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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Visions of freedom and democracy in postcolonial African literature
Author:Zeleza, Paul TiyambeISNI
Periodical:Women's Studies Quarterly
Geographic terms:Kenya
South Africa
About persons:Bessie Amelia Head (1937-1986)ISNI
Nuruddin Farah (1945-)ISNI
Ngugi wa Thiong'o (1938-)ISNI
Abstract:This paper examines Africa's conflicting visions of democracy from the differenrt perspectives of three writers: Bessie Head, Nuruddin Farah, and Ngugi wa Thiong'o. These writers are products of, and writ e on, different political formations, so that they offer quite diverse and complex visions of democracy. Together, their creative visions capture the cultural and moral dimensions of freedom and democracy that are sometimes silent in purely academic discourses. While academic discourses on democracy tend to be critical of defining democracy as the exclusive domain of politics, they disagree on the articulations between development and democracy and cultural predispositions. The paper begins by briefly examining the African scholarly debate on democracy, and then focuses on four visions of freedom and democracy, viz. reconstructing the boundaries of home, reimagining the community, restructuring development, and empowering women, and examines how these visions find echoes in the writings of the three authors. Bibliogr., notes, ref.