At Boydell and Brewer we are passionate about our African Studies lists. Therefore, our titles fall under different series, all which are unique and celebrate the different types of work and writing on Africa.
African Articulations produces titles based on cutting-edge research into Africa’s cultural texts and practices. The series builds on articulations as a type of cultural connection, with clearly voiced arguments and dynamic social encounters.
African Articulations opens up innovative perspectives on the richness of African locations and networks. It provides indispensable resources for students and teachers of contemporary culture. Let’s dive into the 6 very different titles that so far make up this refined series:
Achebe and Friends at Umuahia
The Making of a Literary Elite
Winner of the Asauk Fage & Oliver Prize 2016!
The author meticulously contextualises the experiences of Achebe and his peers as students at the Government College Umuahia. This publication maps the literary awakening of the young intellectuals who became known as Nigeria’s “first-generation” of postcolonial writers: Chinua Achebe, Elechi Amadi, Chike Momah, Christopher Okigbo, Chukwuemeka Ike, Gabriel Okara, Ken Saro-Wiwa and I.C. Aniebo. The author provides fresh perspectives on Postcolonial and World literary processes, colonial education in British Africa, literary representations of colonialism and Chinua Achebe’s seminal position in African literature. She demonstrates how each of the writers used this very particular education to shape their own visions of the world and examines the implications for African literature as a whole.
A Death Retold in Truth and Rumour
Kenya, Britain and the Julie Ward Murder
A British tourist and wildlife photographer went missing in Kenya in 1988 and was later found to have been murdered. Her death and the protracted search for her killers, still at large, was hotly contested in the media. Many theories emerged as to how and why she died, generating three trials, several “true crime” books, and much speculation and rumour. Musila’s study asks the following questions: why would Julie Ann Ward’s death be the subject of such strong and multiple contestations? And what does this reveal about cultural productions of truth and knowledge in Kenya and Britain, particularly in the light of the responses to her disappearance of the Kenyan police, the British Foreign Office, and the British High Commission in Nairobi.
Jazz, Fiction and Francophone Africa
Pim Higginson draws on race theory, aesthetics, cultural studies, musicology, and postcolonial studies to examine how jazz became in France what the author calls a ‘racial score.’ Simultaneously an archive and script that has had far-reaching effects on the French avant-garde and on 20th and 21st century Francophone African writers and filmmakers for whom the idea of their own essential musicality represents an epistemological conundrum. Despite this obstacle, because of jazz’s profound importance to diaspora aesthetics, as well as its crucial role in the French imaginary, many African writers have chosen to make it a structuring principle of their literary projects. How and why, Pim Higginson asks, do these writers and filmmakers approach jazz despite its participation in and formalization of a particularly problematic kind of difference?
Writing Spatiality in West Africa
Colonial Legacies in the Anglophone/Francophone Novel
Madhu Krishnan examines some key texts in Anglophone and Francophone West African fiction through the innovative angle of the colonial legacies of space and how these were manifested differently under French and British systems. She argues that such divisions of geographical and ideological space continue and are still a source of conflict, from separatist struggles to the conflict over uneven distribution of resources, to the annexation of African territories and the particular trading relationships of global capitalism. Drawing out the relationships between spatial planning (such as colonial powers’ enforcing of borders through cities as well as through larger territories) and the literary expression which emerged from these contexts in the postcolonial age, Krishnan generates novel readings of canonical West African texts as well as analyses of material from Francophone sources which have been under-researched.
Written Under the Skin
Blood and Intergenerational Memory in South Africa
Forgiveness and reconciliation have provided dominant ways of understanding South African literature and art, as have notions of emergence and the ‘born-free’ status of those born after the dramatic changes of the political transition. In this book, the author argues that a younger generation of South Africans is developing innovative ways of thinking about South Africa’s past that challenge the dominance of skin, and that instead acknowledge intergenerational transfer and continuity, rather than insist that everything has changed. The chapters each concern blood in some form: dealing with Mandela’s prison cell as laboratory for creating bloodless freedom; the kinship relations created and resisted in accounts of mass murderer Eugene de Kock; Ruth First’s prison accounts; the first human-to-human heart transplant and racialized medicine; the artists and activists of the #Fallist movement, and Abantu book festival. Blood is used as a trope for talking about change.
Experiments with Truth
Narrative Non-Fiction and the Coming of Democracy in South Africa
Over the last decades, South Africa has seen an outpouring of life-writing and narrative non-fiction. These authors have produced compelling and often controversial bodies of work, exploring the country’s ongoing political and social transition with great ambition, texture and risk. This work is the first book-length account of the new non-fiction in South Africa. It traces the strange and ethically complex process by which real people, places and events are shuffled, patterned and plotted in long-form prose narratives. It is increasingly drawn to non-fictional works that engage with difficult, inappropriate or unusable pasts – and with the unfinished project of social justice and reconstruction in South Africa. In doing so, it places these materials in a context, and in dialogue with other important non-fictional traditions that have emerged at moments of social rupture and transition.