Heterosexual Africa?: The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS

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Overview

Heterosexual Africa? The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS builds from Marc Epprecht?s previous book, Hungochani (which focuses expli citly on same-sex desire in southern Africa) to explore the historical processes by which a singular, heterosexual identity for Africa was constructed?by anthropologists, ethnopsychologists, colonial officials, African elites, and most recently, health care workers seeking to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic. This is an eloquently written, accessible ...

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Heterosexual Africa?: The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS

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Overview

Heterosexual Africa? The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS builds from Marc Epprecht’s previous book, Hungochani (which focuses expli citly on same-sex desire in southern Africa) to explore the historical processes by which a singular, heterosexual identity for Africa was constructed—by anthropologists, ethnopsychologists, colonial officials, African elites, and most recently, health care workers seeking to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic. This is an eloquently written, accessible book, based on a rich and diverse range of sources, that will find enthusiastic audiences in classrooms and in the general public.

Epprecht argues that Africans, just like people all over the world, have always had a range of sexualities and sexual identities. Over the course of the last two centuries, however, African societies south of the Sahara have come to be viewed as singularly heterosexual. Epprecht carefully traces the many routes by which this singularity, this heteronormativity, became a dominant culture. A fascinating story that will surely generate lively debate Epprecht makes his project speak to a range of literatures—queer theory, the new imperial history, African social history, queer and women’s studies, and biomedical literature on the HIV/AIDS pandemic. He does this with a light enough hand that his story is not bogged down by endless references to particular debates.

Heterosexual Africa? aims to understand an enduring stereotype about Africa and Africans. It asks how Africa came to be defined as a “homosexual-free zone” during the colonial era, and how this idea not only survived thetransition to independence but flourished under conditions of globalization and early panicky responses to HIV/AIDS.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780821417997
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press
  • Publication date: 9/23/2008
  • Series: New African Histories
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 246
  • Sales rank: 821,077
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Marc Epprecht is associate professor in the departments of history and global development studies at Queen’s University. He is the 2006 winner of the Canadian Association of African Studies Joel Gregory Prize for his book Hungochani: The History of a Dissident Sexuality in Southern Africa.

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations

Ch. 1 A Puzzling Blindspot, a Troubling Silence, a Strange Consensus: Reflections on the Heterosexual Norm in "African AIDS" 1

Ch. 2 The Ethnography of African Straightness 34

Ch. 3 Ethnopsychiatry and the Making of Gay Shaka 65

Ch. 4 Slim Disease and the Science of Silence 100

Ch. 5 Alternatives and Ambiguities: African Voices in Literature and Film 131

Works Cited 187

Index 219

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