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

Wednesday, 25 July, 2018 - 13:00

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  
1pm

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

All welcome.

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