February 2010

Thomas A. Hale (*) and Kora Véron co-authored an article titled “Is There Unity in the Writings of Aimé Césaire?” in the journal Research in African Literatures, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Spring 2010), pp. 46-70. The abstract reads: “Researchers unfamiliar with the entire corpus of Césaire’s writings question the connection between his literary works and his other texts, especially those of a political nature, many of which are little known. For them events such as the transformation of Martinique from colony to Overseas Department appear to contradict the militantism in Césaire’s poetry. Our analysis of selected texts from the large and varied corpus of Césaire’s writings (plays, poems, essays, prefaces, speeches, interviews, declarations, telegrams, letters, and translations) during three periods in his life, 1935 to 1948, 1949 to 1956, and 1957 until 2009, reveals that there is unity in the ideas and actions of Césaire. The relationship of the literary to the political, however, evolves during these three periods. Evidence comes, for example, from criticisms of the politics of cultural assimilation in his essays in L’étudiant noir and Cahier d’un retour au pays natal in the first period to poems that directly challenged the literary formalism promoted by the French Communist Party in the second period, and a synthesis of the literary and the political in a little known poem about an murdered activist in New Caledonia.” The article is part of a special issue of the Research in African Literatures devoted to “Aimé Césaire, 1913-2008: Poet, Politician, Cultural Statesman”. TOC for this issue is found at: http://inscribe.iupress.org/toc/ral/41/1.

Adeline Masquelier (*) has published a new book titled “Women and Islamic Revival in a West African Town” [Indiana University Press, 2009; 376 pages, 20 b&w ill., 2 maps – ISBN-13: 978-0-253-21513-0 – $27.95 (ppb) $75.00 (cloth)] This study follows the career of Malam Awal , a charismatic Sufi preacher, was recruited by local Muslim leaders to denounce the practices of reformist Muslims in the small town of Dogondoutchi, Niger. It documents the engagement of women in the religious debates that are refashioning their everyday lives. Malam Awal’s message has been viewed as a mixed blessing by Muslim women who have seen new definitions of Islam and Muslim practice impact their place and role in society. The book reveals how these women have had to define Islam on their own terms, especially as a practice that governs education, participation in prayer, domestic activities, wedding customs, and who wears the veil and how. The detailed narrative presents new understandings of what it means to be a Muslim woman in Africa today.

Serge Michaïlof (*) publie aux editions Fayard (mars 2010) un nouvel ouvrage intitulé “Notre maison brûle au Sud” [broché – ISBN-10: 2213654271/ISBN-13: 978-2213654270; €15,00].

Philippe Hugon (*) a co-dirigé avec Pierre Salama un ouvrage intitulé “Les Suds dans la crise” (Paris: Armand Colin, 2010; 240 p., € 20,00 -ISBN: 2200246277). Le même éditeur publiera aussi la 2ème edition (dans sa collection 128) de “La géopolitique de l’Afrique”. Pierre Hugon a également fourni le chapitre “Afrique” de l’“Annuaire stratégique 2010” (Paris: Dalloz/ Atlas Hatier).

Christopher LaMonica (*) has contributed a chapter on “Africa in International Relations Theory: Addressing the Quandary of Africa’s Ongoing Marginalization Within the Discipline”, in “Reframing Contemporary Africa: Politics, Culture, and Society in the Global Era”, ed. by Peyi Soyinka-Airewele & Rita Kiki Edozie (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2010 – ISBN 078-0-87289-407-5). pp.351-374.

The same volume also includes a chapter written by Célestin Monga (*) under the title: “Civil Society and Sociopolitical Change in Africa: A Brief Theoretical Commentary” (pp.144-156).