Journal of the African Literature Association

Articles

Vol. 9, No. 1, Summer-Spring

Introduction
This Special Issue of JALA: Teaching Human Rights and Violence and in African Literature is of great importance to the Teaching and Research Committee of the African Literature Association. For several years, the Committee has sought to publish a volume...
Read preview Overview
An Exploration of Human Rights in the Postcolonial Text: "The Conspiracy " by Henri Lopes
My purpose here is to show how the teaching of human rights can be integrated into the literature classroom through the teaching of well-chosen postcolonial texts. I have used this particular unit with both French classes and classes on African literature...
Read preview Overview
African Children in the American Classroom: The WebQuest as a Pedagogical Tool
Narratives from Africa about the horrific human rights violations experienced by children are now numerous enough to constitute almost a literary sub-genre. In my graduate and undergraduate level teaching at Saint Louis University over the last five...
Read preview Overview
L'enseignement De la Littérature Africaine Dans Les Universités: Pour Quelle Nécessité ?
IntroductIonDans notre étude, nous allons nous préoccuper de souligner l'importance que revêt l'enseignement de la littérature africaine dans les institutions supérieures et universitaires de nos jours. Au regard de l'aspect évolutif des sociétés, de...
Read preview Overview
L'enseignement Du Colonialisme À Travers Les Cinémas Français et Francophone 1
Il y a quelques années, la popularité de films tels que Indochine, La Rue Cases-Nègres et Chocolat dans mon département m'a conduit à créer un cours avec pour sujet le colonialisme/la colonisation français/e. Je pouvais compter sur leur capital d'estime...
Read preview Overview
Violence et Conflits Des Altérités Chez Ken Bugul et Werewere Liking
Le thème de la violence est au coeur des débats littéraires africains. Il se définit comme l'usage de la force physique ou morale. Dès lors, il renvoie à un abus de pouvoir qui intimide l'autre et le prive de sa liberté. On peut aussi le définir comme...
Read preview Overview
In Conversation with Tess Osonye Onwueme
Tess Osonye Onwueme is the Professor of Global Letters at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She is currently working on a large archival project on her works with the University. A celebration of the opening of the collection took place on October...
Read preview Overview
Micere Mugo's Conversation with Naana Banyiwa Horne
Micere Mugo, a prominent Kenyan poet, playwright and theorist, explores themes of cultural identity, literary heritage, feminism, and colonialism and its effects. Her works also express her concern for the future of African people and their literary...
Read preview Overview
Interview of Lewis Nkosi on Alan Paton by Ngwarsungu Chiwengo, with the Participation of Maureen Eke, Debra Boyd, and Famisha Brown
Lewis Nkosi, born December 05, 1936, in Durban, South Africa, is a South African writer and essayist. He has written numerous essays on apartheid and the racist South African State. He worked for a newspaper in Johannesburg, the magazine Ilanga Lase...
Read preview Overview
Jean Michele Kibushi Ndjate Wooto, Cinéaste Congolais et le Film D'animation Africain et Congolais: Une Interview
IntroductionDepuis quelques années, le cinéma africain bénéficie d'un regain d'intérêt auprès du public occidental à travers de rares oeuvres parvenant à se frayer un chemin dans les méandres de la distribution. Le cinéma africain est victime de sa faiblesse...
Read preview Overview
A Bibliography of Critical and Related Works on Selected Black South African Writers, Published in Southern Africa, 2000-2013
The following bibliography comprises a selection of recent sources from southern African print publications, all published between 2000 and 2013, on the following seven prominent black South African authors: Peter Abrahams, Dennis Brutus, Bessie Head,...
Read preview Overview
Demystifying the Unfamiliar: Competing Discourses and the Pedagogy of Agency in Things Fall Apart and Poems from Sierra Leone
Teaching African literature in the American classroom is a complex task, one that poses a number of challenges theoretically and pedagogically but is nonetheless rewarding, enriching and instructive. As a Post-colonialist teaching Global literature in...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 8, No. 2, Winter/Spring

Introduction
When it was founded, in1974, the African Literature Association (ALA) set out expressly to advance the cause of liberation in Africa and the Diaspora. At that time, South Africa was still in the grips of the apartheid regime (which also controlled Namibia),...
