The Politics of Biography in Africa

Anais Angelo

Bringing together historians, political scientists, and literary analysts, this
volume shows how biographical narratives can shed light on alternative, littleknown,
or under-researched aspects of state power in African politics.
Part 1 shows how biographical narratives breathe new life into subjects
who, upon decolonization, had been reduced to silence—women, workers,
and radical politicians. The contributors analyze the complex relationship
between biographical narratives and power, questioning either the power of
biographical codes peculiar to Western, colonial origins, or the power to shape
public memory. Part 2 reflects on the act of (auto-)biography writing as an
exercise of power, one that blurs the lines between truth and invention. (Auto-)
biographical narratives appear as politicized, ambiguous stories. Part 3 focuses
on female leadership during and after colonization, exploring how women
gained, lost, or reinvented “power.” Brought together, the contributions of
this volume show that the function of biographical narratives should no longer
oscillate between romanticized narratives and historical evidence; their varied
formats all offer fruitful opportunities for a multi-disciplinary dialogue.
This book will be of interest to scholars from various disciplinary
backgrounds working on the African post-colonial state, the decolonization
process, women’s and gender studies, and biography writing.

Institut für Afrikawissenschaften
Anzahl der Seiten
ÖFOS 2012
601020 Regionalgeschichte, 602001 Afrikanistik
Link zum Portal