Heard Elsewhere

Perpetual Hardships: Female Poverty in Rural Malanje, Angola

Source: Perpetual Hardships: Female Poverty in Rural Malanje, Angola

Copy Editing

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Professional copy editing services by Carolyn E. Vieira-Martinez, PhD are available for academic manuscripts pertaining to African history, Chicano History, amd related fields. For more information, contact profahistory@gmail.com.

References available.

Dr Naomi Epongse Nkealah: exploring gender and sexuality in African literature 

Humanities and Social Sciences Award Winner

Specialising in feminist theory and African women’s writing, Nkealah explores the intersections of gender and sexuality in African literature. Her aim is to bring the voices of emerging women writers into the mainstream. These writers include South African poet Gabeba Baderoon and Cameroonian playwright Anne Tanyi-Tang, whose published works not only offer salient additions to African epistemologies, but also challenge the marginalisation of certain clusters of women’s writing.

Source: Dr Naomi Epongse Nkealah: exploring gender and sexuality in African literature | Special Reports | M&G

‘Silent Spring’ comes to life in DDT-stricken town — Thursday, February 2, 2017

Congress hasn’t renewed the Superfund tax — which charged the chemical and fossil fuel industries for future cleanup costs — since it expired in 1995, meaning taxpayers fund an increasingly tight federal cleanup budget. Why does it matter? Take a look at St. Louis, Michigan today.

Source: SUPERFUND: ‘Silent Spring’ comes to life in DDT-stricken town — Thursday, February 2, 2017 — www.eenews.net

Detroiters and Africans in conversation

Metro Detroit is a cultural nexus when it comes to drawing inspiration from African nations in the service of personal expression.

Source: Fabric across the world: Michigan and Africa in textile conversation

Péclard on Soares de Oliveira, ‘Magnificent and Beggar Land: Angola since the Civil War’ 

Excellent review by Didier Péclard of Ricardo Soares de Oliveira. Magnificent and Beggar Land: Angola since the Civil War. London: Hurst Publishers, 2015. 320 pp. $34.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-19-025139-0.

Source: Péclard on Soares de Oliveira, ‘Magnificent and Beggar Land: Angola since the Civil War’ | H-Luso-Africa | H-Net

Dutch Wax Fabrics as African Fashion

Their patterns and palettes evince an instantly recognizable aesthetic. And there are scores of Vlisco imitators: Chinese knockoffs are sold on city streets all over the world. But are any of these fabrics in fact African? The Philadelphia Museum of Art examines the past and present of Vlisco fabrics, a symbol of our hyperconnected, postcolonial material world.

Source: How Dutch Wax Fabrics Became a Mainstay of African Fashion

Alarm over the declining Nile perch stock in Lake Victoria

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In the late 1950s, the Nile perch was introduced to Lake Victoria. One of the consequences was the decline of more than 500 native species, including many haplochromine cichlids that are now extinct. But between 1992 and 2004, the status of the Nile perch rose dramatically due to demand from European countries, and to new scientific literature publicizing the role of the Omega-3 fatty acids to check heart problems and high blood pressure. In 1993 the first commercial fish processing plant opened at Mwanza to take advantage of this boon. Today, scientists are finding a resurgence of native haplochromines to 60% of the lake biomass–nowhere near the 80%+ levels of a half-century ago, but a threat to the industry that has grown up around the Nile perch European market.

Will the commercial viability of Lake Victoria and its ecosystem be sustained? How many of the native haplochromine species have survived?

See also Nature 513, 375- 81 (18 Sept 2014).

Source: The East African – Science and Health

Enbridge Line #5 Public Comments Requested; Permissions Pending

The US Forest Service is accepting public comments until January 6, 2017 regarding the permitting of the portion of Enbridge Energy Partners pipeline Line #5 that runs through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest north of Highway 2 in Bayfield County, Wisconsin. The permit includes 11.5 miles of pipeline and spans roughly 71 acres of public land.

