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Uses of African Antiquity in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries


Jorge Serrano

African antiquity has been discerned both nullifyingly and constructively. Uses of African Antiquity in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries reveals how reading the past can be extended to understand sensitivities involving origins and how it imparts collective posture. The ancient historical imagery epitomized by writers and artists alike includes the distant past as well as an immediate past. Comparatively, representation of time long gone records transhistorical presence and civilizational participation and agentic validity. African antiquity can be construed as diasporic through time and space and in regards to nomenclature it extends understanding of peopleness, e.g. Libya, Ethiopia, Africa, Afrika, African Egypt, Kemet, Alkebu-lan, Nubia, Ta-Seti, Ta-Nehisi, Ta-Merry, Kush, Axum, Meroë, Ghana, Mali, Songhai, Zulu, and so many more are recognized in a time-spatial continuum linked to African, Colored, Negro, and Black, as various terms inform origins identity. Unfortunately, typologies disciplinarily stem from anthropological construction, yet here African antiquity as sign heralds clines and clusters; splintering Africana from humanitas ultimately contends against subjugation. African antiquity absorbs character and notions of diachronologically dispersed peoples reflect origins indulgence. African antiquity as a stretched concept and/or historicism triply adds understanding, grouping, and alterity. This primarily is a review of thinkers who defend against people erasure in the past with its socially and nihilistic affective ways.

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As an aspiring transdisciplinary scholar, I voraciously work at learning about origins and identity; or primarily how the past has been perceived by people. This endeavoring not only led me to look at history but also involved classical, Egyptological, anthropological, and literary fields of study in the broadest sense. This work interprets writings as purposeful artistry and artifact that manifest social formations. My training began long ago informally as a lover of books and as a young aspiring mind and formally in an academic setting with Classics as I became thoroughly immersed in understanding the beginnings of civilization which I now consider a vague concept. While reading various Western ancient authors both in the original and in translation, I never lost sight of my primary concern for keenly delving into the idea of heritage and my place within it that developed throughout what can be considered Lehrjahre.

Consequentially, I read books then and now and here and there forever attempting to find myself somewhere. My research was fueled by picking up and reading peripheral books on street corner and permissible books in well-­lighted libraries, both of which helped establish←xi | xii→ a vital interconnectivity that inevitably propelled me to Elysian fields of study. Critically, I marked references by ancient and modern writers and their notions about tradition identity that reflected to me their understanding of their own utilitarian past. I made note of modern and ancient writers’ reverent attention to far and distant lands, that...

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