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AFRICAN MASCULINITIES (article first published : 2005-08-14)

Recently launched by University of KwaZulu-Natal Press and Adams & Ike’s Booksellers is African Masculinities: Men in Africa from the late Nineteenth Century to the Present, edited by Lahoucine Ouzgane and Robert Morrell.

African Masculinities explores what it means for an African to be masculine and how male identity is formed by cultural forces. The editors believe that in order to tackle the important questions in Africa , the many forms of violence and the AIDS pandemic, it is necessary to understand how a combination of a colonial past, patriarchal cultural structures and a variety of religious and knowledge systems create masculine identities and sexualities.

The book is interdisciplinary and is the first in-depth, comprehensive study of African men, paying particular attention to how vulnerability and marginalization produce complex forms of male identity. The four primary areas of study are interpreting, representing, constructing and contesting masculinities.

Representing the University of KwaZulu-Natal are Rob Morrell, Deevia Bhana, Rob Pattman and Goolam Vahed. They are among 17 contributors who write on South Africa, Guinea, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Sudan, Zambia, rural and urban East Africa, Botswana, and Mozambique. Cape Town gets attention as a gay destination.

Four well-known works are studied in chapter 2: Drum Magazine, Bloke Modisane’s Blame me on History, Tsitsi Dangaremba’s Nervous Conditions and Nawal El Saadawi’s God Dies by the Nile.

Rob Morrel is Professor of Education at UKZN and Lahoucine Ouzgane is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Alberta in Canada.




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