There are many collections of African oral traditions, but few as carefully organized as The Uncoiling Python. Harold Scheub, one of the world’s leading scholars of African oral traditions and folklore, explores the ways in which oral traditions have served to combat and subvert colonial domination in South Africa.
From Accra and Algiers to Zanzibar and Zululand, Africans have wrested control of soccer from the hands of Europeans, and through the rise of different playing styles, the rituals of spectatorship, and the presence of magicians and healers, have turned soccer into a distinctively African activity.African Soccerscapes explores how Africans adopted soccer for their own reasons and on their own terms.
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.
Land tenure rights are a burning issue in South Africa, as in Africa more widely. Land, Power, and Custom explores the implications of the controversial 2004 Communal Land Rights Act, criticized for reinforcing the apartheid power structure and ignoring the interests of the common people.
George Stow was a Victorian man of many parts—poet, historian, ethnographer, artist, cartographer, and prolific writer. A geologist by profession, he became acquainted, through his work in the field, with the extraordinary wealth of rock paintings in the caves and shelters of the South African interior. Enchanted and absorbed by them, Stow set out to create a record of this creative work of the people who had tracked and marked the South African landscape decades and centuries before him.Un
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.
Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart provided the impetus for the foundation of Heinemann’s African Writers Series in 1962 with Achebe as the editorial adviser. Africa Writes Back presents portraits of the leading characters and the many consultants and readers providing reports and advice to new and established writers.
Hanging by a Thread illuminates the connections between Africa and the global economy. The editors offer a compelling set of linked studies that detail one aspect of the globalization process in Africa, the cotton commodity chain.
“These two volumes clearly demonstrate the efforts by a wide range of African scholars to explain the roots, routes, regimes and resolution of African conflicts and how to re-build post-conflict societies. They offer sober and serious analyses, eschewing the sensationalism of the western media and the sophistry of some of the scholars in the global North for whom African conflicts are at worst a distraction and at best a confirmation of their pet racist and petty universalist theories.”
“Africa is no more prone to violent conflicts than other regions. Indeed, Africa’s share of the more than 180 million people who died from conflicts and atrocities in the twentieth century is relatively modest.… This is not to underestimate the immense impact of violent conflicts on Africa; it is merely to emphasize the need for more balanced debate and commentary.”
The literature on women enslaved around the world has grown rapidly in the last ten years, evidencing strong interest in the subject across a range of academic disciplines.
In the 1870s, facing cultural extinction and the death of their language, several San men and women told their stories to two pioneering colonial scholars in Cape Town, Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd. The narratives of these San—or Bushmen—were of the land, the rain, the history of the first people, and the origin of the moon and stars.
This book considers the rise of born-again Christianity in Africa through a study of one of the most dynamic Pentecostal movements. David Maxwell traces the transformation of the prophet Ezekiel Guti and his prayer band from small beginnings in the townships of the 1950s into the present-day transnational business enterprise, which is now the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God.
Black and White in Colour: African History on Screen considers how the African past has been represented in a wide range of historical films. Written by a team of eminent international scholars, the volume provides extensive coverage of both place and time and deals with major issues in the written history of Africa. Themes include the slave trade, imperialism and colonialism, racism, and anticolonial resistance.
Rebellions broke out in many areas of South Africa shortly after the institution of white rule in the late nineteenth century and continued into the next century. However, distrust of the colonial regime reached a new peak in the mid-twentieth century, when revolts erupted across a wide area of rural South Africa. All these uprisings were rooted in grievances over taxes.
This study examines the complex history of slavery in East Africa, focusing on the area that came under German colonial rule. In contrast to the policy pursued at the time by other colonial powers in Africa, the German authorities did not legally abolish slavery in their colonial territories. However, despite government efforts to keep the institution of slavery alive, it significantly declined in Tanganyika in the period concerned.
Africa has witnessed a number of transitions to democracy in recent years. Coinciding with this upsurge in democratic transitions have been spectacular experiences of social disintegration.An alternative to discourses of the “failed” and “collapsed” state in Africa is an approach that takes seriously the complex historical processes underlying the political development of individual nation states.
