“Original and stimulating, Our New Husbands Are Here challenges traditional historical accounts of gender and tests new concepts and frameworks that promise insightful openings in African studies.”
Mamadou Diouf, Columbia University
“This refreshingly bold and provocative study of Kankan…draws upon a broad range of sources…. By tracking the constantly shifting means through which households and wealth have been constructed over time, the author sets the reader up extremely well to appreciate the radical shift in the understanding of marriage, households, and gender that was introduced under French colonial rule.”
American Historical Review
“By focusing on the household as a social, political, and economic unit, rather than merely the domain of women, Osborn illuminates the intimate connections between slavery, marriage, and family in West Africa and de-centers the male-dominated state…. Our New Husbands Are Here represents a rethinking of scholarly assumptions about the relationships between gender, power, and the state that provides an important intervention in Africanist scholarship as well as a helpful tool in the classroom.”
International Journal of African Historical Studies
“Emily Osborn has written a highly accessible and well composed social and political history of Kankan covering the period up to the First World War. She explores and impressive variety of sources: oral history, local manuscripts, and archival texts. This work is an important contribution to debates in the social history of West Africa and to gender studies.”
Journal of African History
In Our New Husbands Are Here, Emily Lynn Osborn investigates a central puzzle of power and politics in West African history: Why do women figure frequently in the political narratives of the precolonial period, and then vanish altogether with colonization? Osborn addresses this question by exploring the relationship of the household to the state. By analyzing the history of statecraft in the interior savannas of West Africa (in present-day Guinea-Conakry), Osborn shows that the household, and women within it, played a critical role in the pacifist Islamic state of Kankan-Baté, enabling it to endure the predations of the transatlantic slave trade and become a major trading center in the nineteenth century. But French colonization introduced a radical new method of statecraft to the region, one that separated the household from the state and depoliticized women’s domestic roles. This book will be of interest to scholars of politics, gender, the household, slavery, and Islam in African history.
Emily Lynn Osborn is an associate professor of history at University of Chicago. More info →
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Domestic Violence and the Law in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa reveals the ways in which domestic space and domestic relationships take on different meanings in African contexts that extend the boundaries of family obligation, kinship, and dependency. The term domestic violence encompasses kin-based violence, marriage-based violence, gender-based violence, as well as violence between patrons and clients who shared the same domestic space.
Heterosexual Africa? The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS builds from Marc Epprecht’s previous book, Hungochani (which focuses explicitly on same-sex desire in southern Africa), to explore the historical processes by which a singular, heterosexual identity for Africa was constructed—by anthropologists, ethnopsychologists, colonial officials, African elites, and most recently, health care workers seeking to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Intonations tells the story of how Angola’s urban residents in the late colonial period (roughly 1945–74) used music to talk back to their colonial oppressors and, more importantly, to define what it meant to be Angolan and what they hoped to gain from independence. A compilation of Angolan music is included in CD format.Marissa J. Moorman presents a social and cultural history of the relationship between Angolan culture and politics.
In The Forger’s Tale Stephanie Newell draws on queer theory, African gender debates, and “new imperial history” to chart the story of the English novelist and poet John Moray Stuart-Young (1881–1939) as he traveled from the slums of Manchester to West Africa in order to escape the homophobic prejudices of late-Victorian society.
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