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New African Histories

Cover of 'In Step with the Times'

In Step with the Times
Mapiko Masquerades of Mozambique
By Paolo Israel

The helmet-shaped mapiko masks of Mozam­bique have garnered admiration from African art scholars and collectors alike, due to their striking aesthetics and their grotesque allure. This book restores to mapiko its historic and artistic context, charting in detail the transformations of this masquerading tradition throughout the twentieth century.

African History · Anthropology · African Studies · Eastern Africa · Africa · Mozambique

Cover of 'Nation of Outlaws, State of Violence'

Nation of Outlaws, State of Violence
Nationalism, Grassfields Tradition, and State Building in Cameroon
By Meredith Terretta

Nation of Outlaws, State of Violence is the first extensive history of Cameroonian nationalism to consider the global and local influences that shaped the movement within the French and British Cameroons and beyond.

African History · Colonialism and Decolonization · Politics · Violence in Society · Cameroon · African Studies

Cover of 'Black Skin, White Coats'

Black Skin, White Coats
Nigerian Psychiatrists, Decolonization, and the Globalization of Psychiatry
By Matthew M. Heaton

Black Skin, White Coats is a history of psychiatry in Nigeria from the 1950s to the 1980s. Working in the contexts of decolonization and anticolonial nationalism, Nigerian psychiatrists sought to replace racist colonial psychiatric theories about the psychological inferiority of Africans with a universal and egalitarian model focusing on broad psychological similarities across cultural and racial boundaries. Particular emphasis is placed on Dr.

History of Psychiatry · African History · Colonialism and Decolonization · African Studies · Nigeria · Western Africa · Africa

Cover of 'The Krio of West Africa'

The Krio of West Africa
Islam, Culture, Creolization, and Colonialism in the Nineteenth Century
By Gibril R. Cole

Sierra Leone’s unique history, especially in the development and consolidation of British colonialism in West Africa, has made it an important site of historical investigation since the 1950s. Much of the scholarship produced in subsequent decades has focused on the “Krio,” descendants of freed slaves from the West Indies, North America, England, and other areas of West Africa, who settled Freetown, beginning in the late eighteenth century.

African History · African Studies · History · Islam · Colonialism and Decolonization · Krio · Atlantic History · Religion

Cover of 'The Power to Name'

The Power to Name
A History of Anonymity in Colonial West Africa
By Stephanie Newell

Between the 1880s and the 1940s, the region known as British West Africa became a dynamic zone of literary creativity and textual experimentation. African-owned newspapers offered local writers numerous opportunities to contribute material for publication, and editors repeatedly defined the press as a vehicle to host public debates rather than simply as an organ to disseminate news or editorial ideology.

Media Studies · Literary Criticism, Africa · Book and Periodical Studies · African History · Western Africa · African Studies

Cover of 'Dams, Displacement, and the Delusion of Development'

Dams, Displacement, and the Delusion of Development
Cahora Bassa and Its Legacies in Mozambique, 1965–2007
By Allen F. Isaacman and Barbara S. Isaacman

This in-depth study of the Zambezi River Valley examines the dominant developmentalist narrative that has surrounded the Cahora Bassa Dam, chronicles the continual violence that has accompanied its existence, and gives voice to previously unheard narratives of forced labor, displacement, and historical and contemporary life in the dam’s shadow.

African History · Environmental Policy · Colonialism and Decolonization · Social History · Environmental History · African Studies · Mozambique

Cover of 'Invisible Agents'

Invisible Agents
Spirits in a Central African History
By David M. Gordon

Invisible Agents shows how personal and deeply felt spiritual beliefs can inspire social movements and influence historical change. Conventional historiography concentrates on the secular, materialist, or moral sources of political agency. Instead, David M. Gordon argues, when people perceive spirits as exerting power in the visible world, these beliefs form the basis for individual and collective actions.

