Rethinking the Global South
Mukoma Wa Ngugi
Trinidadian scholar Jerome Teelucksingh, in “West Indian Writers and Cultural Chauvinism,“ gives a lively point-by-point analysis of the Mohanty interview, applying it to a West Indian context. Whereas our other contributors generally saw a future in which chauvinism in literature abates, Teelcuksingh is not convinced. He draws the conclusion that “The complexities and multi-layered nature of societies with interactions of nationalism, sexuality, language, religion, migration, gender, ethnicity and class will hamper the efforts of Mohanty’s model to eradicate cultural chauvinism.“
Fatima Sadiqi’s “Oral Knowledge in Berber Women’s Expressions of the Sacred,“ focuses on Mohanty’s challenge to the conventional “babu-like“ view that written cultures are superior to oral ones. As such, her essay is also a detailed answer to E.V. Ramakrishnan’s call for a discourse that can bring out “ socio-political sub-texts.“ Sadiqi doesn’t call attention to the work of seeking alternative modernities and combating literary chauvinism; she just does it. Her focus on orality picks up a theme touched on by Mohanty in his interview, as well as by Agarwal and others writing about the Indian context. Sadiqi’s success in showing that there are other ways of analysis and knowing prepares readers very well for the next forum on Ngugi wa Thiongo’s Globalectics: Theory and the Politics of Knowing. Like this forum, the Globalectics forum will also appear in World Literature Today, Journal of Contemporary Thought and the other journals and magazines starting in December 2012.
1 Hountondji, Paulin J. African Philosophy: Myth and Reality. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1983; 57.
2 Sartre writes: Europeans, open this book and enter into it. After a few walk into the night you will see strangers gathered around a fire, get close, and listen. They are discussing the fate reserved for your trading posts and for the mercenaries defending them. They might see you but they will go on talking among themselves without lowering even their voices. Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963; xivii.
3 Glissant, Édouard, and Betsy Wing. Poetics of Relation. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1997.
4 Talking about John Clare’s poetry, an anonymous reviewer described his poetry as having no “aristocracy of beauty,“ by which he meant that no subject or object was unworthy of his artistic consideration. I am using the phrase aristocracy of aesthetics along the same lines. See Storey, Mark. John Clare: The Critical Heritage. London: Routledge, 1995, 75. Ngugi Wa Thiong’o also talks about aristocracy of cultures and language in Globalectics: Theory and the Politics of Knowing.
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Essays in this Forum
Rethinking the Global South
by Mukoma Wa Ngugi
From Indian Literature to World Literature: A Conversation with Satya P. Mohanty
by Rashmi Dube Bhatnagar and Rajender Kaur
Asia in My Life
by Ngugi wa Thiong'o
The Global South and Cultural Struggles: On the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization
by Duncan Mceachern Yoon
The Fault Lines of Hindi and Urdu
by Sanjay Kumar
Reframing Colonialism and Modernity: An Endeavour through Sociology and Literature
by Gurminder K. Bhambra
Varieties of Cultural Chauvinism and the Relevance of Comparative Studies
by Tilottoma Misra
Literature to Combat Cultural Chauvinism: A Response
by Shivani Jha
Is There an Indian Way of Thinking about Comparative Literature?
by E. V. Ramakrishnan
Modernity and Public Sphere in Vernacular
by Purushottam Agrawal
West Indian Writers and Cultural Chauvinism
by Jerome Teelucksingh
Oral Knowledge in Berber Women’s Expressions of the Sacred
by Fatima Sadiki