Read preview Overview
Tributes to Chinua Achebe, 1930-2013: ALA Annual Conference, College of Charleston, 2013
A Tribute: Once More for Chinua Achebe!NANA AYEBIA CLARKEAYEBIA CLARKE PUBLISHING, OXFORDSHIRE, ENGLANDThe news of Chinua Achebe's death in the US on the morning of 22nd March 2013, in the middle of the 39th Annual African Literature Association (ALA)...
Read preview Overview
Tributes to Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)
Remembering MandelaGABEBA BADEROONPENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITYFrom 1964 to 1990, for 27 of his 95 years, Nelson Mandela was erased from public life when he was found guilty of charges brought by the apartheid government and sentenced to life in prison....
Read preview Overview
Lamine Senghor's la Violation D'un Pays as a Precursor to Cultural Nationalism
Having experienced the injustice of imperialism first-hand while serving as a tirailleur sénégalais in the French army during World War I, Lamine Senghor sought to defend the cause of all colonized people, and called for them to rise up against their...
Read preview Overview
The Interplay of Fiction and International Law in Aminatta Forna's the Memory of Love
Since the seventies and the publication of James Boyd White's The Legal Imagination, the interdisciplinary study of literature and law has come to be widely featured in law school curricula around the globe and has fostered an interesting body of academic...
Read preview Overview
Liberation and Commodification of a Postcolonial Author: The Case of Alain Mabanckou: Mabanckou's Road to Fame
In The World Republic of Letters, Casanova states:In the literary world, domination is not exerted in an unequivocal way. Because hierarchical structure is not linear, it cannot be described in terms of a simple model of a single centralized dominant...
Read preview Overview
How Liberation, Literature, and the Law Contributed to the "Making" of Soraya M. from Algeria: The March from Decolonization to Self-Actualization
Good evening. Please know that my presidential address is dedicated to, and in memory of, my paternal grandmother Meriem, who, although illiterate, knew about matters of life and death, oppression and resistance; and to Chinua Achebe, whose life and...
Read preview Overview
Soft Vengeance
The three L's: Literature, Liberation, Law. I'm going to add a fourth L. OK-and a fifth L: Love and Life. I'm going to tell you a story about a story about a story. And just to give you a little advance notice, there will be two diversions in my presentation...
Read preview Overview
Rights and Wrongs of Black Performers in Nineteenth-Century Britain
Parliament's passage of the Emancipation Act of 1833 was the culmination of a movement to abolish slavery throughout Britain and its territories overseas, but there had been a number of legal precedents set in English courts earlier that had already...
Read preview Overview
The Everydayness of Physical Brutality and Psychological Violence in Dambudzo Marechera's House of Hunger
The colonist sector, or at least the 'native' quarters, the shanty town, the Medina, the reservation, is a disreputable place inhabited by disreputable people. You are born anywhere, anyhow. You die anywhere, from anything. It's a world with no space,...
Read preview Overview
Oraliture as Liberation Literature: An Examination of Tiv Music and Folklore as Instruments of Liberation in Colonial Africa
Given the political and colonial history of Africa, resistance has been a consistent component in Africa's quest for political emancipation and development. Decolonization began with the nationalist movements in various regions of Africa and is still...
Read preview Overview
"The Story That Cannot Be Told Must Not-Tell Itself": The Contemporary Slave Narratives of NourbeSe Philip, and Fred D'Aguiar
Coining the term "neo-slave narrative," Bernard Bell defines contemporary slave narratives as "residually oral, modern narratives of escape from bondage to freedom" (289). Similarly, Deborah McDowell, while limiting her discussion to African-American...
Read preview Overview
Sub-Saharan Literatures and the Conquest of the Self
(A keynote lecture delivered at the African Literature Association in Charleston, South Carolina, March 2013. Translation by Jeanne Garane, University of South Carolina.)I came here to be for all and with all, and what I do today in my solitude will...
