By Hoad N.W.
There were few book-length engagements with the query of sexuality in Africa, not to mention African homosexuality. African Intimacies at the same time responds to the general public debate at the “Africanness” of homosexuality and interrogates the meaningfulness of the phrases “sexuality” and “homosexuality” outdoor Euro-American discourse. Speculating on cultural practices interpreted by way of missionaries as sodomy and resistance to colonialism, Neville Hoad starts through reading the 1886 Bugandan martyrs incident—the execution of thirty males within the royal court docket. Then, in a chain of shut readings, he addresses questions of race, intercourse, and globalization within the 1965 Wole Soyinka novel The Interpreters, examines the emblematic 1998 Lambeth convention of Anglican bishops, considers the imperial legacy in depictions of the HIV/AIDS hindrance, and divulges how South African author Phaswane Mpe’s modern novel Welcome to Our Hillbrow problematizes notions of African id and cosmopolitanism. Hoad’s evaluation of the old valence of homosexuality in Africa indicates how the class has served a key function in a bigger tale, one during which sexuality has been made according to a imaginative and prescient of white Western fact, proscribing an knowing of intimacy which can think an African universalism. Neville Hoad is assistant professor of English on the collage of Texas, Austin.
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Extra resources for African Intimacies: Race, Homosexuality, and Globalization
Indeed, they may have served as a test of loyalty to Mwanga and to the institution of the kabaka. ’”56 Even if not a recodification of older practices, “unnatural vice” may have functioned as a spontaneous attempt to consolidate the threatened autocratic authority of the kabaka, a figure at the center of client patronage whose authority was so profoundly invested in his person that he could hardly be said to have had a “personal life” in a recognizably Western modern sense of the term. Kabakas “were Buganda, a corporal reflection of the country’s body politic.
Ideologically, the “sodomy” attribution or reinterpretation worked to colonize Ganda cosmology, placing the king on the human side of the human/divine divide. Rendering the corporeal intimacies with his pages as sodomy allowed the missionaries to refigure the kabaka as subject to, rather than a subject of, cosmology. Finally, by recasting these underdescribed intimacies as primarily “sexual,” the missionaries undermined the Ganda state’s monopoly on the legitimate use of violence that is central to all state sovereignty.
Moreover, as David Apter points out: “There grew up among the British a myth of Buganda as a knightly and feudal nation. . ”20 Victorian fascination with matters perceived as medieval21 may have helped to give the Baganda a particular place in an imperial popular imaginary. ”22 The representation of Buganda as emblematically chivalric, feudal, and ready for Christianity may have prompted a set of identifications that made the task of stemming “Arab corruption” not only a territorial, economic, or religious concern.