accomplishments of the indigenous writer Grace Ogot have been eclipsed by the critical attention given to her male counterparts, while Elspeth Huxley, Barbara Kimenye, and Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye, who are of Western cultural provenance but adopt an African perspective, are not accommodated by the genre of ‘expatriate literature’. The present study of both indigenous and white (post)colonial women’s narratives that are common to both categories fills this gap. Focused on the representation of gender, identity, culture, and the ‘Other’, the texts selected are set in Kenya and Uganda, and a main concern is with the extent to which they are influenced by setting and intercultural influences. The ‘African’ woman’s creation of textuality is at once the expression of female individualities and a transgression of boundaries. The particular category of fiction for children as written by Kimenye and Macgoye reveals the configuration of a voice and identity for the female ‘Other’ and writer which enables a subversive renegotiation of identity in the face of patriarchal traditions.
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.
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
The term 'recent' or 'new' covers novels and some short fiction published between 1980 and 1995, a period characterized by growing pessimism about the state of affairs in both East and West Africa. The section on South Africa deals more narrowly with the 1985-95 watershed marking the end of official apartheid and the beginning of reconstruction. The three sections aim at giving a coherent picture of the main directions in production, highlighting three main centres of interest, Nigeria, Kenya, and the Republic of South Africa, although some novelists from neighbouring countries are also considered (such as Kofi Awoonor from Ghana, Nuruddin Farah from Somalia, and M.G. Vassanji and Abdulrazak Gurnah from Tanzania).
The evaluations conducted in the three sections lead to the emergence of a number of common themes, in particular the writers' predilection for topicality, the role of the past, and the controversy over the idea of the nation. Central themes also include the role of women in fending for themselves, both in rural and in urban environments. A further major theme is the role of the past (the Nigerian civil war; the Mau Mau period in Kenya; the revisiting of slavery; the refurbishing of myth; the questioning of historical reconstructions). The preoccupation of the West, East, and South African novel with the idea and ideal of the 'nation' is explored, particularly in the context of migrancy, hybridity, and transculturalism characterizing the anglophone diaspora.
The volume is aimed at literary scholars and students and, more generally, readers of fiction seeking an introduction to contemporary literary developments in various parts of sub-Saharan anglophone Africa. No categorical distinction is drawn between 'popular' and 'high' literature. Though still selective and not intended as an exhaustive catalogue, the present survey covers a large number of titles. Rather than resorting to broad and ultimately somewhat abstract thematic categories, the contributors endeavour to keep control over this mass of material by applying a 'micro-thematic' taxonomy. This approach, well-tested in the tradition of literary studies within France, groups works analytically and evaluatively in terms of such categories as actional motifs, plot-frames, and sociologically relevant locations or topics, thereby enabling a clearer focus on the dynamics of preoccupation and tendency that form networks of affinity across the fiction produced in the period surveyed.
While cultural diversity and hybridity have often been celebrated, they also challenge traditional concepts of national and cultural identity – challenges which have caused considerable anxiety. Various disciplines have often investigated the impact of cultural hybridity, multiculture, and (post)colonialism in relative isolation and with a tendency towards over-theorization and loss of specificity. Greater interdisciplinary cooperation can counter this tendency and encourage sustained comparisons between different former empires and across language boundaries.
This volume contributes to such developments by combining contributions from history, English and German studies, cultural geography, theatre studies, and film studies; by covering both the colonial and the postcolonial period; and by looking comparatively at two different (post)colonial contexts: the United Kingdom and Germany.
The result is productive dialogue across the distinct colonial and migration histories of the UK and Germany, which brings out divergent concepts of cultural difference – but, importantly, without neglecting similarities and transnational developments. The interdisciplinary outlook extends beyond political definitions of identity and difference to include consumer culture, literature, film, and journalism – cultural and social practices that construct, represent, and reflect personal and collective identities.
Section I discusses the historical and contemporary role of colonial experience and its remembrance in the construction of national identities. Section II follows on by tracing the reflections of (post)coloniality and twentieth-century migration in the specific fields of economic history and consumer culture. Section III centres on recent debates about multiculture and national/cultural identity in politics, literature, and film.