Read preview Overview
City Limits: Possibilities beyond Violence in Abdoulaye Sadji's Maímouna and Nini 1
Abdoulaye Sadji's theme of a naive young woman falling prey to the malignant forces of the big city follows his writing through two novels, both published in the mid-1950's and both focusing on the period of French colonialism in Senegal during the decades...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 7, No. 2, Winter

Focus on Nigeria: Literature and Culture
Review: Focus on Nigeria: Literature and Culture. Gordon Collier, ed. Matatu - Journal for African Culture and Society: 40. (Amsterdam and NewYork: Rodopi. 2012) HB: 142$Focus on Nigeria, a collection of thirty articles edited by Gordon Collier, is Matatu's...
Read preview Overview
Review Essay on Selected Contemporary Sierra Leonean Fiction: Family Affairs/So the Path Does Not Die/A Tale of Three Women
Review Essay on Selected Contemporary Sierra Leonean Fiction: J. Sorie Conteh. Family Affairs. Freetown: Sierra Leonean Writers Series/Africa Future Publishers, 2011. 288 pp. ISBN 978-9988-1-3984-1 Pede Hollist. So the Path Does Not Die. Bamenda: Langaa...
Read preview Overview
Liberation as an Instrument of Self-Aggrandizement: The Nigerian "Revolutionary Masquerades" in Achebe's There Was a Country and Selected Nigerian Works of Fiction
INTRODUCTIONWe will begin this discourse by evincing the contextual meaning of the metaphorical creation of "revolutionary masquerades." Being a significant phenomenon in the Igbo cosmology, the masquerade can be used in many ways to interpret the world....
Read preview Overview
Of Africa
Review: Of Africa. Wole Soyinka (Yale University Press: New Haven and London , 2012) HB $24 and PB $16. 199 pp."A truly illuminating exploration of Africa," suggests Wole Soyinka in the preface of his new book, Of Africa, "has yet to take place." Soyinka...
Read preview Overview
Do We Still Have Postcolonialism?1
About a year ago Biodun Jeyifo told me of a conversation he had with one of his Ph.D. students. She had come to his office in a panic, informing him that her advisor had told her that retaining postcolonialism in her project would only hinder her job...
Read preview Overview
In Search of the Divide between the Local and the Global
Conventionally, the local and the global are understood to be distinct cultural spaces. While the local is considered as a unitary site, and thus the location of home, the global is regarded as the other. However, in this era of globalization, it has...
Read preview Overview
"Stop Acting Black!": Black Conscious (Racial) Identities in Coconut
Whenever Ofilwe, a black character in the novel Coconut, and her family are told by white customers at restaurants, shopping malls, and other public spaces to stop acting black, Ofilwe in particular becomes perplexed by what it means to act black. She...
Read preview Overview
Performance and Social Construction of Historical Tradition: Memories of Vulnerable Ancestors
The Jie people, who live in Najie in central Karamoja Plateau in northern Uganda speak a dialect of Nilotic languages. The Jie numbered about 60,000, most of who live within the borders of Najie, which has an area of approximately 1,300 square miles....
Read preview Overview
Living in Subalternity: The Becoming of the Subaltern in Bessie Head's A Woman Alone, A Gesture of Belonging, and When Rain Clouds Gather
If I had to write one day I would just like to say people is people and not damn white, damn black ... Make them real. Make you love them not because of the color of their skin but because they are important as human beings. - Bessie HeadSouth African...
Read preview Overview
There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra
Review: Chinua Achebe. There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra. New York: Penguin Books, Ltd., 2012. Xvi+333 pp. Appendix, Notes, Index. $27:95, Cloth.In an article he published in 1978, titled "Chinua Achebe," Michael Echeruo predicted that...
