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literature. Even Soyinka who has to date been the troika’s most strident critic has been constrained to acknowledge the sheer importance of their quest for “racial self-retrieval.” Up until this text was published in 1980, there was virtually no sustained study of Eurocentrism in the reading of African

Atieno Odhiambo

construction and application. But at the very least it is a register of human diversity. Eurocentrism, the prospectus that sustains the linkage between the arts, letters and civilization with white-skinned male patriarchy inhabiting north-west Europe and colonial Americas has been at the centre of all

One yajña, Many Rituals

How the Brahmanical Ritual Practices Became the ‘Vedic Sacrifice’

Marianna Ferrara

term ‘sacrifice’ is deeply rooted within the cultural and academic field of European religious and anthropological studies from the time when Colonialism, Eurocentrism, and Christianocentrism have dominated the study of non-European cultures (cf. Johnson 2006 , MacCormack 2006 , Sheehan 2006

Africa and Its Significant Others

Forty Years of Intercultural Entanglement


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.

John Laband

range of regional military histories. They listed African military history as one of those with the potential to break free from the prevailing Eurocentrism—and there they left it without further discussion, still a Cinderella whose attributes remained to be recognized. 3 Since then, as is

Vuvuzela Magic

The Production and Consumption of ‘African’ Cultural Heritage during the FIFA 2010 World Cup

Duane Jethro ‘Eurocentrism cost SA the World Cup bid: Mbeki.’ Published in print, 12 July, 2000. Accessed online at on 20 December 2013. ‘Vuvuzela Row: Ronaldo, Messi weigh in’. Published 14 June, 2010 and accessed at

Gillian Creese

school system reinforces mainstream Canadian values about individualism, personal freedom, self-expression, and an equality rights discourse, while at the same time reproducing Eurocentrism at the heart of Canadian nation-building (Henry et al. 1995 ). The values of Western liberal individualism are


Maria Paula Meneses, Sheila Pereira Khan and Bjørn Enge Bertelsen

World Quarterly , 38 ( 9 ): 2045 – 2065 . Dussel Enrique . 2000 . Europe, modernity and Eurocentrism . Neplanta: Views from South , 1 ( 3 ): 465 – 478 . Egerö Bertil . 1990 . Mozambique. A dream undone. The political economy of democracy, 1975–84 . Uppsala : Scandinavian Institute of African

Yanmeng Wang and Mingwu Xu

involves kaleidoscopic topics. Moreover, the advent of thoughts such as post-colonialism and post-structuralism (since the 1990s) impelled some Westerners to introspect Eurocentrism and actively appreciated idiosyncratic cultures of the Other, (Fei, 2015). Under these circumstances, the noted scholar


Edited by Toby Green and Benedetta Rossi

continues to be, embedded in political processes and inequalities today. References Austin Gareth , “ Reciprocal Comparison and African History: Tackling Conceptual Eurocentrism in the Study of Africa’s Economic Past .” African Studies Review 50 , no. 3 ( 2007 ): 1 – 28 . Barber Karin and Paulo