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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

CRITICAL ARTS (article first published : 2003-06-9)

Continental Africans and the Question of Identity is the first of two theme issues edited by Sierra Leonean, Handel Wright. Wright is an education professor in Tenessee, and has written extensively on cultural studies in Africa. The two issues are derived from papers presented at the Third Crossroads Conference on Culturual Studies, held at the University of Birmingam in 2000. Birmingham is the home of cultural studies, and the conference was attended by 950 delegates.

Wright's opening essay, Editorial: Notes on the (Im)Possibility of Articulating Continental African Identity, opens up the field as it has developed in Africa in a quite novel way, overcoming the usual stasis which tends to typify the way discussions on culture are usually debated by Africans. A number of case studies follow: Youth, Culture and Rebellion: Understanding Sierra Leone's Wasted Decade by Ibraham Abdullah, a Nigerian.

Problematising the Making of Good and Evil: Gangs and PAGAD (People Against Gangsterism and Drugs) by Western Cape academic, Suren Pillay follows. Cultural Production in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, 1984-1991, is authored Sheila Cameron, a Zimbabwean currently studying in the UK. Environment and Identity: Douglas Livingstone's ďA Littoral Zone" is offered by Duncan Brown, a University of Natal academic.

Extensive book reviws include They Lie, We Lie: Getting on with Anthropology (Peter Metcalf). Reviewed by Vanessa MacLennan-Dodd of Natal University. Cry Zimbabwe (Peter Stiff) is reviewed by Bheki Sibanda, a Zimbabwean. Recent issues of Critical Arts have carried a number of reviews by Sibanda on books on Africa, in which he is developing a revisionist history of the continent and its problems.

Critical Arts is published twice a year. Southern African subscriptions include R70 per volume (institutional), R50 per volume (individuals) and single copies: R60 plus postage and packaging.

For purchases, contact the Critical Arts Projects, Graduate Programme in Cultural and Media Studies, University of Natal, Durban 4041, South Africa. Fax 031 260-1519. e-mail: Govends@nu.ac.za Selected early issues have been republished on the Critical Arts website: www.nu.ac.za/ccms/critarts/




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