Read preview Overview
The Politics of Power and the Struggle for Self-Assertion: Tess Onwueme's the Reign of Wazobia; Akachi Adimora- Ezeigbo's Hands That Crush Stone; and Julie Okoh's Edewede
All over the world, women have always fought against their oppression, degradation and subjugation. These are all reflected in the works of such African female writers as Buchi Emecheta, Nawal El Saadawi, Flora Nwapa, Mariama Ba, Micere Mugo, Ifeoma...
Read preview Overview
Nawal El Saadawi and the Female Predicament: A Study of Woman at Point Zero
Woman At Point Zero, by the Egyptian Nawal El Saadawi, fully deserves its reputation as one of the most forceful presentations in African literature of the oppression of womanhood by an unfair patriarchal society. Of course, this novel, like those of...
Read preview Overview
WaWa-West Africa: A Coming of Age Memoir
Review: WaWa-West Africa: A Coming of Age Memoir. William Coughlan. (Bloomington, IN: Balboa Press, 2011) HB $28.95 and PB $13.95. pp 156.WaWa West by William Coughlan is a colorful and lively rendering of an American boy's early life in colonial Ghana...
Read preview Overview
Zimbabwe Fiction - Signs of a Rebound: Harare North/An Elegy for Easterly
Review: Zimbabwe Fiction - Signs of a Rebound Harare North, Brian Chikwava (Great Britain, UK: Random House, 2009) PB $16.95. 234 pp. An Elegy for Easterly, Petina Gappah (New York, NY: Faber and Faber, 2009) PB $14. 240 pp.Recently there have been tentative...
Read preview Overview
AKÍNWÙMÍ ÌSÒLÁ : "Respite at the Farm" (Excerpt from the Novel, Ogún Omodé, Chapter Two)
One of the most delightful, cherished seasons on the farm is the dry season, when everything around is imbued with a special kind of quiescence - no roadways made muddy by soppy dewdrops. No chilly weather, no noisy mosquitoes to contend with, at least...
Read preview Overview
Aimé Césaire's African Theater: Of Poets, Prophets and Politicians
Review: Aimé Césaire's African Theater: Of Poets, Prophets and Politicians, Femi Ojo-Ade. (Trenton, New Jersey: Africa World Press, 2010) $34.95. Pp. 362.This preeminent in-depth study on Aimé Césaire's theater foregrounds the Africanity of the four...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 6, No. 2, Winter

Traditions, Trajectories and Transformative Migrations: The Multifarious Diasporic Contextualities of Nair, Nazareth and Vassanji's Fictions
The fictions of Moyez G.Vassanji, Mira Nair and Peter Nazareth represent a crucial commodity. These two writers and one filmmaker's works are manifestly utilitarian in our attempt as literary scholars and citizens of the world to understand what is meant...
Read preview Overview
Suspending Disbelief and Rational Choice in Asungushe Kayombo's the Best Is Yet to Come
Asungushe Kayombo's 2010, The Best is Yet to Come, by E & D Vision Publishing Limited in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania has justifiably won the 2010 Burt Award for African Literature. The Burt Award for African Literature, awarded on behalf of the Canadian...
Read preview Overview
From Cultural Hybridization to Ecological Degradation:The Forest in Chinua Achebe's Things Falls Apart and Ben Okri's the Famished Road
Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart (1958) has been regarded as a precursor to African literature that influences African writers of later generations like Ben Okri. This is not because Things Fall Apart is the first published African novel but because...
Read preview Overview
African Literary Aesthetics: Continuity and Change
In literary discourse, one reads about poetic aesthetics very often but not much about literary aesthetics, especially when it concerns African literature. The aesthetics of the different genres tend to be isolated and discussed separately; hence poetic...
Read preview Overview
The Nobel Laureates in Literature of the African Diaspora
IntroductionThis paper will discuss the similarities in insights and observations of the Nobel Laureates in Literature of the English-speaking African Diaspora who were conferred the prize in the last two decades of the twentieth century. The material...
Read preview Overview
Utopianism and the Quest Motif in Ben Okri
INTRODUCTIONBen Okri's aesthetic fervor evidenced in the weird cornucopia of the mythic and the real in his works is impelled by a larger-than-life vision of a Utopia in which man is untrammeled by any form of bondage, social and political, physical...
