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“Our Forces Have Redoubled”: World Literature, Postcolonialism, and the Afro-Asian Writers’ Bureau

  • Duncan M. Yoon (a1)

Although most all contemporary studies of China and Africa focus on current economic or foreign policy concerns, this article provides a preliminary mapping of Africa-China cultural exchanges during the Cold War. Growing out of the Africa-Asia Conference of Bandung, Indonesia, in 1955, the Afro-Asian Writers Bureau forged third world solidarities via an alternative conception of postcolonialism based on the transnationalism of global South cultural struggle. By analyzing the cultural exchanges of the bureau, and in particular their definition of world literature, this article seeks to move beyond postcolonial scholarship that focuses exclusively on a vertical relationship between the colonizer and colonized. In so doing, it both reinterprets the Cold War from outside of an American and Soviet dichotomy and provides a critical cultural historicization to China’s current, and often controversial, presence in Africa.

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Raymond Williams , Marxism and Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977)

Ali Behdad and Dominic Thomas’s A Companion to Comparative Literature (Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011)

Rebecca Karl’s Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World: A Concise History (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010)

Mark A. Wollaeger and Matt Eatough , The Oxford Handbook of Global Modernisms (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012)

Satya P. Mohanty , Colonialism, Modernity, and Literature: A View from India. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011)

Simon Gikandi , “Realism, Romance, and the Problem of African Literary History,” Modern Language Quarterly 73.3 (2012): 309328

Hala Halim’s Lotus, the Afro-Asian Nexus and Global South Comparatism,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 32.3 (2012): 563583

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Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry
  • ISSN: 2052-2614
  • EISSN: 2052-2622
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-journal-of-postcolonial-literary-inquiry
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