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Extra info for A Prescience of African Cultural Studies: The Future of Literature in Africa Is Not What It Was (Counterpoints (New York, N.Y.), Vol. 40.)

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Carol Hanisch) Several positions that I have taken on issues relating to language, writing, and politics are reflected in this book. One of these is my decision to write much of it in the first person and to overtly insert my viewpoints on the issues in the book. The second involves introducing personal anecdotes as introductions to some chapters. Ed. thesis defense. A. A. Ed. thesis was written in the third person. At my defense, a feminist faculty member, Magda Lewis, asked me why I had chosen to write my thesis in the third person.

Also, I have come to the conclusion that, even though such a practice is still considered at the very least unconventional in traditional academic circles and therefore is undertaken at a price, the pedagogical and epistemological possibilities opened up by such an approach exceed the risks of employing them. First of all, employing the personal reflects and underscores the embracement of the notion that knowledge production is always inherently political and subjective. qxd 9/24/03 4:57 PM Page 19 Introduction / 19 scendent, universal knowledge.

Qxd 9/24/03 4:57 PM Page 23 Chapter One Notes on (Re)Making Literature: Exploring the Possibility of a Utilitarian, African Literature Studies “English is a Foreign Anguish” (Marlene Nourbese Phillip) Picture it: Freetown, Sierra Leone, 1976. A Catholic secondary school for boys. It is five after one on a Tuesday afternoon—time for poetry. The scene is a small, beige-colored classroom (Form 5A) into which, by some miracle, 40 desks, 40 chairs, and 40 sixteen-year-old students have been crammed. All eight of the large windows are open but with the temperature hovering around 35 degrees centigrade, with no hint of a breeze, and with high humidity (“it’s the humidity that kills you”), we are hot, sticky, restless, and irritable.

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