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Positive images of Africa contrast with negative images of misery, war and catastrophes often conveyed by the mass media. This selection of papers debate the images and stereotypes of Africa.
In Desire for Development: Whiteness, Gender, and the Helping Imperative, Barbara Heron draws on poststructuralist notions of subjectivity, critical race and space theory, feminism, colonial and postcolonial studies, and travel writing to trace colonial continuities in the post-development recollections of white Canadian women who have worked in Africa. Following the narrative arc of the development worker story from the decision to go overseas, through the experiences abroad, the return home, and final reflections, the book interweaves theory with the words of the participants to bring theory to life and to generate new understandings of whiteness and development work. Heron reveals how the desire for development is about the making of self in terms that are highly raced, classed, and gendered, and she exposes the moral core of this self and its seemingly paradoxical necessity to the Other. The construction of white female subjectivity is thereby revealed as contingent on notions of goodness and Othering, played out against, and constituted by, the backdrop of the NorthSouth binary, in which Canada’s national narrative situates us as the “good guys” of the world.
This book explores the first encounter in the mid-fifteenth century between Western Europe and the West African Coast, arguing that it did not produce hostility, but rather a climate of beneficial mutual exchange. It examines West African pre-colonial social history and asserts that around the year 1500 West Africa became a safe haven for those fleeing political or religious persecution in Europe. Among them were mercantile settlers, Tangomaos or Lancados, known to have arrived on the West African Coast after the Portuguese explorers in 1446. They exchanged commodities, culture, religious ideas and practices with West African people. These events raise searching questions on the nature of identity and space. Contents: West Africa: The Portuguese Agenda-West African Kingship - The Beginnings of Westernisation - The Emergence of an Afro-European Merchant Class - Religion, Ritual and Sacrifice: A Portuguese Encounter.
An important and provocative text which will profoundly affect the way we look at the evolution of the third world, at development and underdevelopment.
Known to practitioners and scholars as the Yoruba goddess of sweet (waters), sensuality, fertility and delight, Osun is a deity of great controversy. Nigerians see her as an astute, responsible mother of many children, yet across the ocean in the New World she has become a promiscuous, fun-loving deity who abandons her children and gives them to Yemaya to raise. Alarcns research analyzes the diverse representations of Osun (as a metaphor for women) found in trans-national Yoruba literature, specifically the verses of Odu Ifa (divination poetry) and Apataki (stories/legends), and examines the roles gender, race and sexuality have played in cultural interpretations of Osun and therefore on the journey of women throughout the diaspora. (Re)Writing Osun challenges us to move beyond the remnants of limited colonial interpretations of African spiritual practices and begin the process of (re)writing OsunS narrative. Book includes color photographs!

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