In Riotous Deathscapes, Hugo ka Canham presents an understanding of life and death based on indigenous and Black ways of knowing that he terms Mpondo theory. Focusing on amaMpondo people from rural Mpondoland, in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, Canham outlines the methodologies that have enabled the community’s resilience and survival. He assembles historical events and a cast of ancestral and living characters, following the tenor of village life, to offer a portrait of how Mpondo people live and die in the face of centuries of abandonment, trauma, antiblackness, and death.
Hugo ka Canham is a writer and professor at the Institute for Social and Health Sciences, University of South Africa. His work is located along the fault lines of Black studies, African feminism, African and queer theorizations. His work is invested in detonating the binaries between the human and the natural, multispecies world. It may be understood within the transdisciplinary framework of Black Planetary Studies. His latest book, Riotous Deathscapes is published by Duke University Press and copublished by Wits University Press.
Thato Magano (pronouns: Thato) is a doctoral candidate in the program in comparative literature at Rutgers University and in medieval and early modern studies at Leiden University (The Netherlands). Thato holds a master of arts degree in comparative literature from Rutgers University and African literature from the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa). Thato’s work has appeared in platforms including Queer Africa, Publica[c]tion, and, Contemporary And, among others.