Neo-Imperialism in Children's Literature About Africa: A Study of Contemporary Fiction

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-11-21
  • Publisher: Routledge

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In the spirit of their last collaboration, Apartheid and Racism in South African Children's Literature, 1985-1995, Yulisa Amadu Maddy and Donnarae MacCann once again come together to expose the neo-imperialist overtones of contemporary children's fiction about Africa. Examining the portrayal of African social customs, religious philosophies, and political structures in fiction for young people, Maddy and MacCann reveal the Western biases that often infuse stories by well-known Western authors.In the book's introductory section, Maddy and MacCann offer historical information concerning Western notions of Africa as "primitive," and then present background information about the complexity of feminism in Africa and about the ongoing institutionalization of racism. The main body of the study contains critiques of the novels or short stories of eleven well-known writers, including Isabel Allende and Nancy Farmer--all demonstrating that children's literature continues to mis-represent conditions and social relations in Africa. The study concludes with a look at those short stories of Beverley Naidoo which bring insight and historical accuracy to South African conflicts and emerging solutions. Educators, literature professors, publishers, professors of Diaspora and African studies, and students of the mass media will find Maddy and MacCann's critique of racism in the representation of Africa to be indispensible to students of multicultural literature.

Author Biography

Donnarae MacCann was the director of the Laboratory School Library at UCLA prior to teaching children's literature at the University of Kansas and Virginia Tech, and African American Studies at the University of Iowa. Yulisa Amadu Maddy has taught at Morgan State University and the University of Iowa.

Table of Contents

Series Editor‚«÷s
Darkest Africa: A Persistent Western Fantasy
Feminism in Africa: Complexities and Activism
Institutional Racism
Neo-imperialist Stories, 1994-2008
Eurocentric Feminism in The Shadows of Ghadames and Our Secret, Siri Aang
White Supremacy in Isabelle Allende‚«÷s Forest of the Pygmies
Anti-African Themes in Liberal Young Adult Novels
Crime and Crime Syndicates in Many Stones and Zulu Dog
Doomed Races in Elana Bregin‚«÷s Ella's Dunes
Disease and the Darkest Africa Myth: Novels about AIDS and Smallpox
When the West Talks to Itself: Ethnocentricity in Nancy Farmer‚«÷s African Novels
Child Soldiers and Survivors in Chanda‚«÷s Wars
Rewarding the Best
Out of Bounds and the Legacy of South African Child Martyrs
Selected Bibliography
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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