British Colonial Realism in Africa: Inalienable Objects, Contested Domains

Hardcover | June 5, 2012

byDeborah Shapple Spillman

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How are objects central to the formation of individuals, their communities, and their liberties? What role do objects play as they move between societies and their different systems of value as commodities, as charms, as gifts, as trophies, or as curses? Nineteenth-century British authors attempting to transport narrative realism to the colonies confronted such questions directly and indirectly as they struggled to represent competing forms of material investment that characterized colonial and postcolonial life in Africa. Reading works by authors from Joseph Conrad and Mary Kingsley to Anna Howarth and Olive Schreiner against nineteenth-century African essays, folklore, visual arts, and recorded testimonies, this new study considers how conflicts over the material world impacted literary realism in colonial Africa. These conflicts highlight tensions between Victorian and African perceptions of objects and practices of exchange, while directing our attention toward alternate histories and stories yet to be told.

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How are objects central to the formation of individuals, their communities, and their liberties? What role do objects play as they move between societies and their different systems of value as commodities, as charms, as gifts, as trophies, or as curses? Nineteenth-century British authors attempting to transport narrative realism to th...

DEBORAH SHAPPLE SPILLMAN is assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Oregon.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:264 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.62 inPublished:June 5, 2012Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230378005

ISBN - 13:9780230378001

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsPrefaceIntroduction: Reading Colonial RealismTaking Objects for Origins: Victorian Ethnography and Heart of DarknessThe Uncanny Object Lessons of Mary Kingsley and Edward BlydenRealism and Realia in Colonial Southern AfricaArtful Tales and Indigenous Arts in The Story of an African FarmCodaNotesBibliographyIndex