'Taming untamed pests' : representing female sexualities in Tiyambe Zeleza's Smouldering charcoal and James Ng'ombe's Sugarcane with salt

Mtenje, Asante L. (2017-05-29)

CITATION: Mtenje, A. L. 2017. 'Taming untamed pests' : representing female sexualities in Tiyambe Zeleza's Smouldering charcoal and James Ng'ombe's Sugarcane with salt. Literator, 38(2), a1341, doi:10.4102/lit.v38i2.1341.

The original publication is available at https://literator.org.za

Article

In this article, I explore a range of intersections between the ideological-material legacies of a dictatorial regime and representations of female sexuality in Malawian fiction. I am particularly interested in using literary narratives to examine how fiction writers explore the congruencies and disjunctures amongst outright political dictatorship and the impact on bodies and behaviours of state-inflected institutions such as ‘the family’, along with discourses such as gender, culture and religion that are commonly mobilised in the service of national identity. Focusing on Tiyambe Zeleza’s Smouldering Charcoal and James Ng’ombe’s Sugarcane with Salt, I investigate how the authors’ portrayal of female sexuality contest at the same time as they reproduce received, normative ‘truths’ about female sexualities. By focusing on female sexual agency, desire and pleasure, this article also examines class-inflected intergenerational differences between women’s conceptualisations of female sexualities as a construct that can be negotiated.

In Afrika se diktatoriale regimes vervaag die grense tussen private en openbare ruimtes as gevolg van die beheer wat die staat uitoefen oor die subjektiwiteite van gewone burgers. In hierdie artikel verken ek ‘n verskeidenheid van kruisings tussen die ideologies-materiёle nalatenskap van ‘n diktatoriale regime en uitbeeldings van vroulike seksualiteit in Malawiese fiksie. Ek is veral geïnteresseerd in die gebruik van literêre tekste om te ondersoek hoe fiksie-skrywers die ooreenkomste en teenstellings tussen volslae politieke diktatorskap en die impak daarvan op liggame en gedrag verken, asook hoe die staat instellings soos ‘die familie’ vervorm. Hierdie ondersoek sluit ook in diskoerse soos geslag, kultuur en godsdiens wat algemeen gebruik word in die diens van nasionale identiteit. Ek fokus op Tiyambe Zeleza se Smouldering Charcoal en James Ng’ombe se Sugarcane with Salt, en ondersoek hoe die skrywers se uitbeelding van vroulike seksualiteit gevestigde normatiewe ‘waarhede’ oor vroulike heteroseksualiteit voortsit en terselfdertyd bestry. Deur te fokus op vroulike seksuele agentskap, begeerte en plesier, ondersoek hierdie artikel ook klas-gebaseerde intergenerasionele verskille tussen vroue se konseptualiserings van vroulike heteroseksualiteite as ‘n konstruk wat beredeneer kan word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/104128
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