Source: Enbridge Line #5 Pipeline Threatens Great Lakes; Public Comment Needed | Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative

Stuart Hall on Antonio Gramsci

On January 23 in 1891 one of the most influential Marxists of the 21st Century, Antonio Gramsci, was born in the small town of Ales in Sardinia. Gramsci’s work transformed how we think about a Marxist politics. Whereas the Russian Revolution occured in the “backward” Russia, and as such was as much a revolution against the “old regime” as against capital, Gramsci attempted to wrestle with the question of how we build a revolutionary movement in the developed areas of Western Europe. In particular it was his development of the concept of “hegemony” which was to prove the most influential. In this piece, from the great Stuart Hall and published in The Hard Road to Renewal, Hall attempts to expand these insights of Gramsci’s to analyse the “regressive modernisation” of Thatcher. In an age where many are tackling the question of how to build a new left modernity, Gramsci and Hall are as relevant as ever.

This is not a comprehensive exposition of the ideas of Antonio Gramsci, nor a systematic account of the political situation in Britain today. It is an attempt to ‘think aloud’ about some of the perplexing dilemmas facing the Left, in the light of – from the perspective of – Gramsci’s work. I do not claim that, in any simple way, Gramsci ‘has the answers’ or ‘holds the key’ to our present troubles. I do believe that we must ‘think’ our problems in a Gramscian way – which is different. We mustn’t use Gramsci (as we have for so long abused Marx) like an Old Testament prophet who, at the correct moment, will offer us the consoling and appropriate quotation. We can’t pluck up this ‘Sardinian’ from his specific and unique political formation, beam him down at the end of the 20th century, and ask him to solve our problems for us: especially since the whole thrust of his thinking was to refuse this easy transfer of generalisations from one conjuncture, nation or epoch to another.

The thing about Gramsci that really transformed my own way of thinking about politics is the question which arises from his Prison Notebooks. If you look at the classic texts of Marx and Lenin, you are led to expect a revolutionary epochal historical development emerging from the end of the First World War onwards. And indeed events did give considerable evidence that such a development was occurring. Gramsci belongs to this ‘proletarian moment’. It occurred in Turin in the 1920s, and other places where people like Gramsci, in touch with the advance guard of the industrial working class — then at the very forefront of modern production — thought that, if only the managers and politicians would get out of the way, this class of proletarians could run the world, take over the factories, seize the whole machinery of society, materially transform it and manage it, economically, socially, culturally, technically. The truth about the 1920s is that the ‘proletarian moment’ very nearly came off. Just before and after the First World War, it really was touch and go as to whether, under the leadership of such a class, the world might not have been transformed – as Russia was in 1917 by the Soviet revolution. This was the moment of the proletarian perspective on history. What I have called Gramsci’s question’ in the Notebooks emerges in the aftermath of that moment, with the recognition that history was not going to go that way, especially in the advanced industrial capitalist societies of Western Europe. Gramsci had to confront the turning back, the failure, of that moment: the fact that such a moment, having passed, would never return in its old form. Gramsci, here, came face to face with the revolutionary character of history itself. When a conjuncture unrolls, there is no ‘going back’. History shifts gears. The terrain changes. You are in a new moment. You have to attend, ‘violently’, with all the ‘pessimism of the intellect’ at your command, to the ‘discipline of the conjuncture’.

In addition (and this is one of the main reasons why his thought is so pertinent to us today) he had to face the capacity of the Right – specifically, of European fascism – to hegemonise that defeat.

So here was a historic reversal of the revolutionary project, a new historical conjuncture, and a moment which the Right, rather than the Left, was able to dominate. This looks like a moment of total crisis for the Left, when all the reference points, the predictions, have been shot to bits. The political universe, as you have come to inhabit it, collapses.

I don’t want to say that the Left in Britain is in exactly the same moment; but I do hope you recognise certain strikingly similar features, because it is the similarity between those two situations, that makes the question of the Prison Notebooks so seminal in helping us to understand what our condition is today. Gramsci gives us, not the tools with which to solve the puzzle, but the means with which to ask the right kinds of questions about the politics of the 1980s and 1990s. He does so by directing our attention

Source: VersoBooks.com

2017 Berkshire Conference

The Seventeenth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders, and Sexualities 2017

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