Traditionally, the Eastern Cape frontier of South Africa has been regarded as the preeminent contact zone between colonists and the Khoi—“Hottentots”—and San—“Bushmen.” But there was an earlier frontier in which the conflict between Dutch colonists and these indigenous herders and hunters was in many ways more decisive in its outcome, more brutal and violent in its manner, and just as significant in its effects on later South African history.This
The double-sided nature of African nationalism—its capacity to inspire expressions of unity, and its tendency to narrow political debate—are explored by sixteen historians, focusing on the experience of Tanzania.
Black Poachers, White Hunters traces the history of hunting in Kenya in the colonial era, describing the British attempt to impose the practices and values of nineteenth-century European aristocratic hunts followed, ultimately, by claims over African wildlife by conservationists.
The twentieth-century history of Njombe, the Southern Highlands district of Tanzania, can aptly be summed up as exclusion within incorporation. Njombe was marginalized even as it was incorporated into the colonial economy. Njombe’s people came to see themselves as excluded from agricultural markets, access to medical services, schooling—in short, from all opportunity to escape the impoverishing trap of migrant labor.
Conventional history assumes that the rise of the steamship trade killed off the Indian Ocean dhow trade in the twentieth century. Erik Gilbert argues that the dhow economy played a major role in shaping the economic and social life of colonial Zanzibar. Dhows, and the regional trade they fostered, allowed a class of indigenous entrepreneurs to thrive in Zanzibar.
This history of the African AIDS epidemic is a much-needed, accessibly written historical account of the most serious epidemiological catastrophe of modern times. The African AIDS Epidemic: A History answers President Thabo Mbeki’s provocative question as to why Africa has suffered this terrible epidemic.While Mbeki attributed the causes to poverty and exploitation, others have looked to distinctive sexual systems practiced in African cultures and communities.
African Underclass examines the social, political, and administrative repercussions of rapid urban growth in Dar es Salaam. The origins of an often coercive response to urbanization in postcolonial Tanzania are traced back to the colonial period. The British reacted to unanticipated urban growth by attempting to limit the process, though this failed to prevent a substantial increase in rates of urbanization.Instead,
A rash of small wars erupted after the Cold War ended in Africa, the Balkans, and other parts of the former communist world. The wars were in “inter-zones,” the spaces left where weak states had withdrawn or collapsed. Consequently the debate over what constitutes war has returned to basics. No Peace, No War departs from the usual analysis that considers the new wars mindless mass actions to offer the paradoxical idea that to understand war one must deny war special status.
Even with a university education, the Igbo women of southeastern Nigeria face obstacles that prevent them from reaching their professional and personal potentials. Negotiating Power and Privilege is a study of their life choices and the embedded patriarchy and other obstacles in postcolonial Africa barring them from fulfillment.Philomina E. Okeke recorded life-history interviews and discussions during the 1990s with educated women of differing ages and professions.
Conceived by General Sir Robert Baden-Powell as a way to reduce class tensions in Edwardian Britain, scouting evolved into an international youth movement. It offered a vision of romantic outdoor life as a cure for disruption caused by industrialization and urbanization. Scouting’s global spread was due to its success in attaching itself to institutions of authority.
The Risks of Knowledge minutely examines the multiple and unfinished investigations into the murder of Kenya’s distinguished Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Robert Ouko, and raises important issues about the production of knowledge and the politics of memory.
The politics of identity and ethnicity will remain a fundamental characteristic of African modernity. For this reason, historians and anthropologists have joined political scientists in a discussion about the ways in which democracy can develop in multicultural societies.
A compelling study of the origins and trajectory of one of the legendary black uprisings against apartheid, Theatres of Struggle and the End of Apartheid draws on insights gained from the literature on collective action and social movements. It delves into the Alexandra Rebellion of 1986 to reveal its inner workings.Belinda
A series of transformations, reforms, and attempted abolitions of slavery form a core narrative of nineteenth-century coastal West Africa. As the region’s role in Atlantic commercial networks underwent a gradual transition from principally that of slave exporter to producer of “legitimate goods” and dependent markets, institutions of slavery became battlegrounds in which European abolitionism, pragmatic colonialism, and indigenous agency clashed.In
The Children of Africa Confront AIDS depicts the reality of how African children deal with the AIDS epidemic, and how the discourse of their vulnerability affects acts of coping and courage. It describes HIV/AIDS in its macro context of the continent’s democratization movements and in its national contexts of civil conflict, rural poverty, youth organizations, and agencies working on the ground.