African History · Religion · Politics · African Studies

Cover of 'Trafficking in Slavery’s Wake'

Trafficking in Slavery’s Wake
Law and the Experience of Women and Children in Africa
Edited by Benjamin N. Lawrance and Richard L. Roberts

Women and children have been bartered, pawned, bought, and sold within and beyond Africa for longer than records have existed. This important collection examines the ways trafficking in women and children has changed from the aftermath of the “end of slavery” in Africa from the late nineteenth century to the present. The formal abolition of the slave trade and slavery did not end the demand for servile women and children.

African History · Slavery and Slave Trade · Children's Studies · Women’s Studies · Legal and Constitutional History · Anthropology · African Studies · African Child · Childhood · Africa

Cover of 'Taifa'

Taifa
Making Nation and Race in Urban Tanzania
By James R. Brennan

Taifa is a story of African intellectual agency, but it is also an account of how nation and race emerged out of the legal, social, and economic histories in one major city, Dar es Salaam. Nation and race—both translatable as taifa in Swahili—were not simply universal ideas brought to Africa by European colonizers, as previous studies assume.

African History · Colonialism and Decolonization · African Studies · Race and Ethnicity · Eastern Africa · Tanzania

Cover of 'The Americans Are Coming!'

The Americans Are Coming!
Dreams of African American Liberation in Segregationist South Africa
By Robert Trent Vinson

For more than half a century before World War II, black South Africans and “American Negroes“ — a group that included African Americans and black West Indians — established close institutional and personal relationships that laid the necessary groundwork for the successful South African and American antiapartheid movements. The Americans Are Coming! is a rare case study that places African history and American history in a global context and centers Africa in African Diaspora studies.

African History · African American Studies · Africana Studies · World History · African Studies · Apartheid

Cover of 'Our New Husbands Are Here'

Our New Husbands Are Here
Households, Gender, and Politics in a West African State from the Slave Trade to Colonial Rule
By Emily Lynn Osborn

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.

African History · Colonialism and Decolonization · Social History · Women’s Studies · Women’s History · Western Africa · African Studies

Cover of 'The Law and the Prophets'

The Law and the Prophets
Black Consciousness in South Africa, 1968–1977
By Daniel Magaziner

“No nation can win a battle without faith,” Steve Biko wrote, and as Daniel R. Magaziner demonstrates in The Law and the Prophets, the combination of ideological and theological exploration proved a potent force. The 1970s are a decade virtually lost to South African historiography. This span of years bridged the banning and exile of the country’s best-known antiapartheid leaders in the early 1960s and the furious protests that erupted after the Soweto uprisings of June 16, 1976.

African Studies · Legal and Constitutional History · Religion, Politics, and the State · History · African History · 21st century · Africa · Southern Africa · South Africa · Law

Cover of 'Domestic Violence and the Law in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa'

Domestic Violence and the Law in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa
Edited by Emily S. Burrill, Richard L. Roberts, and Elizabeth Thornberry

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.

African Studies · African History · History · Social History · Legal and Constitutional History · Law · Violence in Society

Cover of 'Colonial Meltdown'

Colonial Meltdown
Northern Nigeria in the Great Depression
By Moses E. Ochonu

Historians of colonial Africa have largely regarded the decade of the Great Depression as a period of intense exploitation and colonial inactivity. In Colonial Meltdown, Moses E. Ochonu challenges this conventional interpretation by mapping the responses of Northern Nigeria’s chiefs, farmers, laborers, artisans, women, traders, and embryonic elites to the British colonial mismanagement of the Great Depression.

Nigeria · African History · African Studies · History · Colonialism and Decolonization · Western Africa · Africa · Great Depression

Cover of 'Recasting the Past'

Recasting the Past
History Writing and Political Work in Modern Africa
Edited by Derek R. Peterson and Giacomo Macola

The study of intellectual history in Africa is in its infancy. We know very little about what Africa’s thinkers made of their times. Recasting the Past brings one field of intellectual endeavor into view. The book takes its place alongside a small but growing literature that highlights how, in autobiographies, historical writing, fiction, and other literary genres, African writers intervened creatively in their political world.

African History · African Studies · History