Toward the Global South Novel: Africa, China, and Bofane's Congo Inc.

Thursday, 26 July, 2018 - 12:30

WiSER, Oceanic Humanities and CISA invite you to a lunch time seminar by

Duncan M. Yoon
(New York University)

Toward the Global South Novel: Africa, China, and Bofane's Congo Inc.

China’s emergence as a major player on the African continent has produced a fundamental shift in patterns of 21st century globalization. Predictably, almost all scholarship focuses on economic or social scientific factors, interrogating whether the Chinese presence is a “new colonialism” or embodies a “win-win” for development. In contrast, this article examines how ​Congo Inc.​, In Koli Jean Bofane's 2014 novel,​ represents Africa-China relations through its hustling entrepreneurs, the half-Pygmy Isookanga and the Chinese national Zhang Xia. I argue Bofane turns the postcolonial African novel away from a "writing back" to the West​​. I suggest that close readings of China as a motif reveal an​ entanglement of​ the multiple axes--historical, geo-political, cultural, linguistic of what scholars have recently termed the global South. This shift in representation renders formally explicit the spatio-temporal plurality of the postcolonial African novel, expanding it to depict interactions between non-colonial others outside of a Western framework. Congo Inc. thereby signals a shift in type of postcolonial narrative toward the global South novel​ and offers a new direction in Africa-China studies.​

Wednesday, 25th July  

WiSER Seminar Room,
6th Floor, Richard Ward Building,
East Campus, Wits University

All welcome.

This communication is intended for the addressee only. It is confidential. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately and destroy the original message. You may not copy or disseminate this communication without the permission of the University. Only authorised signatories are competent to enter into agreements on behalf of the University and recipients are thus advised that the content of this message may not be legally binding on the University and may contain the personal views and opinions of the author, which are not necessarily the views and opinions of The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. All agreements between the University and outsiders are subject to South African Law unless the University agrees in writing to the contrary.