Our first issue of 2015 (41.1) begins with the “Africa Reconfigured” cluster, presenting new scholarly and artistic approaches to decolonization emerging from African Studies.
Xavier Livermon argues that new definitions of “tradition”—not just legal rights—have led Black South Africans to “queer” marriage practices. Cheryl Toman offers an account of writer, playwright, and performer Werewere Liking’s distinctive questioning of colonialism through performance art and social activism in Côte d’Ivoire and Mali. Busi Makoni examines how young women creatively relate to the prevailing lexicon of body parts in southern African languages. Our featured artist is Peju Alatise, whose materials and ideas deeply question European and US aesthetics, as Moyo Okediji explains. Creative writers published in this issue, Olumide Popoola and Gabeba Baderoon, examine the workings of gender orders and memory in African contexts.
In the second half of this issue, Sara Evans and Agatha Beins reconsider the relationship between race and US women’s liberation in the 1960s and early 1970s. Also, Mark Schuller offers an intersectional analysis of the violence that Haitian women faced in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.
Our forum “Teaching about Ferguson” offers reflections by six scholars on how to approach teaching about state-sanctioned violence against people of color in the United States.