Read preview Overview
African American Women's Nineteenth Century Public (Vocal) and Private (Text) Voice
This paper will provide important readings of African American women's nineteenth century documented use of their voices in public, social settings and in literary narratives. Throughout the nineteenth century, many African American women regarded public...
Read preview Overview
Shadows of Development in the New Poetry of the Niger Delta
Sprawling the southern extremity of Nigeria in the west coast of Africa is a mass of wetlands lacerated by tortuous rivers and creeks. It is the Niger Delta. With an area of about 70,000 square kilometres, it boasts "the 3rd largest contiguous mangrove...
Read preview Overview
Fela's Rebel Afrobeat: A Pedagogical Perspective
IntroductionNigerian maverick songwriter, Fela Anikulapo Kuti (formerly Fela Ransome Kuti) used his rebel brand of music-Afrobeat-to articulate his ideas about black consciousness, social justice and respect for human rights. Instead of becoming a pawn...
Read preview Overview
Feminist Perspectives and Intra-Gender Conflict in Tess Onwueme's Tell It to Women
INTRODUCTIONFeminism has over the years foregrounded a system of ideas and theories that pay particular attention to women's rights especially as these affect their place in culture and society. As an umbrella ideological concept, it designates the point...
Read preview Overview
In Conversation with HAILE GERIMA
Baker CenterOhio UniversityAthens, OhioThursday, April 14th 2011The following interview with the celebrated filmmaker Haile Gerima took place during the 37th Annual Conference of the African Literature Association. He was asked to speak about his involvement...
Read preview Overview
Three
TELLING STORIES: Akínwùmí Ìsòlá 1 in Translation "School Resumes"2 Being an English Translation of Ogún Omodé From the YorùbáSchool ResumesThe school bell commenced ringing again one Monday morning, its tortuous peals signaling the end of our school...
Read preview Overview
The Road Trip of 1975: How Far We Have Come, How Close to Austin We Remain
In March of 1975, perhaps four or five of us students from U Wisconsin- Madison climbed into a station wagon, rented for us from the UW car pool by the Department of African Languages and Literatures, and traveled south toward the sun in Austin, Texas.We...
Read preview Overview
This I Remember
I was fortunate indeed to be present at the inaugural meeting of the African Literature Association in Austin, Texas in the spring of 1975. I remember it was a cold spring in New Hampshire so going to Texas was a double blessing! I remember that visiting...
Read preview Overview
Ta'rikh Al-Fattash: The Timbuktu Chronicles 1493-1599
Review: Mahmud Kati, Ta'rikh al-fattash: The Timbuktu Chronicles 1493- 1599. Trenton, New Jersey: Africa World Press, 2011, Pp. 320. Cloth $35.At long last one of the major surviving texts of the Songhay Empire, Tarikh al-fattash, has been published...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 7, No. 1, Summer

Obierika's Children at Work and Play: Rethinking African Literary Studies in the 21st Century: ALA Presidential Address 2012
Good evening, Mr. President and members of the ALA Executive Council! A big ALA welcome to our distinguished guests, colleagues and friends of the African Literature Association. First, I would like to thank you for the honor of serving as the next President...
Read preview Overview
Shame as A Structure of Feeling: Raped and Prostituted Women in J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace and Futhi Ntshingila's Shameless
If colonialism and apartheid shaped the masculinities of the past, the transition to democracy in South Africa in the 1990s has had the effect of unsettling and unseating entrenched masculinities: masculinities which were, in the main, patriarchal, authoritarian...
Read preview Overview
Wole Soyinka: Dance Master of Appetite
Wole Soyinka is a master of the chameleon. He has shifted shapes so often from poetry to drama to fiction, and from comedy to tragedy and back again, that it is no wonder he has confused and sometimes upset critics and readers. His early work was at...
Read preview Overview
Crying as We Laugh1: Writing Human Rights in Wahome Mutahi's Prison Memoirs
AbstractIt is clear to me that an African creative writer who tries to avoid the big social and political issues of the contemporary Africa will end up being completely irrelevant like that absurd man in the proverb who leaves his house burning to pursue...