The explosion of interest in African environmental history has stimulated research and writing on a wide range of issues facing many African nations.This collection represents some of the finest studies to date. The general topics include African environmental ideas and practices; colonial science, the state and African responses; and settlers and Africans’ culture and nature.
In the last decade, the South African state has been transformed dramatically, but the stubborn, menacing geography of apartheid still stands in the way of that country’s visions of change. Environmentally degraded old homelands still scar the rural geography of South Africa.Formerly segregated, now gated, neighborhoods still inhibit free movement. Hostels, Sexuality, and the Apartheid Legacy is a study of another such space, the converted “male” migrant worker hostel.Professor
Blessed with fertile and well-watered soil, East Africa’s kingdom of Buganda supported a relatively dense population and became a major regional power by the mid-nineteenth century. This complex and fascinating state has also long been in need of a thorough study that cuts through the image of autocracy and military might.Political
Governance everywhere is concerned with spatial relationships. Modern states “map” local communities, making them legible for the purposes of control. Ethiopia has gone through several stages of “mapping” in its imperial, revolutionary, and postrevolutionary phases.In
The fact that many of the leaders in the Third World were educated by Christian missionaries is a decisive factor in world politics today. Christian Missionaries and the State in the Third World provides examples of how these missionaries contributed to the construction, destruction, and reconstruction of state structures in Africa and the Caribbean, through educational activity and attempts at healing and trade, as well as by preaching, prayer, and other sacramental endeavors.In
Witchcraft Dialogues analyzes the complex manner in which human beings construct, experience, and think about the “occult.” It brings together anthropologists, philosophers, and sociologists, from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, to engage the metaphysical properties of “witchcraft” and “sorcery” and to explore their manifestations in people’s lived experiences.While
This history of administrative thought and practice in colonial Kenya looks at the ways in which white people tried to engineer social change.It asks four questions: - Why was Kenya’s welfare operation so idiosyncratic and spartan compared with that of other British colonies? - Why did a transformation from social welfare to community development produce further neglect of the very poor? - Why was there no equivalent to the French tradition of community medicine?
Studies of the 1974 Ethiopian revolution have hitherto almost completely ignored religion, in spite of the commitment of a great majority of Ethiopian people to one or another religious tradition. Eide traces the journey from support for the revolution by the church leaders and local members to their suspected alliance with opposition forces.
Nigerian video films—dramatic features shot on video and sold as cassettes—are being produced at the rate of nearly one a day, making them the major contemporary art form in Nigeria. The history of African film offers no precedent for such a huge, popularly based industry.The contributors to this volume, who include film and television directors, an anthropologist, and scholars of film studies and literature, take a variety of approaches to this flourishing popular art.
The history of the Islamic faith on the continent of Africa spans fourteen centuries. For the first time in a single volume, The History of Islam in Africa presents a detailed historic mapping of the cultural, political, geographic, and religious past of this significant presence on a continent-wide scale. Bringing together two dozen leading scholars, this comprehensive work treats the historical development of the religion in each major region and examines its effects.Without
This book explores the history of African womanhood in colonial Kenya. By focussing on key sociocultural institutions and practices around which the lives of women were organized, and on the protracted debates that surrounded these institutions and practices during the colonial period, it investigates the nature of indigenous, mission, and colonial control of African women.The
In the struggle against apartheid, one often overlooked group of crusaders was the coterie of black lawyers who overcame the Byzantine system that the government established oftentimes explicitly to block the paths of its black citizens from achieving justice.Now, in their own voices, we have the narratives of many of those lawyers as recounted in a series of oral interviews. Black Lawyers, White Courts is their story and the anti-apartheid story that has before now gone untold.Profess