African philosophy, as a negritude, is a moment in the postcolonial critique of European/Western colonialism and the bodies of knowledge that sustained it. Yet a critical analysis of its' original articulations reveals the limits of this critique and more broadly of postcolonial studies, while also pointing towards more radical theoretical possibilities within African philosophy. Jean-Paul Sartre's essay 'Black Orpheus', a philosophical appropriation of negritude poetry, serves as a guide for this reflection, for the text reveals the inspiration and wealth of expressions of negritude, as well as their ambiguity. Sartre's essay however also renders possible a further act of re-appropriation that takes us beyond culture and identity-centred readings of African philosophy and postcolonialism, readings whose conceptual and critical potential is far greater than what has hitherto been explored.
Tomaz Carlos Flores Jacques
Materiality, sense, and agenda
In recent years, the culturally distinctive Tunpu, a people group in southwestern China, have been reimagined by outsiders, including media, tourist companies, scholars, and especially Han Chinese from other regions in a search for perceived lost roots of Chineseness. Building upon a Tunpu narrative of migration to the region during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) period, these outsiders imagine Tunpu sociocultural alienness to be representative of ancient unchanged Ming-period character. Thus romanticized, the Tunpu become an unspoiled reservoir where an authentic national Chinese essence can be rediscovered. Through a complex process of embodied engagement with the Tunpu landscape and its objects, however, it is a class of non-Tunpu settlement that becomes celebrated by these outside actors as ideal representation of Tunpu settlement and architecture. This total process fundamentally transforms Tunpu time and place. Yet, it also interacts intricately with local knowledge, and leads to complex local responses and reappropriations of new historical elements.
Confinement, Power and Resistance in Freetown's Central Prison
Luisa T. Schneider
This article deconstructs a binary that has arisen between prisons as, on the one hand, ‘total institutions’ of exclusion and, on the other, ‘carceral continuums’ that incorporate marginalized urban livelihoods. The experiences of four inmates at Pademba Road, Freetown's male prison – which accommodates inmates with sentences from one year to life – illustrate that prisons belong in neither camp. Instead, inmates’ unique responses to their imprisonment show that both a prison's continuity and its exclusionary mechanism are situational and gendered as crime, social standing, capital and agency coalesce. Following Michel de Certeau's examination of people's reappropriations of culture in everyday life, this article analyses how inmates’ tactics to reinforce and bend prison walls work to either strengthen or undermine the carceral system's strategies and influence the prison's permeability. Inmates’ embodied experiences allow for a nuanced understanding of the inside/outside relationship of imprisonment and of the space between mobility and stasis, subjugation, embrace and resistance.
More than any other recent urban film, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful (MX/ES 2010) proposes a poignant commentary on the present conditions of a multi-ethnic yet racially segregated city, which is organized by different levels of mobility. Rather than being a tragedy, tracing the last months of Uxbal, a man who, in the face of his impending death, struggles to ensure a sheltered life for his two children, Biutiful can be conceived as a cinematic critique of the city. It offers a distinct contribution to the discourse on urban mobility, since it meticulously deciphers the urban conditions of an emerging new mobility spurred by a permanent quest for adaptability: a complex, contradictory mobility I would like to call a “forced flexible mobility.” In highlighting both the unequal distribution of space and its constant re-appropriation by different ethnic and social groups, this mobility tackles the contradictory status of a “flexible human being” forced into continuous transformation.
Je travaille sur la réappropriation de la référence musulmane par la première génération de Français de confession musulmane, jeunes tous nés en France et socialisés à l'école de la République. Nous assistons en effet à la naissance de cette génération « à la fois française et musulmane », qui cherche a élaborer son identité à partir de son appartenance aussi bien à la France qu'à l'islam. Lorsque l'on étudie la situation de l'islam de France, un aspect essentiel apparaît : l'histoire de la laïcité en France crée les conditions d'émergence d'une nouvelle religiosité, puisque les musulmans de France ne trouvent plus les réponses à leurs questions en se tournant vers les pays étrangers. Qu'est-ce qu'être musulman dans une société laïque ? Où et comment faire la séparation entre le profane et le sacré ? Comment faire la différence entre les principes religieux et les formes historiques que ces derniers ont prises au fil des siècles dans les différentes sociétés musulmanes ? Le contexte de pluralisme démocratique laïque français oblige ainsi les musulmans, comme cela a été jadis le cas pour les autres croyants, à réorganiser leur manière d'exister et de croire à partir de cette nouvelle expérience. Ce n'est pas par de grandes théories que les croyants réinterprètent leurs textes sacrés, mais par l'expérimentation, le vécu.
Female AutobioBD and Julie Doucet's Changements d'adresses
In comparison to the U.S. market, the trend for autobiographical sequential art arrived late within the history of the francophone bande dessinée. Its rising popularity throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium coincided, and to an extent connected, with another belated development in the French-language industry however: that of the growing presence of the female artist. This article considers the strong presence of life narratives in bandes dessinées created by women, before presenting a case-study examining the manipulation of the medium to an autobiographical end in Québécoise artist Julie Doucet's 1998 Changements d'adresses ['Changes of Addresses']. It considers how, in this coming-of-age narrative set first in Montreal and then New York, Doucet utilises the formal specificity of the bande dessinée to emphasise both the fragmentation and then reintegration of her hybrid enunciating instances. It further examines Doucet's usage of the life-narrative bande dessinée to oppose her representation from that of the disruptive male figures in her life, whose sexual presence in her personal evolution is often connected to images of dysfunction and death, finally suggesting via this examination of Julie Doucet and Changements d'adresses the particular suitability of female-created life narratives to feminist reappropriations of the francophone bande dessinée.
The Origins of Argentine Comics between the United States and Europe (1907–1945)
Amadeo Gandolfo and Pablo Turnes
import, reappropriation and adaptation of graphic and narrative styles. The latter had to do with the tension between innovation and imported techniques among Argentine comics artists. With this as our point of departure, we analyse the Argentine
A Historical Focus on Comics
Lawrence Grove, Anne Magnussen, and Ann Miller
cultural reappropriation, since they integrated Argentine political and social material in ways that were frequently innovatory. Throughout, Gandolfo and Turnes show how reading practices can be related to rising levels of literacy and to social class
A decade of shifting roles for the PhD student
of mutual learning. This re-appropriation, the authors argue, appears as a result of the ‘traditional’ model having lived its course and having become inadequate for the preparation of scholars in the twenty-first century. However, one may also argue
Samuel Moyn and Jean-Paul Gagnon
reappropriation – not just in theory but in practice – of the creative power that history for so long involved renouncing. Gagnon: There is, I gather, a fork in the road whenever one must decide about how to approach building the global history of anything