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Marzagora, Sara (2019) 'Ethiopian Intellectual History and the Global: Käbbädä Mikael’s Geographies of Belonging.' Journal of World Literature, 4 (1). pp. 107-128.

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Abstract

Through the literary and historiographical works written by Ethiopian intellectual Käbbädä Mikael in the 1940s and 1950s, this article problematizes the concept of the “world” in world literature. In some theories of world literature, the world is presented as a static a priori, a self-evident spatial referent, a background setting for literary activities. Contrary to this objectivist frame, I propose instead to look at the world as a performative category, and to conceive world literature as a study of worldmaking processes. Käbbädä Mikael’s worldmaking attempted to break into the Eurocentric exclusivity of hegemonic narratives of modernity, jostling for recognition within modernization theory but also, at the same time, activating polycentric connections along oblique South-South networks. For him, the world was not a cosmopolitan project, but a pool of symbolic resources from which to draw in building a better future for Ethiopia.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Ethiopia; Amharic literature; worldmaking; geographies of belonging; significant geographies
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
ISSN: 24056480
Copyright Statement: © 2019 Sara Marzagora. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the prevailing CC-BY-NC-ND license at the time of publication. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.1163/24056480-00401006
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2018 12:03
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/26004
Funders: Other

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