Hungochani: The History of a Dissident Sexuality in Southern Africa

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McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 2004 - Social Science - 317 pages
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In the vivid tapestry of global queer cultures Africa has long been neglected or stereotyped. In Hungochani, Marc Epprecht seeks to change that by tracing the history and traditions of homosexuality in southern Africa, modern gay and lesbian identities, and the vibrant gay rights movement that has emerged since the 1980s. He explores the diverse ways African cultures traditionally explained same-sex sexuality and follows the emergence of new forms of gender identity and sexuality that evolved with the introduction of capitalism, colonial rule, and Christian education. Using oral testimony, memoirs, literature, criminal court records, and early government enquiries from the eighteenth century to the present, he traces the complex origins of homophobia. By bringing forth a wealth of evidence about once-hidden sexual behaviour, Epprecht contributes to the honest, open discussion that is urgently needed in the battle against HIV/AIDS. Homosexuality - or hungochani as it is known in Zimbabwe - has been denounced by many politicians and church leaders as an example of how Western decadence has corrupted African traditions. However, a bold new gay rights movement has emerged in several of the countries of the region since the 1980s, offering an exciting new dimension in the broad struggle for human rights and democracy unfolding on the continent.
 

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Contents

Traditions
25
Cities
50
Outlaws
83
Towns
103
Fear and Loathing Settlers
131
Fear and Loathing African Transitions
152
Contagion
184
Politics
207
Conclusion
223
The Gay Oral History Project and Research Methodology
229
Sample Interviews
239
Notes
251
Bibliography
277
Index
307
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Marc Epprecht is associate professor in the departments of history and global development studies at Queen's University. He is the 2006 winner of the Canadian Association of African Studies Joel Gregory Prize for his book "Hungochani: The History of a Dissident Sexuality in Southern Africa". In 2009 he won the Desmond Tutu Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Study of Sexuality in Africa.

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