African American

New PDF release: African Identities: Race, Nation and Culture in Ethnography,

By Kadiatu Kanneh

ISBN-10: 0203158482

ISBN-13: 9780203158487

ISBN-10: 0415164451

ISBN-13: 9780415164450

This attention-grabbing and good researched research explores the that means generated by way of `Africa' and `Blackness' during the century. utilizing literary texts, autobiography, ethnography, and old records, African Identities discusses how rules of Africa as an beginning, as a cultural entire, or as a classy political problematical, become signifiers for research of modernity, nationhood and racial distinction. Kanneh offers particular readings of a number of literary texts, together with novels by way of: * Toni Morrison * Alice Walker * Gloria Naylor * Ngugi Wa Thiong'o * Chinua Achebe * and V.S. Naipaul. For a person attracted to literature, heritage, anthropology, political writing, feminist or cultural research, this booklet opens up new parts of inspiration throughout disciplines.

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Extra resources for African Identities: Race, Nation and Culture in Ethnography, Pan-Africanism and Black Literatures

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Oral or ‘traditional’ cultures offer themselves up for visual de-coding in the drama of landscape and environment; in the visibility of bodies and faces; in the contours of masks and art forms (all of which are ‘scenes’ recurring in A Bend in the River and in A View of Sierra Leone). Michel de Certeau outlines the collaboration of writing and visual interpretation in his reading of Jean de Léry’s ethnological text, Histoire d’un voyage faict en la terre du Brésil (1578). Here, it is the physical bodies of native women, devoured by the ethnographic eye, offered up to revealed ‘knowledge’, which represent the aim of ethnology’s uncoverings and discoveries: From this labor, the women naked, seen and known designate the finished product metonymically.

If ‘Africa’ is located in the (largely oral) histories of African languages, then issues of literacy, audience and the plurality of the modern world would seem to place insurmountable obstacles in the path of Ngugi’s protest for African literature. Ngugi’s struggle, however, is mounted precisely at this point of contention between what is often labelled the ‘traditional’ and the ‘modern’. If the modern world is the technological economy of literate societies, it becomes necessary for Africa to also take its place within the structures of modernity.

Adèle, a Parisienne of Black Caribbean descent is immediately attuned to Samba’s feeling of exile. Although born in France, her intuitive communion with Samba is allowed to be aligned to a form of racial memory or being—a Négritude: When she happened to discern in herself a feeling or a thought which seemed to her to cut in a certain fashion into the backdrop of the Occident, her reaction for a long time had been to run away from it in terror, as from a monstrosity. (p. 157) The ‘ambiguity’ in the novel’s title can be attributed both to Samba’s colonised identity and to the impossibility of separating a critique of the West, signified through French culture, from its incorporation into and exploration of an Africa which is presented in opposition to Western influence.

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African Identities: Race, Nation and Culture in Ethnography, Pan-Africanism and Black Literatures by Kadiatu Kanneh


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