Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o: Globalectics: Theory and the Politics of Knowing (2012)

22 April 2017, dusan

“A masterful writer working in many genres, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o entered the East African literary scene in 1962 with the performance of his first major play, The Black Hermit, at the National Theatre in Uganda. In 1977 he was imprisoned after his most controversial work, Ngaahika Ndeenda (I Will Marry When I Want), produced in Nairobi, sharply criticized the injustices of Kenyan society and unequivocally championed the causes of ordinary citizens. Following his release, Ngũgĩ decided to write only in his native Gikuyu, communicating with Kenyans in one of the many languages of their daily lives, and today he is known as one of the most outspoken intellectuals working in postcolonial theory and the global postcolonial movement.

In this volume, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o summarizes and develops a cross-section of the issues he has grappled with in his work, which deploys a strategy of imagery, language, folklore, and character to ‘decolonize the mind.’ Ngũgĩ confronts the politics of language in African writing; the problem of linguistic imperialism and literature’s ability to resist it; the difficult balance between orality, or ‘orature’, and writing, or ‘literature’; the tension between national and world literature; and the role of the literary curriculum in both reaffirming and undermining the dominance of the Western canon. Throughout, he engages a range of philosophers and theorists writing on power and postcolonial creativity, including Hegel, Marx, Lévi-Strauss, and Aimé Césaire. Yet his explorations remain grounded in his own experiences with literature (and orature) and reworks the difficult dialectics of theory into richly evocative prose.”

Publisher Columbia University Press, New York, 2012
Wellek Library Lectures in Critical Theory series
ISBN 9780231159500, 0231159501
xi+104 pages

Reviews: Publishers Weekly (2011), Corbin Treacy (Transnational Lit, 2012), Danson Kahyana (Slip, 2012), Geoff Wisner (Words Without Borders, 2012), M.A. Orthofer (Complete Rev, 2012), Jenna N. Hanchey (E3W Rev of Books, 2013), Devin Zane Shaw (Society+Space, 2013), Magalí Armillas-Tiseyra (E-Misférica, 2014), Oliver Lovesey (Cambridge J Postcolonial Lit Inquiry, 2014), Ndiritu Wahome (2016).

Publisher
WorldCat

HTML

V.Y. Mudimbe: The Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy, and the Order of Knowledge (1988) [EN, PT]

27 September 2016, dusan

“In this unique and provocative book, Zairean philosopher and writer V. Y. Mudimbe addresses the multiple scholarly discourses that exist—African and non-African—concerning the meaning of Africa and being African.”

“Western anthropology and missionaries have introduced distortions not only for outsiders but also for Africans trying to understand themselves. Mudimbe goes beyond the classic issues of African anthropology or history. He says that the book attempts an archeology of African gnosis as a system of knowledge in which major philosophical questions recently have arisen: first, concerning the form, the content, and the style of Africanizing knowledge; second, concerning the status of traditional systems of thought. He is directly concerned with the processes of transformation of different types of knowledge.”

Publisher Indiana University Press, 1988
ISBN 0253331269, 9780253331267
xii+241 pages

Reviews: Christopher Gray (Int’l J of African Hist Studies, 1989), Paul Stoller (Am Anthropologist, 1989), Ladislav Holy (Man, 1989), Steven Feierman (J African Hist, 1991), Amselle Jean-Loup (Cahiers d’études africaines, 1991, FR).
Commentary: Marlene M. Archie (n.d.), Ali A. Mazrui (Research in African Lit, 2005).

Publisher
WorldCat

The Invention of Africa (English, 1988, 31 MB)
A invenção de África (Portuguese, trans. Ana Medeiros, 2013, 71 MB)

Magiciens de la Terre (1989) [French]

21 August 2016, dusan

Catalogue of an exhibition held 18 May-14 August 1989 at the Centre Pompidou and La Grande Halle-La Villette, curated by Jean-Hubert Martin with the assistance of Jan Debbaut, Mark Francis, Jean-Louis Maubant, Aline Luque, André Magnin and Jacques Soulillou.

“An exhibition loved and hated in equal measure, Martin curated the show to address the fact that there were, as he put it, “one hundred percent of exhibitions ignoring 80 percent of the earth.” He attempted to engage critically with certain aspects of neo-colonial mentality in the West, particularly a resurgent interest in ‘primitivism,’ which Martin felt aestheticized exotic cultures without destablilizing western definitions of fine art, modernism, or identity. The exhibition included works by 100 artists (50 from the so called ‘West’ and 50 from the ‘margins’), attempting to show all on equal footing. The success of this attempt is still disputed and discussed in terms of the exhibition history of the past twenty-odd years, but it remains undeniable that the exhibition enacted an important break with some of the conventions of exhibition-making and strictly defined notions of modernism. Exhibited artists included Marina Abramovic, John Baldessari, Mike Chukwukelu, Braco Dimitrijevic, Yongping Huang, Boujemaa Lakhdar, Richard Long, Sigmar Polke, Jangarh Singh Shyam, Ulay, Jeff Wall, Jimmy Wululu, etc. ” (Source)

With essays by Jean-Hubert Martin, Aline Luque, Mark Francis, André Magnin, Pierre Gaudibert, Thomas McEvilley, Homi Bhabha, Jacques Soulillou, Bernard Marcadé.

Publisher Editions du Centre Pompidou, Paris, 1989
ISBN 2858504989, 9782858504985
271 pages
via Gioni

Interview with curator (Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Art in America, 1989, EN)
Reviews: 10 French press reviews (1989), more, list of reviews (1989, 30 pp).
Analysis and commentary: Special issue of Third Text (1989, EN), Thomas McEvilley (1990, EN), Cesare Poppi (engage, 2003, EN), Hal Foster et al (2004/07, EN), Daniel Soutif (2005, FR), Reesa Greenberg (Art Journal, 2005, EN), Maureen Murphy (Critique d’art, 2013, FR/EN), Pablo Lafuente (2013, EN), Annie Cohen-Solal (Stedelijk Studies, 2014, EN), Adam Jasper (AU&NZ Journal of Art, 2014, EN), Julia Friedel (C&, 2016, EN).
Short documentary (1989)
Wikipedia
Pompidou’s 25th anniversary exhibition (2014)
Film retrospective at Tate (2014)

Exhibition website
Press release (FR/EN), Petit journal (FR)
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (168 MB)
ARG