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The Postcolonial Animal: African Literature and Posthuman Ethics

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Despite the central role that animals play in African writing and daily life, African literature and African thinkers remain conspicuously absent from the field of animal studies. The Postcolonial Animal: African Literature and Posthuman Ethics demonstrates the importance of African writing to animal studies by analyzing how postcolonial African writing—including folktales, religion, philosophy, and anticolonial movements—has been mobilized to call for humane treatment of nonhuman others. Mwangi illustrates how African authors grapple with the possibility of an alternative to eating meat, and how they present postcolonial animal-consuming cultures as shifting toward an embrace of cultural and political practices that avoid the use of animals and minimize animal suffering. The Postcolonial Animal analyzes texts that imagine a world where animals are not abused or used as a source of food, clothing, or labor, and that offer instruction in how we might act responsibly and how we should relate to others—both human and nonhuman—in order to ensure a world free of oppression. The result is an equitable world where even those who are utterly foreign to us are accorded respect and where we recognize the rights of all marginalized groups.

ISBN-13: 9780472054190

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

Publication Date: 09-06-2019

Pages: 286

Product Dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Series: African Perspectives

Evan Maina Mwangi is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies at Northwestern University.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Being Animals, Becoming-Africa 1

Chapter 2 Re-Animating Precolonial Ecological Practices: The Case of Ubuntu 27

Chapter 3 Not Yet Happily Ever After: Orature and Animals 53

Chapter 4 Winds of Change and the God of Small Animals 100

Chapter 5 Interspecies Sexual Intimacies 133

Coda: More Agency from the Blue 175

Notes 187

Bibliography 215

Index 251