Men Across Time: Contesting Masculinities in Ghanaian Fiction and Film examines the various constructions and manifestations of masculinities from precolonial, colonial, independent and post-independent Ghana as portrayed in selected Ghanaian fiction, film and music videos. Two main questions are engaged here:
- What predominant masculine images are present in Ghanaian texts?
- In what ways has the passage of time affected the subversion of dominant masculine images, contested hegemony and created room for the presence of alternative masculinities?
This book submits that in questioning the various masculine modes of behaviours portrayed in these texts, and negotiating their own masculine identities, the male characters showcase the mutations that are taking place within masculine representations over time and aver that other models of masculine expression are possible.
“This study’s engagement with the theory of hegemonic masculinity represents an important contribution to the discourse in gender studies in Ghana and Africa. In addition, it is well researched and presents a cutting-edge analysis of masculinity across genres. I cannot think of any other study in Ghanaian literary and cultural studies that provides such a broad historical background context and the book is certainly original in its approach.” — Professor Mansah Prah, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
“The book’s major strength is in adding significantly to an area of study that is currently under theorised. This has the potential to make a robust and important contribution to the field of knowledge on representation of masculinities in African and specifically Ghanaian popular culture.” — Associate Professor Nicky Falkof, Media Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Beyond the Political Spider: Critical Issues in African Humanities by Kwesi Yankah is the first title in the newly established African Humanities Association (AHA) publication series.
By integrating his own biography into a critique of the global politics of knowledge production, Yankah, through a collection of essays, interrogates critical issues confronting the Humanities that spawn intellectual hegemonies and muffle African voices. Using the example of Ghana, he brings under scrutiny, amongst others, endemic issues of academic freedom, gender inequities, the unequal global academic order, and linguistic imperialism in language policies in governance.
In the face of these challenges, the author deftly navigates the complex terrain of indigenous knowledge and language in the context of democratic politics, demonstrating that agency can be liberatory when emphasising indigenous knowledge, especially expressed through the idiom of local languages and symbols, including Ananse, the protean spider, folk hero in Ghana and most parts of the pan-African world.
“Fascinating snapshots from an engaged scholarly life in Africa, valuable as an archival resource for the understanding of this period of higher education in Africa.” – John Higgins, Arderne Chair in Literature, Department of English Literary Studies, University of Cape Town
“This book is unique and gives a powerful rendition of the state of the Humanities in Africa (with Ghana as a case in point). It grapples with some of the pertinent issues dogging the Humanities in Africa. It comments on the Humanities scholarship in Africa, and subtly throws a challenge for future scholarship. It draws on African traditions, communal heritage, and governance in discussing the role and place of the Humanities in Africa. It also brings into the analysis the ever-changing imperatives and modernity in re-configuring African Humanities.” – Mark Benge Okot, Head of Department, Literature, Makerere University, Uganda
“Beyond the Political Spider’ effectively draws, in a unique fashion, from literature, history, linguistics and other cognate disciplines in the African Humanities.” – Sati Umaru Fwatshak, Department of History, University of Jos, Nigeria