African Intimacies: Race, Homosexuality, And Globalization
There have been few book-length engagements with the question of sexuality in Africa, let alone African homosexuality. African Intimacies simultaneously responds to the public debate on the “Africanness” of homosexuality and interrogates the meaningfulness of the terms “sexuality” and “homosexuality” outside Euro-American discourse. Speculating on cultural practices interpreted by missionaries as sodomy and resistance to colonialism, Neville Hoad begins by analyzing the 1886 Bugandan martyrs incident—the execution of thirty men in the royal court. Then, in a series of close readings, he addresses questions of race, sex, and globalization in the 1965 Wole Soyinka novel The Interpreters, examines the emblematic 1998 Lambeth conference of Anglican bishops, considers the imperial legacy in depictions of the HIV/AIDS crisis, and reveals how South African writer Phaswane Mpe’s contemporary novel Welcome to Our Hillbrow problematizes notions of African identity and cosmopolitanism. Hoad’s assessment of the historical valence of homosexuality in Africa shows how the category has served a key role in a larger story, one in which sexuality has been made in line with a vision of white Western truth, limiting an understanding of intimacy that could imagine an African universalism. Neville Hoad is assistant professor of English at the University of Texas, Austin.
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activists African American African bishops African culture African sexuality AIDS anticolonial apartheid archive argues authenticity body Buganda chapter Christian claim colonial context corporeal intimacies cosmopolitanism critique debates decolonization desire discourse disease Egbo Egbo’s embodiment emergent Erinle European fantasy forms gay and lesbian gay human rights gay identity gender global heterosexual Hillbrow HIV/AIDS HIV/AIDS pandemic homophobia homosexuality Ibid imagined imperialism invoked Joe Golder kabaka Kola Kola’s Lambeth Conference Lauren Berlant legacy lesbian lesbian and gay liberation makwerekwere male marks masculinity missionaries modern Mpe’s Mwanga Namibia narrative neoliberal Nigeria norms novel political postcolonial President Mbeki problem queer questions race racial racism reading Refentse Refentse’s Refilwe relation representations rhetoric rights in Southern Sagoe same-sex Sarah Bartmann sexual norms sexual orientation social sodomy South African Southern Africa Soyinka speech struggle suggest Thabo Mbeki Thoonen tion Tiragalong tradition transnational Western White Man’s women Yoruba Zimbabwe