African Visions: Literary Images, Political Change, and Social Struggle in Contemporary Africa
The complexity of African society entering the 21st century necessitates an interdisciplinary examination of Africa's political, social, and cultural developments and challenges. Focusing on Social Movements and Literature, Social Change and Culture, the book brings together a wide range of essays by committed scholars, writers, and activists concerned with progressive approaches to Africa's dilemmas. Beginning with an overview by anthropologist Cheryl Mwaria, African Visions addresses such issues as structural adjustments, religious freedom, human rights, democratization, educational movements, and health care. Particular analyses consider intellectual property, student activism, and the AIDS epidemic. Mwaria, Federici, and McLaren also explore the way social and cultural questions have been treated in literary works and theoretical studies dealing with hybridity, sexual politics, literacy, socialist orientations, and language. Noted literary scholars Odun Balogun and Alamin Mazrui consider aspects of these issues.The collection also examines trends in literature, publishing, and theater in such countries as Algeria, Niger, Nigeria, and South Africa in relation to themes such as gender, popular culture, African novels, and protest. Highlighting articles by two of Africa's leading activist/writers Dennis Brutus of South Africa, stressing regional cooperation, and Ngugi wa Thiong'o of Kenya, advocating African languages, African Visions avoids the pessimism associated with numerous 20th century studies. Brutus and Ngugi consider the economic and cultural effects of globalization and the necessity for promoting self-determination. An essential resource for all scholars and students concerned with contemporary African life and culture.