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Stephen David

). My reading is moored to Van der Merwe and Gobodo-Madikizela’s book Narrating our Healing 2 which demonstrates quite lucidly the functionality of stories and storytelling as spaces of healing and the centrality of narration to the rediscovery of an erstwhile ruptured sense of self. I frame this

Separating the Magical from the Real

The Representation of the Barwa in Zakes Mda’s She Plays with the Darkness

Michael Wessels

. Like Dikosha, the Barwa “play with the darkness”. The male dancers surround Dikosha with their erect penises, euphemistically referred to as “maleness”, “pointed unflinchingly at her.” This virility is not sexual, however, but indicative of an energy harnessed for healing. There is a female component

Annie Gagiano

grievously mangled bodies have never before been seen in Ethiopia. The girl never speaks except to murmur “Abbaye” (father) on two occasions. 39 The constantly guarded patient slowly improves in health, but the effectiveness of his healing confronts Hailu with a dilemma: for whom—or what 40 —is he healing

The Role of the Surreal in Postcolonial African Writing

The Case of Legson Kayira’s Jingala and The Detainee

Joshua Isaac Kumwenda

aimed at educating, feeding and protecting them and even healing them when they are sick, among other responsibilities of either the state to its citizens or the church to its members. However, the text constructs a counter-discourse to this by showing the spirits of the ancestors taking care of their

From the Atlantic to the Indo-Pacific

Creolisation, Magic, and Mimesis in Oceanic Networks

Fernando Rosa

European Ideas 41.7 (2015): 858–882. 25 Michael T. Taussig, Mimesis and Alterity: a particular history of the senses (New York: Routledge, 1993). 26 Michael T. Taussig, Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: a study in terror and healing (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986); Michael T

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.