The 1960s–80s saw the rise of a radical poetics in apartheid South Africa, referred to as Black Consciousness, and an equally conservative, formalist poetics, most often practiced by white South African poets. Black Consciousness poetry was characterized by its direct, conversational approaches to the everyday violence of apartheid; the “white lyric” followed the modern poetic practice of an abstracted, sublimated sensibility. South African critics were sharply divided over the ethics of poetry (and art) during apartheid. After the first democratic elections in 1994, Black Consciousness poetry was increasingly viewed as a relic of an earlier age, while lyrics by white poets entered critical aesthetic discourse. By returning to the divided decades of the 1960s and 1970s now, and reading both the critical conversations and the poetry by black and white poets, we can work toward a reading that registers the interstices of black and white poetics, politics, and aesthetics today.
Research in African Literatures, founded in 1970, is the premier journal of African literary studies worldwide and provides a forum in English for research on the oral and written literatures of Africa. In addition to thought-provoking essays, reviews of current scholarly books appear in every issue, often presented as critical essays, and a forum offers readers the opportunity to respond to issues raised in articles and book reviews. Thematic clusters of articles and frequent special issues reveal the broad interests of its readership.
Indiana University Press was founded in 1950 and is today recognized internationally as a leading academic publisher specializing in the humanities and social sciences. As an academic press, our mandate is to serve the world of scholarship and culture as a professional, not-for-profit publisher. We publish books and journals that will matter 20 or even a hundred years from now – titles that make a difference today and will live on into the future through their reverberations in the minds of teachers and writers. IU Press's major subject areas include African, African American, Asian, cultural, Jewish and Holocaust, Middle East, Russian and East European, and women's and gender studies; anthropology, film, history, bioethics, music, paleontology, philanthropy, philosophy, and religion. The Press also features an extensive regional publishing program under its Quarry Books imprint. It is one of the largest public university presses, as measured by titles and income level.