Across Africa, new collectivities are shifting the terms within which access to economic opportunity, social belonging, and political agency have historically been understood. Recent years have seen powerful waves of civic mobilization sweep across the continent. Less prominent articulations of contemporary political desire have also been percolating through the diffuse experiences of the African everyday. As differential access to global capitalism and its promises folds into modes of subjection—and escape—that are hard to predict, those who exercise power find ever more ways of guarding the borders and memberships of privileged groups. This book turns to the critically entangled terms of affect and access as a basis for exploring emergent orientations in the field of African cultural theorizing. It pays especial attention to scholarship engaging with the multifaceted coordinates of political and social participation, where complex assemblages of affective attachment, exchange, and realignment work in concert with demands for socio-political and economic forms of access. This book was originally published as a special issue of Safundi.
Table of Contents
- Contemporary African mediations of affect and access
- A peculiar place for a feminist? The New South African woman, True Love magazine and Lebo(gang) Mashile
Pumla Dineo Gqola
- The girls who don’t die: subversions of gender and genre in recent fiction by Lauren Beukes
Jennifer M. Schmidt
- Sticky e/motional connections: young people, social media, and the re-orientation of affect
- Mediating women’s globalized existence through social media in the work of Adichie and Bulawayo
- A threatening personification of freedom or: Sobukwe and repression
- "Only words can bury us, not silence": reading Yvonne Vera’s difficult silences
- Fostering receptivity: cultural translation, ethical solicitation, and the navigation of distance in J.T. Rogers’ The Overwhelming
- Empathy’s echo: post-apartheid fellow feeling
Helene Strauss is Chair of the Department of English at the University of the Free State, South Africa. She has published widely on South African literature and culture and currently serves on the editorial boards of ARIEL, English in Africa, and Acta Academica. She was the local director of the 2015 Association for Cultural Studies Institute.
Sarah Olutola is a PhD graduate and sessional instructor in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University, Canada. Her current research and publications concern representations of race in popular media culture, globalization and Western humanitarianism with respect to Africa.
Jessie Forsyth earned her PhD in English and Cultural Studies with a graduate diploma in Gender Studies and Feminist Research from McMaster University, Canada. Her research draws variously-situated African and Indigenous cultural texts into conversation to imagine critically transformative modes of working across epistemological, embodied, and socio-political productions of ‘difference.’