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October 05 , 2008

Africa, Cultural Studies and Difference


Cultural Studies has evolved and continues to evolve primarily along regional lines. However uncomfortable this might be, the genie of British cultural studies cannot be returned to the bottle of history. Thus, national versions of cultural studies have arisen in a few African countries. This book engages two critical and seemingly contradictory tasks: i) to contribute to the development of cultural studies from the perspectives of African experiences and indigenous frames of reference; and ii) to examine these in terms of transnational trajectories of the field in ways that do not reduce them to one or other context. Much cultural studies remains concerned with Texts, often disconnected from their contexts. For the authors published here, the contexts include African philosophies, cosmologies and ontologies. It includes the writings of both residential natives and those who have re-located to the diaspora, a spread that opens conversations with international approaches that both include and exclude African experiences and work. This anthology juxtaposes many different kinds of cultural studies done in different parts of the world as a means of creating a global dialogue around the signifier of ‘Africa’. This book was published as a special issue of Cultural Studies.

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