The heart of the city: postcolonial subjectivities in contemporary zambian women's writing

Primorac, Ranka (2007) The heart of the city: postcolonial subjectivities in contemporary zambian women's writing. Scrutiny2, 12, (2), 20-31. (doi:10.1080/18125440701751935).


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In international debates about post-colonial writing, Zambian literature is largely invisible - overshadowed (as Zambia is in several other regards) by the powerful regional pull of neighbouring South Africa. Moreover, those critics who have written about Zambian texts from the national and regional perspective have tended to represent them as all-too-often aesthetically wanting (i.e. subordinated to journalistic discourses) and almost entirely consumed by the debate about the relative merits of 'modernity' versus 'tradition', usually imagined as the cultural contrast between the city and the country. This article seeks to bypass those trends. Its focus is a recent collection of short fictions edited by Zambian women, which takes both the complexity and the urban inflections of contemporary Zambian identities for granted. The stories' combination of elements of women's romance narrative with the concept of African urban crisis produces the notion of a certain kind of slipperiness as a key component of both Zambian city life and the emergent national imaginary.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/18125440701751935
ISSNs: 1812-5441 (print)
Keywords: women, cities, urban, culture, zambia, gender, subjectivity
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > English
ePrint ID: 79521
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
September 2007Published
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2010
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:15

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