Read preview Overview
René Maran, Forgotten Father of the Francophone Novel
In 2010, Susan Rubin Suleiman and Christie McDonald co-edited an impressive collection of essays entitled French Global: A New Approach to Literary History. In their book, Suleiman and McDonald envisioned "an approach to literary history, as defined...
Read preview Overview
Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't: Victimhood and Agency in the Works of Ama Ata Aidoo
Ama Ata Aidoo has made a remarkable contribution to African literature as a pioneering and outspoken voice for women. Her role as playwright, poet, novelist and scholar has propelled her into the forefront of African feminist creativity to uplift the...
Read preview Overview
(Re)Constructing Masculinity and Femininity in African War Narratives : The Youth in Chimamanda Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun and Gorretti Kyomuhendo's Waiting: A Novel of Uganda at War
Introduction: The Youth factor in Africa's War: Issues and ChallengesEarly writings on Africa's wars, for the most part, have privileged the adult viewpoint and experience.1 Although the human and economic costs of war in Africa remains understudied,...
Read preview Overview
Creating Transgressive Space in Ezeigbo's the Last of the Strong Ones and Emecheta's Double Yoke
In tliis essay, I undertake a reading of two contemporary Nigerian feminist novels which are somewhat different, yet similar. These novels are Adimora Akachi-Ezeigbo's The Last of the Strong Ones and Buclii Emecheta's Double Yoke. Double Yoke is a novel...
Read preview Overview
Spheres Public and Private: Western Genres in African Literature
The editor of Spheres Public and Private, Gordon Collier, stated quite frankly that the title of the collection is "a supererogatory mask or placeholder" and contends that the "subtitle is tendentious and riskily, Eurocentric; open on all sides to combative...
Read preview Overview
The Uncoiling Python: South African Storytellers and Resistance
Review: The Uncoiling Python: South African Storytellers and Resistance. Harold Scheub. (Athens, Ohio: Ohio U.P, 2010) HB $37.56 and PB $19.96. 228 pp.Scheub's book. The Uncoiling Python: South African Storytellers and Resistance, reveals the history...
Read preview Overview
African Diasporas: Ancestors, Migrations and Boundaries
Review: African Diasporas: Ancestors, Migrations and Boundaries. Robert Cancel and Winifred Woodhull, eds. African Literature Association Annual Series: 14. Ousseynou B. Traore, General Editor. (New Jersey and Eritrea: Africa World Press, Inc. 2008)...
Read preview Overview
Women's Voices from West Africa: An Anthology of Songs from the Sahel
Review: Women's Voices from West Africa: An Anthology of Songs from the Sah el Aissatou G. Sidikou and Thomas A. Hale, eds. (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2012) Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-253-35670-3, 144pp.Women have always had...
Read preview Overview
Bulawayo Burning: The Social History of A Southern African City 1893-1960
Review: Bulawayo Burning: The Social History of A Southern African City 1893-1960, Terence Ranger. by(Rochester, NYA: Boydell & Brewserlnc, 2010) HB $80.00. 272pp.I recently re-read Butterfly Burning by Yvonne Vera that paints such a vibrant picture...
Read preview Overview
African-American Theatrical Body: Reception, Performance and Stage
Review: African-American Theatrical Body: Reception, Performance and Stage. Soyica Diggs Colbert, ed. (Cambridge University Press: New York. 2011) $99.00. 334pp.In the. [ frican-, imericon Theatrical Body, Soyica Diggs Colbert argues that the history...
Read preview Overview
Emerging Perspectives on Nawal El Saadawi
Review: Emerging Perspectives on Nawal El Saadawi. Ernest N. Emenyonu and Maureen N. Eke, eds. (Africa World Press: Trenton. NJ. 2010) PB $34.95. 288pp.Emerging Perspectives on Nawal El Saadawi is an anthology introducing, investigating and interpreting...
Read preview Overview
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.