Africa Writing Europe

Opposition, Juxtaposition, Entanglement


Africa Writing Europe offers critical readings of the meaning and presence of Europe in a variety of African literary texts. The first of its kind, it shifts the focus from questions of African identity to readings which delineate ideas of Europe also in texts written specifically in an African context. It seeks to place the representations of Europe in an historical context by including a number of different and often conflicting definitions of the Africa–Europe opposition, definitions that are traced to differences between the specific geographical and cultural locations both in the African and in the European context, including an Eastern European perspective as well as the metropolitan centres of Britain and France.
The readings engage with the legacy of white domination manifested as slavery, colonialism, and apartheid as well as with the entangled histories and new perspectives developed through exile, both as voluntary and as forced migration. Several essays address the gendered dimension of the Africa–Europe opposition and relate it to other intersecting oppositions, such as the rural and the urban, the private and the public, in their analysis of representations of femininity and masculinity in the literary texts.
The contributors to this volume come from different national backgrounds and share in examining the question of Europe in African literature. Authors discussed include Leila Aboulela, Tatamkhulu Afrika, Alice Solomon Bowen, Ken Bugul, Marie Cardinal, Eric Ngalle Charles, Yvette Christiansë, Soleïman Adel Guémar, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Dan Jacobson, Njabulo Ndebele, Femi Osofisan, Rebekah F., and Tayeb Salih.

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Maria Olaussen is a Professor of English, and Christina Angelfors an Associate Professor of French, at Växjö University in Sweden. Both have a primary research focus on African women’s writing.
Contributors: Gabeba Baderoon, Geoffrey V. Davis, Dorothy Driver, Jopi Nyman, Maria Olaussen, Ann–Sofie Persson, Jarmo Pikkujämsä, Wumi Raji, and Alexandra W. Schultheis.
Maria Olaussen: Africa Writing Europe. An Introduction
Dorothy Driver: “On these premises I am the government”. Njabulo Ndebele’s The Cry of Winnie Mandela and the Reconstructions of Gender and Nation
Geoffrey V. Davis: “A deeper silence”. Dan Jacobson’s Lithuania
Gabeba Baderoon: “A Language to Fit Africa”. ‘Africanness’ and ‘Europeanness’ in the South African Imagination
Wumi Raji: Morountodun by Femi Osofisan. Marxism, Feminism, and an African Dramatist’s Engagement with an Indigenous Heroic Narrative
Jarmo Pikkujämsä: Europe Discarded. Ken Bugul and the Twenty-Eighth Wife of a Marabout
Ann-Sofie Persson: “France, effaced but venerated”. Marie Cardinal’s Au pays de mes racines
Alexandra W. Schultheis: From Heterotopia to Home. The University and the Politics of Postcoloniality in Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North and Leila Aboulela’s The Translator
Maria Olaussen: Refusing to Speak as a Victim. Agency and the arrivant in Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Novel By the Sea
Jopi Nyman: Refugee(s) Writing. Displacement in Contemporary Narratives of Forced Migration
Notes on Contributors and Editors