Posts under tag: Africa
Analyzes parallel developments in post–Cold War literature and film from Cuba and Angola to trace a shared history of revolutionary enthusiasm, disappointment, and solidarity.
In Forms of Disappointment, Lanie Millar traces the legacies of anti-imperial solidarity in Cuban and Angolan novels and films after 1989. Cuba’s intervention in Angola’s post-independence civil war from 1976 to 1991 was its longest and most engaged internationalist project and left a profound mark on the culture of both nations. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Millar argues, Cuban and Angolan writers and filmmakers responded to this collective history and adapted to new postsocialist realities in analogous ways, developing what she characterizes as works of disappointment. Revamping and riffing on earlier texts and forms of revolutionary enthusiasm, works of disappointment lay bare the aesthetic and political fragmentation of the public sphere while continuing to register the promise of leftist political projects. Pushing past the binaries that tend to dominate histories of the Cold War and its aftermath, Millar gives priority to the perspectives of artists in the Global South, illuminating networks of anticolonial and racial solidarity and showing how their works not only reflect shared feelings of disappointment but also call for ethical gestures of empathy and reconciliation.
“Forms of Disappointment offers an insightful and unique comparative analysis of a body of works produced in the post–Cold War period. By focusing on the Global South, instead of the customary north-south relationship favored by Cuba experts, the book contributes significantly to the fields of Cuban, African, and Latin American Studies; and more broadly to ‘affect theory’ and postcolonial studies. It is remarkably well written with elegant and clear prose.” — Marta Hernández Salván, author of Mínima Cuba: Heretical Poetics and Power in Post-Soviet Cuba
Ramon Fonkoue (RL PhD, 2009) has published Nation Without Narration: History, Memory and Identity in Postcolonial Cameroon
*This book is part of the Cambria African Studies Series, headed by headed by Professor Toyin Falola (University of Texas at Austin) and Professor Moses Ochonu (Vanderbilt University).
The 2010 decade marked the 50th anniversary of decolonization and independence across the African continent. Cameroonians celebrated in chorus and pomp the historical threshold, but the memory of Cameroon’s historical resistance to colonial rule continues to remain unsettled. The silence on its troubled recent past and the lack of reflection on the role of collective memory and history in nation building are puzzling. Moreover, no rigorous assessment of the road traveled since independence has taken place. The nation-state on the continent emerged in a particular context, which saw the euphoria of independence dashed by “developmentalism,” a conception of nation building that was repressive, both in the intellectual and the political sense. As a result, the elites of independent Cameroon negated the legacy of the struggles that led to the end of colonial occupation, setting the country on a forced march toward progress and modernity. The discourse, praxis and outcomes of this approach to nation building are the focus of this study.
This book traces the roots of the current turmoil and sheds light on overlooked factors impacting nation building in post-colonial Cameroon. It demonstrates the urgency of cross-disciplinary work on African societies and the continued relevance of postcolonial criticism as a theoretical framework. It extends the postcolonial critique inaugurated by Homi Bhabha’s Nation and Narration into twenty-first-century sub-Saharan Africa. It also reframes the question of modernity and development in this context, suggesting an approach with bearing on people’s lived experience. This study draws from a diversity of fields—political science, literature, history, cultural studies, and postcolonial studies—to demonstrate the limitations of a philosophy of nation building that turned into state consolidation. It is a timely study on Cameroon’s currently volatile situation that is applicable to other postcolonial contexts, in Africa and elsewhere.
Nation Without Narration is an important book for students and scholars in African studies and history, as well as governmental and nongovernmental organizations involved with Africa.
On May 15th and 16th, U Michigan Professor Frieda Ekotto visited the UO and gave a talk titled “Reading Aimé Césaire in the
Professor Ekotto generously gave us a copy of her latest project, a 90 min. documentary film Vibrancy of Silence: A Discussion with My Sisters, produced and filmed by Professor Ekotto and Marthe Djilo Kamga, which highlights the creative achievements of six Sub-Saharan African women in various intellectual and artistic fields (in French with English subtitles).
Stay tuned for a screening in the fall!