African Intimacies: Race, Homosexuality, and Globalization

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U of Minnesota Press, 2007 - Social Science - 187 pages
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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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Contents

African Sodomy in the Missionary Position Corporeal Intimacies and Signifying Regimes
1
Decolonizing the Body The African and African American in Wole Soyinkas The Interpreters
21
Neoliberalism and the Church The World Conference of Anglican Bishops
48
White Mans Burden White Mans Disease Tracking Lesbian and Gay Human Rights
68
The Intellectual the Archive and the Pandemic Thabo Mbekis AIDS Blues
90
An Elegy for African Cosmopolitanism Phaswane Mpes Welcome to Our Hillbrow
113
Notes
127
Bibliography
165
Index
179
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