Daily Archives: March 16, 2013

Paradise (HUM415)

Even now, we tend to think of Africa as monolithic and to speak of Africans collectively as if they were not incredibly diverse in cultural, racial, and ethnic terms. One of the projects of a writer such as Abdulrazak Gurnah is to challenge these misconceptions by reconstructing the continent’s “geographical imaginary.” Part of that process includes representing the multiplicity of figures and groups populating East and Central Africa, a demographic reality Gurnah dramatizes by narrating a crucial period in world history: the consolidation of colonial power in Africa. Some decades after the notorious Berlin Conference, this stage of colonization witnessed a rapidly shifting social terrain– including the end of the “Great Caravans”.

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