By Hoad N.W.
There were few book-length engagements with the query of sexuality in Africa, not to mention African homosexuality. African Intimacies at the same time responds to the general public debate at the “Africanness” of homosexuality and interrogates the meaningfulness of the phrases “sexuality” and “homosexuality” outdoor Euro-American discourse. Speculating on cultural practices interpreted through missionaries as sodomy and resistance to colonialism, Neville Hoad starts off by means of examining the 1886 Bugandan martyrs incident—the execution of thirty males within the royal courtroom. Then, in a sequence of shut readings, he addresses questions of race, intercourse, and globalization within the 1965 Wole Soyinka novel The Interpreters, examines the emblematic 1998 Lambeth convention of Anglican bishops, considers the imperial legacy in depictions of the HIV/AIDS problem, and divulges how South African author Phaswane Mpe’s modern novel Welcome to Our Hillbrow problematizes notions of African id and cosmopolitanism. Hoad’s evaluation of the old valence of homosexuality in Africa indicates how the class has served a key function in a bigger tale, one within which sexuality has been made in response to a imaginative and prescient of white Western fact, restricting an knowing of intimacy which may think an African universalism. Neville Hoad is assistant professor of English on the collage of Texas, Austin.
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Additional resources for African Intimacies: Race, Homosexuality, and Globalization
I would speculate that the answer is political in a fairly narrow sense of the word. , it could be reduced to the sphere of the private under British policies of Indirect Rule, a site where customary law could operate, without interfering too much with the smooth running of the emerging colonial bureaucratic apparatus). ”72 This undoubtedly is connected to shared patriarchal values between the colonizers and colonized. The king’s intimacies with his pages were not similarly reducible; due to the political institution of kingship, these 18 AFRICAN SODOMY IN THE MISSIONARY POSITION acts inevitably had some kind of public character, and the absolute power of the kabaka had to be curtailed in order for colonial governance to emerge at all.
14 The king granted the request, but Gayiga refused to comply with Lutaya’s demands and was subsequently beaten and confined to the stocks for two days. Reverend A. P. ”15 Ashe’s language is interesting, as it subliminally connects this act of disobedience with the building of a railroad, a critical colonial enterprise in the extraction of African raw materials. ”16 If, as even Ashe recognizes, the refusal of sex constitutes an act of political disobedience with drastic consequences for the future of the state, can Mwanga’s, or in this case his friend and ally Lutaya’s, desire for some corporeal intimacy subsumable under the sign of sex with a boy be simply depicted as unnatural desire or sodomy?
Unrepresentable in the narrative and definitionally outside the potentially ethical circuit of reader/writer, the African person with HIV/AIDS disappears here in the very exchange that depends on him/her for its moral weight. We are in the familiar landscape of subalternity here. In the world of The Constant Gardener (and the title resonates with the notions of death and rebirth, sustained cycles of labor and repose) we have African AIDS and African disease more generally staged as a crisis for, for the want of a better shorthand, European conscience.
African Intimacies: Race, Homosexuality, and Globalization by Hoad N.W.