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Battleground Bodies

Gender and Sexuality in Mozambican Literature


Eleanor K. Jones

This is the first book to provide a comparative exploration of the gendered and sexual body in Mozambican literature, engaging with the work of six authors spanning different generations, styles and aesthetics. The study begins by providing a detailed and innovative survey of the dynamics of gender, sexuality and power in the Portuguese colonial and Mozambican post-independence contexts, from the nineteenth century to the turn of the millennium. This initial investigation provides the sociohistorical backdrop for in-depth analyses of representations, uses and subversions of the body in poetry and prose fiction by José Craveirinha, Noémia de Sousa, Lília Momplé, Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa, Paulina Chiziane and Suleiman Cassamo. Using a wide and interdisciplinary range of theoretical frameworks, the book offers a fresh and creative new perspective on Mozambican history, political life and literary output.


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This book began its official life as a PhD thesis, completed at the University of Manchester. The inspiration for it, however, began to emerge the moment I entered the undergrad classroom of one Professor Hilary Owen, whose teaching first introduced me to the histories and cultures that would ulti- mately shape my career. For this, and for her inimitable intellectual and moral support through eight years of study and beyond, I give her my greatest thanks. My thanks also go to Lúcia Sá and Chris Perriam, both of whom were invaluable sources of encouragement, enthusiasm and evalu- ation throughout the PhD process. Warm thanks to Rhian Atkin, who showed me that research was my path, convinced me I had something to contribute, and has supported me to do just that ever since – through degrees, submissions, peer reviews, job interviews and the pitfalls of early career research, and sometimes just through a bottle of wine. I must likewise thank David Frier, Carmen Ramos- Villar and Mark Sabine, all of whom have been endlessly generous with time, advice and opportunities, and my Portuguesistas-in-arms, Anneliese Hatton, Emanuelle Santos and Deborah Madden. For their meticulous review of the manuscript and for offering to publish the book as part of their series with Peter Lang, many thanks indeed to Paulo de Medeiros and Cláudia Pazos-Alonso. In the summer of 2014 I was lucky enough to travel to Maputo for four weeks to rifle through archives and libraries and to purchase my bodyweight in...

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