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 by means of missionaries as sodomy and resistance to colonialism, Neville Hoad starts by way of studying the 1886 Bugandan martyrs incident—the execution of thirty males within the royal courtroom. Then, in a chain 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 identification and cosmopolitanism. Hoad’s evaluate 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 realizing 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 info for African Intimacies: Race, Homosexuality, and Globalization
How might those who converted to Christianity (either in its Protestant or Roman Catholic guise, thus acquiring literacy and some proficiency in English or French) but then lapsed and fought on the side of the king in the expulsion of the missions recount events? 9 However, since they left no records, how can their perceptions be responsibly imagined? Would they understand the “sexual” issue as a red herring or, like the missionaries, see it as a private vice with dangerous consequences for the state?
Irrespective of the radically different imputations as to the origins of Mwanga’s practices, the account of African male same-sex corporeal intimacy, whether it encourages the depiction of the African as a depraved degenerate in need of instruction or a noble savage in need of protection from Arab corruption, is easily subsumed into an appeal to British paternalism. This paternalism obviously takes the explicit form of correct religious instruction, but as the cliché in this chapter’s title, “the missionary position,” indicates, instruction in the proper use of bodies is as critical a part of that instruction as doctrinal niceties.
26 What does the fact that such corporeal violations are representable but the bodily acts, the refusal of which lead to this gruesome scene, are not revealed? The language of the mission reports makes it difficult to gauge exactly what Mwanga did with his pages. ” There appears to be a remarkable investment at points of not knowing, that these acts are somehow more terrible and unimaginable than the acts of violence that the missionaries feel morally obliged to relate in graphic detail. In England, newspaper reports of the execution of the Ganda youths reveal a similar reticence.
African Intimacies: Race, Homosexuality, and Globalization by Hoad N.W.