The Idea of Africa

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Indiana University Press, 1994 - History - 234 pages
"A sequel to V. Y. Mudimbe's highly acclaimed The invention of Africa, this book maps the 'idea' of Africa as conceived in various historical and geographical contexts from the Greeks to the present. Mudimbe focuses on two main issues: the Greco-Roman thematization of otherness and its articulation in such concepts as barbarism and savagery and the complex process that has shaped the idea of Africa s understood by Europeans. In the considerable intellectual space covered, Africa is outlined as a paradigm of difference. Mudimbe proceeds from an interrogation of a seventeenth-century French translation of the Greek Philostratus's Icones to considerations of Greek contacts with the African continent, the Greek paradigm and its power, and the politics of memory. Individual chapters critique the present-day reactivation of Greek texts by black scholars and review contemporary activity in African art. Essential reading for anyone interested in the politics and construction of culture"--Back cover.

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