By Hoad N.W.
There were few book-length engagements with the query of sexuality in Africa, not to mention African homosexuality. African Intimacies concurrently responds to the general public debate at the “Africanness” of homosexuality and interrogates the meaningfulness of the phrases “sexuality” and “homosexuality” outdoors Euro-American discourse. Speculating on cultural practices interpreted by way of missionaries as sodomy and resistance to colonialism, Neville Hoad starts by way of interpreting the 1886 Bugandan martyrs incident—the execution of thirty males within the royal courtroom. Then, in a chain of shut readings, he addresses questions of race, intercourse, and globalization within the 1965 Wole Soyinka novel The Interpreters, examines the emblematic 1998 Lambeth convention of Anglican bishops, considers the imperial legacy in depictions of the HIV/AIDS challenge, and divulges how South African author Phaswane Mpe’s modern novel Welcome to Our Hillbrow problematizes notions of African id and cosmopolitanism. Hoad’s evaluation of the historic valence of homosexuality in Africa indicates how the class has served a key position in a bigger tale, one within which sexuality has been made in accordance with a imaginative and prescient of white Western fact, proscribing an realizing of intimacy that may think an African universalism. Neville Hoad is assistant professor of English on the college of Texas, Austin.
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Additional info for African Intimacies: Race, Homosexuality, and Globalization
It might not be going too far to assert that, in certain historical moments, homosexuality may function as a crucially defining other of nationalism. 39 It is further possible to note temporal as well as geographic and racial displacements in determining male same-sex practices. 40 This civilizational link can be found in various forms in discussions of sex and vice from the imperial feminism of Josephine Butler to the influential journalism of W. T. ” The following claim about male homosexuality by a Reverend J.
35 Nevertheless, the dandy and the savage—two ends of the spectrum of masculinity—are both excessively ornamented, though whether this ornamentation is directed at male or female spectators is unclear. Wilde and Mwanga may push at the pleasures and anxieties involved in racial and sexual indeterminacy. Wilde and Mwanga can clearly be linked in their popular perception as predatory. The socially subordinate class status of the young men (previous tricks of Wilde) who turn state witness is arguably a major factor in the failure of Wilde’s prosecution of the Marquess of Queensbury for libel and the subsequent failure of his defense against charges of gross indecency.
38 In the Wilde case, male same-sex acts are other, even when committed at the heart of the metropole. In the Mwanga case, geographic and “cultural otherness” can be asserted to intensify the alien nature of the people who indulge in such activities to the wider body politic. It might not be going too far to assert that, in certain historical moments, homosexuality may function as a crucially defining other of nationalism. 39 It is further possible to note temporal as well as geographic and racial displacements in determining male same-sex practices.
African Intimacies: Race, Homosexuality, and Globalization by Hoad N.W.