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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:What has African Cultural Studies done for you lately? Autobiographical and global considerations of a floating signifier
Author:Wright, Handel KashopeISNI
Year:2016
Periodical:Critical Arts: A Journal of Media Studies (ISSN 1992-6049)
Volume:30
Issue:4
Pages:478-494
Language:English
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:African studies
Africans
culture
identity
Link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02560046.2016.1240289
Abstract:This essay poses and attempts to answer the central question: 'What does African Cultural Studies do?' It takes an autobiographical approach to address the genealogy, status quo and the potential future of the floating signifier that is African Cultural Studies. It unpacks and multiplies African Cultural Studies and contextualises it as a form of African studies and as both interventionist in and contributory to transnational cultural studies. African Cultural Studies' marginality in the global discourse is rearticulated as both a positioning of disempowerment on the one hand and one of generative and insurgent politics on the other. Stressing the need for continental and diasporic Africans to self-identify issues to be addressed (in place of Eurocentric, imposed preoccupations), the essay identifies as examples the always already complex nature of identity and belonging (and the irony of emergent xenophobia); continental and diasporic relations that trouble the taken-for-grantedness of what constitutes Africa(ns), and queer Africa in the face of institutionalised homophobia. Whether local nativist or globally engaged approaches are taken, the essay concludes that African Cultural Studies ought to be self-reflexively dedicated not only to doing Cultural Studies but to what the doing of African Cultural Studies does for Africa(ns) and for Transnational Cultural Studies. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]
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