Social theory and social theorizing about Africa has largely ignored African literature. However, because writers are some of the continent’s finest social thinkers, they have produced – and continue to produce – works which constitute potential sources for the analysis of social thought, and for constructing social theory, in and beyond the continent.
This comprehensive collection examines the relationship between African literature and African social thought. It explores the evolution and aesthetics of social thought in African fiction, and African writers’ conceptions of power and authority, legitimacy, history and modernity, gender and sexuality, culture, epistemology, globalization, and change and continuity in Africa.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Contemporary African Studies.
Table of Contents
Preface Wale Adebanwi
1. The writer as social thinker Wale Adebanwi
2. Literature, trauma and the African moral imagination J. Roger Kurtz
3. The infrapolitics of subordination in Patrice Nganang’s Dog Days Moradewun Adejunmobi
4. Imagining a dialectical African modernity: Achebe’s ontological hopes, Sembene’s machines, Mda’s epistemological redness Melissa Tandiwe Myambo
5. Sexual/textual politics: rethinking gender and sexuality in gay Moroccan literature Gibson Ncube
6. Against epistemic totalitarianism: the insurrectional politics of Bessie Head Shiera S. el-Malik
7. The Writer as ‘Ragpicker’: The Auratic Power of the Mundane in Nadine Gordimer's Recent Fiction Ileana Dimitriu
8. African being and cultural project Leonard Stone
Wale Adebanwi is Associate Professor in African American and African Studies at the University of California-Davis, USA. He obtained his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and another in social anthropology from Trinity Hall, Cambridge, UK, where he was a Bill and Melinda Gates Scholar. He is the author of Yorùbá Elites and Ethnic Politics in Nigeria: Obáfemi Awólowo and Corporate Agency (2014).