Get African Identities: Race, Nation and Culture in Ethnography, PDF

By Kadiatu Kanneh

ISBN-10: 0203158482

ISBN-13: 9780203158487

ISBN-10: 0415164451

ISBN-13: 9780415164450

This interesting and good researched research explores the that means generated via `Africa' and `Blackness' through the century. utilizing literary texts, autobiography, ethnography, and old files, African Identities discusses how principles of Africa as an foundation, as a cultural complete, or as a classy political difficult, become signifiers for research of modernity, nationhood and racial distinction. Kanneh presents designated readings of a variety of literary texts, together with novels by means of: * Toni Morrison * Alice Walker * Gloria Naylor * Ngugi Wa Thiong'o * Chinua Achebe * and V.S. Naipaul. For an individual attracted to literature, background, anthropology, political writing, feminist or cultural research, this e-book opens up new components of suggestion throughout disciplines.

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

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In a passionate staging of the voice, which announces a continuous arrival to the ‘moment which endures’ (p. 177), the metaphors within the text are sustained. The move away from crushing objectivity, spiritual confinement and the time-lag between written and oral expression involves a re-entry into the values and the reality of death. Death emerges as a celebrative instance, promising the only resolution to the pain of ambiguity, but, in its reconciliation of self with the heart of Being, it is an annihilation.

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. If there is a critical debate within and about literature, Africa has been denied an equal platform in order to participate on its own cultural, hence linguistic terms. Ngugi disallows the debate to fall into a long lament for an African past before Europe and insists instead that Africa take its place alongside (rather than behind) Europe in a fair exchange of cultural gifts.

That is the way we have to learn to live now. (pp. 112–13) This ‘learning to live’ within the narrative of modernity is achieved through a learning to read the other through the language of history. De Certeau’s analysis of the writing of history is directly relevant to this objectification of an other’s reality, to be absorbed as raw material into historical and ethnographic discourse: Modern medicine and historiography are born almost simultaneously from the rift betwen a subject that is supposedly literate, and an object that is supposedly written in an unknown language.

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


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