Africa Today <p><em>Africa Today</em>&nbsp;(ISSN&nbsp;0001-9887, e-ISSN 1527-1978)&nbsp;publishes peer-reviewed, scholarly articles and book reviews in a broad range of academic disciplines on topics related to contemporary Africa. We seek to be a venue for interdisciplinary approaches, diverse perspectives, and original research in the humanities and social sciences. This includes work on social, cultural, political, historical, and economic subjects. Recent special issues have been on topics such as the future of African artistic practices, the socio-cultural life of bus stations in Africa, and family-based health care in Ghana. <em>Africa Today</em> has been on the forefront of African Studies research since 1954. Please read our <a title="Submission Guidelines" href="">Submission Guidelines</a> and contact the Managing Editor or any of the editors with additional questions you might have about publishing in&nbsp;<em>Africa Today</em>.</p> <p>The journal is published quarterly in winter, spring, summer, and fall by Indiana University Press, Office of Scholarly Publishing, Herman B Wells Library 350, 1320 E. 10th St., Bloomington, IN 47405-3907.</p> <p>To view current and past issues, visit&nbsp;<em>Africa Today</em>&nbsp;on&nbsp;<a href="">JSTOR</a>&nbsp;and <a href="">Project MUSE</a>.</p> en-US (Derek F. DiMatteo) (Dan Pyle) Mon, 09 Sep 2019 14:13:57 -0400 OJS 60 Introduction to Arts of Survival <p>No abstract</p> Eileen Julien ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 07 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0400 Eternal Blackness: Considering Afropolitanism as a Radical Possibility <p>Over the past few years Afropolitanism has been regarded as a fad, concept, moment, and possibly even a movement. Within academic circles, the term has been met with mixed reactions from those who are concerned about direct connections to neoliberalism at the expense of the masses, and by others who are interested in the lessons the emphasis on “Africa Rising” might teach a still xenophobic Western audience. Using a mixture of academic and personal reflections, this article provides a brief history of select debates surrounding Afropolitanism, possibilities for salvaging activist ideals at the heart of the term, and suggestions about the way forward.</p> Kalenda Eaton ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 07 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0400 Afropolitan Detroit: Counterpublics, Sound, and the African City <p>This paper explores the connections between blackness, Afropolitanism, and masculinity in Detroit soundscapes. Working at the intersections of critical geography, sound studies, and critical race theory, I ask questions about the production of Afropolitanism through sound and spatial signifiers in Detroit. I suggest that productions of black masculinities in this context are generative of counterpublics as well as indicative of Afropolitan aesthetic values and identities. I discuss the ways in which Afropolitan cultural productions are manifest through soundscapes that intersect with the located spatial narratives and histories of urban Detroit. Proceeding from ethnographic work undertaken in the city, I examine two sound-sites as places through which men navigate the intersecting narratives of urban development, blackness and African-ness. I ask, what constitutes an Afropolitan sound aesthetic, and how does it emerge as a mode of sonically produced communal identity? In what ways can Detroit be understood as an African city by examining the genetics of urban geography both historically and through contemporary social productions? What are sonic-spatial strategies that are used by black men in order to re-imagine the city as Afropolitan? Answering these questions requires an examination of both the politics of labor and pleasure in Detroit. Ultimately, I show that the ways in which people engage with space through sound in Detroit produces a distinct Afropolitanism.</p> Sidra Lawrence ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 07 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0400 Shades of Port-au-Prince: Reading a Noir City <p>If the dozens of titles under Akashic Book’s Noir series is indicator of popularity, crime and noir fiction are having a renaissance period. Once shunned as a lower form of literature, this genre is now garnering increased attention from literary scholars. Crime novels set in cities of the global south like Mumbai or Dakar have especially piqued the interests of literary critics; post-colonial tensions add an extra layer to the mysteries at hand. In “Shades of Port-au-Prince”, I situate contemporary urban Haitian literature in the post-colonial noire space. I argue for the creation of a new term—the Haitian noir aesthetic. Through analyzing three contemporary novels set in Port-au-Prince, I demonstrate how urban Haitian fiction can be read as a Haiti specific noir-genre.</p> Norrell Edwards ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 07 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0400 Not Your Grandparents’ Flâneur <p>In <em>The Arcades Project</em> (1927-1940), Walter Benjamin gave special, albeit scattered, attention to the flâneur, sketching a literary evolution from bohemian idler of urban myth; to observer, driven by dogged curiosity (Poe); to consummate tracker and reader of signs (Cooper).&nbsp; Extending the topographies traversed by the flâneur-as-detective, this essay explores Afropolitan reincarnations in <em>The Hour of the Red God</em> (Crompton 2014) and <em>Children of the Street</em> (Quartey 2011), set in African megalopolises, scenes of conflicting aspirations and shifting temporalities and subjectivities.&nbsp; Informed by theoretical insights forwarded by Sara Nuttall and Deleuze and Gautarri, this approach encourages more nuanced critical discussions of the genre conventions and narrative strategies at play in the growing number of African urban crime novels (Darko, Braithwaite, Ngũgĩ) and other metropolitan-centered texts.</p> Patricia D Fox ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 07 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0400 “Everything Captured; Capture Everything” <p>In an interview from 2016, the Ghanaian novelist Amma Darko reflects on the nature and promise of archives in urban Africa. Through dialogue about the nature and purpose of her fictional NGO MUTE, Darko comments on what is deemed worthy of preservation and archiving, and what evades the net, and how colonial politics continues to frame these phenomena. The interview takes a fortuitous turn through Toni Morrison’s <em>Beloved</em>, and Darko speculates on the idea of “rememory” as a rubric through which we can understand the dense layers of socio-archaeology in African cities.