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Enlightenment and the ‘heart of darkness’: (neo)imperialism in the Congo, and elsewhere

Stronach, Ian (2006) Enlightenment and the ‘heart of darkness’: (neo)imperialism in the Congo, and elsewhere. UNSPECIFIED. Manchester Metropolitan University.


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This essay addresses the ‘state of qualitative inquiry’ twice; first, as an allegory of a contemporary epistemological imperialism; second, as an experiment in thinking and writing otherwise. Lacking any manifesto, distrusting abstract envisioning, it offers a worked example not of the future but of the present reconsidered. The ambition is to be multi-disciplinary, to work the literary into that conjured literality, to address the present as a past-future, and to do so by way of analogy, juxtaposition and allegory1. The subject is the modernity and madness ‘imperialism’, past, present, historical and virtual. The setting is the ‘chaosmos’ of the Congo, starting with the trading 'stations' H.M. Stanley planted on that river in the late 19th century.

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