This volume brings together insights from distinguished scholars from around the world to address the facts, fiction and creative imaginations in the pervasive portrayals of Africa, its people, societies and cultures in the literature and the media. The fictionalization of Africa and African issues in the media and the popular literature that blends facts and fiction has rendered perceptions of Africa, its cultures, societies, customs, and conflicts often superficial and deficient in the popular Western consciousness. The book brings eminent scholars from a variety of disciplines to sort out the persistent fictionalization of Africa, from facts pertaining to the genesis of powerful cultural, political or religious icons, the historical and cultural significance of "intriguing" customs (such as tribal marks), gender relations, causes of conflicts and African responses, and creative imaginations in contemporary African films, fiction and literature, among others.
Table of Contents
Introduction Toyin Falola and Fallou Ngom Part I: Significance of African Popular Icons and Cultures 1. Whose Image of Whose Africa? Problems of Representation in Ryszard Kapuscinski’s The Shadow of the Sun. Lena L. Khor 2. Prophetess: Aline Sitoé Diatta as a Contested Icon in Contemporary Senegal Robert M. Baum 3. Custom and Politics in Ghanaian Popular Culture Beverly J. Stoeltje 4. Tribal Marks among the Oyo Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria in the 21st Century Elizabeth Adenike Ajayi and Sekinat Kola-Aderoju 5. Echoes of African Praise Songs in the Poetry of Kamau Brathwaite Michael Sharp Part II: Religion and African Creative Imaginations 6. Devil Worship as a Moral Discourse about Youth in Kenya David A. Samper 7. A Historical Analysis of Ojube-Oba Festival in Ijebu Ode, Nigeria Abiodun Akeem Oladiti 8. Temne Agency in the Propagation and Africanization of Islam in Colonial Freetown, 1920-1961 Joseph J. Bangura 9. The Antenna and the Mosque: Liberatory Mass Media in Moolaadé. Gerise Herndon Part III: Gender and African Artistic Imaginations 10. Re-imagining Gender Spaces in Abbas Sadiq’s and Zainab Idris’s Video-Film Albashi. Carmen McCain 11. "What’s an Old Man Like You Doing with a Saignante Like Me?" Kenneth W. Harrow 12. An African Feminist Analysis of Popular Culture Roberta K. Timothy 13. Other Monsters: Gender Complexities of (Femi/woma/stiwa)nism in Bessie Head’s When Rain Clouds Gather. Simone Sessolo Part IV: African Cultures and Artistic Imaginations 14. Lu jot bët bi? (Wolof: What’s Wrong with the Eye [I]?) Ousmane Sembène and Djibril Diop Mambéty: African Cinema Rhetoric and the Search for Authenticity Debbie Olson 15. Dak’Art, Biennial of Contemporary African Art: Conjunction of Styles and Concepts Hélène Tissières 16. Gloom and Grime to Crime: Fate of Migrants as Depicted in Journey Motif by Two Nigerian Movies Kayode Animasaun 17. The No.1 Popular Detective Series, the Invention of Botswana and the Postcolonial Sublime. Derek Barker 18. Narration and Vernacular in Mohamed Berrada's Lu’bat al-Nisyan. Johanna Sellman
Dr. Toyin Falola is the Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professor in History and a Distinguished Teaching Professsor at the University of Texas at Austin.
Fallou Ngom is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Director of the African Language Program at the African Studies Center at Boston University.