</p> James J Arnett ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 07 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0400 Slavery, Tourism, and Memory in New Orleans’s “Plantation Country” <p><em>In Southern Louisiana’s Mississippi basin, the parishes upriver from New Orleans are home to multiple restored sugar plantations and museums focused on the history of plantation slavery and the culture of the region. This interview–essay is based upon interviews conducted individually with slave plantation site and museum operators, artists, academics, and those between and beyond these categories. Those conversations are presented in a staged dialogue on the dynamics of violence, commerce, identity, and agency that construct plantation slavery tourism in Louisiana in conflicting ways.</em></p> Erik Johnson ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 07 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0400 Art of Survival: A Black Indian Culture in Post-Katrina New Orleans <p>Carnival, the temporary and riotous disturbance of established order, is the most recognized of New Orleans traditions in the eyes of the world. What is less known is that it is a mostly white affair. The Black Indian tribes that parade through the African American neighborhoods of New Orleans on St. Joseph’s Day is black carnival. It is a counter carnival enacted in the maroon spirit of those who were brought together within the plantations and outside it in the swampy refuges of the native peoples of the region. The effects of the neoliberal agenda that has accompanied the city’s post-Katrina resurgence, however, has placed the status of the event in question, with divisions within the community regarding its future iterations. In this interview, Chief Shaka Zulu of the Golden Feather Hunters tribe discusses the survival of the Black Indians masking tradition in post-Katrina New Orleans.</p> Nayana Abeysinghe ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 07 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0400 How We Measure Survival <p>This article applies a health lens to the notion of the “arts of survival” proposed by the 2016 (U.S.) National Endowment for Humanities Summer Institute at Indiana University. It considers how humanistic texts rooted in urban African experiences can be used to address a dilemma for teacher-scholars of health: how to illuminate inequitable health burdens on African communities without further pathologizing African bodies and spaces. I argue that integrating these materials into courses about global health, population health, and health inequity introduces counter-narratives to the predominant quantitative and deficit-focused understanding of community health that draws and feeds Afropessimist assumptions and discourses in a “neocolonial epidemiology.” I present sample learning activities and discuss how they relate to standards for undergraduate learning in global health.</p> Moriah McSharry McGrath ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 07 Aug 2019 09:31:56 -0400 Syllabus: City Stories <p>Using an interdisciplinary approach to examine cities and urban life, this course begins with the capitals of the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) and of the Democratic Republic of the Congo or DRC (Kinshasa). The course then examines the relationship of these cities with the former colonial capitals of Brussels and Paris and Port-au-Prince, whose history and religious practices were shaped in part by slaves from the Kingdom of Kongo. The course draws on literary, cinematic, historical, and anthropological sources and pays special attention to hybrid constructions resulting from violent and peaceful encounters between people, ideas and artifacts. This document contains five sections: background to the development of the syllabus, the syllabus itself, brief reflections, a bibliography, and a filmography.</p> Karen Bouwer ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 07 Aug 2019 09:32:02 -0400 Syllabus: Arts and Politics of African Urban Space <p>This document is an annotated version of a course I designed after attending the NEH Institute, <em>Arts of Survival: Recasting Lives in African Cities</em>. I taught the class as a small seminar during the UC Santa Cruz Summer Session, 2017. In the summer, UC Santa Cruz’s normally ten-week courses are compressed down to five weeks. As such, what would be a week of two or three classes during the regular quarter is taught in one three-and-a-half-hour session. In the document that follows I first provide the parameters and justifications for the course, I then move through the syllabus providing the key questions for each session, and an assessment of how the course could be improved for future iterations.</p> Alexandra Moore ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 07 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0400 Introduction to the Forum on Joanna Grabski’s Art World City <p>Introduction to the forum on Joanna Grabski's 2017 book,&nbsp;<em>Art World City: The Creative Economy of Artists and Urban Life in Dakar</em></p> Eileen Julien ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 07 Aug 2019 09:32:08 -0400 A Sited Approach to the Contemporary Arts Scene in Dakar <p>A Review of Joanna Grabski's Art World City</p> Brian Valente-Quinn ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 07 Aug 2019 09:32:13 -0400 Dakar’s Art Scene: In the Street and in the Global Art World <p>Review of Joanna Grabski's Art World City</p> Fiona McLaughlin ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 07 Aug 2019 09:31:38 -0400 Transformed from the Inside Out <p>none</p> Beth Anne Buggenhagen ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 07 Aug 2019 09:31:44 -0400 Dakar and Contemporary Art Criticism <p>This article reviews Joanna Grabski's&nbsp;<em>Art World City</em> (2017). It argues that Grabski's book is an important contribution to global art studies because of its focus on contemporary urban art. It is likewise important in African art history because it deemphasizes the analytic of the nation-state and examines instead unofficial art.</p> Delinda Collier ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 07 Aug 2019 09:31:50 -0400