Historian of an South African destiny half foretold, by Noel Garson. The contributer of this article, Professor Noel Garson, was the head of the history department at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg:
In almost every imaginable way, I am not qualified to write this piece. I am neither an Africanist nor an expert on African literatures and cultures, and my English degree is sufficiently ancient and Leavisite as to have been completely untroubled by critical engagement with world literature, orientalism, postcolonialism, diaspora, globalization, hybridity, the subaltern, and so on.
As with that project, this essay is intended as an invitation — to engage with unfamiliar writers and texts, to broaden our vision of sf, and to look together to a global future.
It stretches from the northern temperate zone to the southern temperate zone and contains, in effect, 65 countries. Its peoples speak somewhere between and languages and multilingualism is commonplace.
There are vast differences between — and within — North and sub-Saharan Africa.
Across the continent, the influence of Arabic, European, Islamic, and Christian cultures has played out in myriad ways, as have colonialism, postcolonialism, and neo-colonialism.
There are important distinctions to be drawn between — and within — indigenous and settler cultures, both in Africa and in diaspora.
There are complex questions to be asked of the many hybridities thrown up at the lived interfaces and interweavings of these cultures and identities. Should Manly Wade Wellman, that stalwart of the US fantastic pulps from the late s onwards, who was born in what is now Angola, be considered an African sf writer?
How about Doris Lessing? She was born in Persia inlived in Southern Rhodesia frombefore settling in the UK, where most of her fiction was written. While such questions have no straightforward answers, there is much to be gained by thinking collectively about them.
All of the stories and novels discussed below were either written or have been translated into English. There are undoubtedly works in indigenous languages, as well as in Arabic 2 and other European colonizer languages.
Was there African sf before World War 2? All the examples I have found are by white South Africans, and only one of them Timlin is currently in print. A Romance of the Karroo ; BL, E is a Haggard-inspired lost race novel, written by the Johannesburg-based Baptist clergyman who also wrote the authorized biography of Gandhi.
In the frame tale, Justin Retief, a Cape Town settler, discovers a manuscript describing the adventures of his grandfather two centuries earlier. In the framed tale, Paul Retief witnesses the destruction of the millennia-old Nefert, a forgotten outpost of the ancient Egyptian empire, while rescuing his abducted wife, Marion, believed to be a reincarnation of the legendarily cruel queen Reinhild.
The prequel, The Queen of the Secret City ; BL, Etells of the rise to power and the struggle over the soul of Reinhild — again taken from a manuscript discovered by Justin. It is positioned as an overtly Christian refutation of pernicious Nietzscheanism, but rather clumsily, as if an afterthought.
Both books are rare and costly. It is not too expensive second-hand. Timlin emigrated to South Africa inaged twenty, where he became an architect and, more notably, an interior designer of picture palaces. InParamount announced a film adaptation, to star the now largely forgotten Raymond Griffith, but it went unmade, and the book was not reprinted until It is slight, but not remotely humorous.
After whites have been eradicated, black people and coloured people turn on each other, destroying the human race. Intended as an intervention into post-war South African politics, it projects a future in which Anglophone government is overthrown and replaced by a fascist Afrikaner state.
The white Anglophone population deserts, or is hounded out of, the country. Black Africans eventually achieve a rather compromised victory over their oppressors, but prove incapable of building or maintaining a modern, thriving nation. Overall, it is one of those oddly racist anti-racist books, reiterating that old nonsense about British colonialism being more benevolent and efficient than that of other European nations.
Nonetheless, it is worth the effort of finding one of the reasonably-priced second-hand copies. Although neither is sf, both do science-fictional things. The recurring sound of distant blasting and especially the image of a French battleship blindly shelling the jungle indicate the violence of colonial conquest and render modernity absurd.
Perhaps inevitably, colonialism wins; the Shavians certainly do not. Irreal Africas, postcolonial fictions One place to look for traces of African sf is in critical volumes which would never dream of using the term, or would at least prefer not to, deploying instead a de-science-fictionalized discourse of utopia and dystopia, and labelling anything irreal as some kind of postcolonial magic realism or avant-gardist experimentalism.
African Postmodernism and Magical Realism is a treasure trove in this regard. Both volumes are out of print, and second-hand copies of Flashback Hotelthe omnibus edition intended to make these stories accessible once more, are even harder to track down.
Who Remembers the Sea ; BL in French, LC — written by Algerian Mohammed Dib while exiled in Paris for his opposition to the French colonial occupation of Algeria — is set in a phantasmagorical city that constantly shifts and changes.
Strange beasts roam the city, and violent conflict brings death and devastation. It is replete with neologisms and neosemes, used with the consistency one would expect of sf world-building, even if the objects to which they attach are not brought into clear focus.
Events and entities never quite seem to hold still. The revolution, if that is what it is, happens offstage, just out of sight.History Scholarships in Ontario. History scholarships awarded in Ontario for higher education students in Canada.
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Nordhaus and Paul M. Romer were announced as the winners of the Nobel Prize in economics at a news conference in Stockholm. In papers in the s and s, Professor Romer. Arthur M. Keppel-Jones Essay Prize - Canadian Scholarships. Information about Arthur M.
Keppel-Jones Essay Prize. You can also locate similiar scholarships, awards, prizes and bursaries in Canada. Tag: Arthur Keppel-Jones Nick Wood, Azanian Bridges () Azanian Bridges is a neat little thriller, set in more or less the present-day South Africa but in a world in which Apartheid continues.
The Arthur M. Keppel-Jones Essay Prize Established in memory of Professor Arthur M. Keppel-Jones, a caring teacher, humane and generous scholar, and distinguished historian of South Africa.
Awarded annually on the recommendation of the Department of History to a student in a history course who is judged to have written a historical essay . Tag: Arthur Keppel-Jones Nick Wood, Azanian Bridges () Azanian Bridges is a neat little thriller, set in more or less the present-day South Africa but in a world in which Apartheid continues.
A quick and compelling read, it does a .