Matatu is a journal on African literatures and societies dedicated to interdisciplinary dialogue between literary and cultural studies, historiography, the social sciences and cultural anthropology. Matatu is animated by a lively interest in African culture and literature (including the Afro-Caribbean) that moves beyond worn-out clichés of ëcultural authenticityí and ënational liberationí towards critical exploration of African modernities. The East African public transport vehicle from which Matatu takes its name is both a component and a symbol of these modernities: based on ëWesterní (these days usually Japanese) technology, it is a vigorously African institution; it is usually regarded with some anxiety by those travelling in it, but is often enough the only means of transport available; it creates temporary communicative communities and provides a transient site for the exchange of news, storytelling, and political debate. Matatu is firmly committed to supporting democratic change in Africa, to providing a forum for interchanges between African and European critical debates, to overcoming notions of absolute cultural, ethnic, or religious alterity, and to promoting transnational discussion on the future of African societies in a wider world.
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