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African Studies

African Studies Book List

Cover of 'Converging on Cannibals'

Converging on Cannibals
Terrors of Slaving in Atlantic Africa, 1509–1670
By Jared Staller

In Converging on Cannibals, Jared Staller demonstrates that one of the most terrifying discourses used during the era of transatlantic slaving—cannibalism—was coproduced by Europeans and Africans. When these people from vastly different cultures first came into contact, they shared a fear of potential cannibals. Some Africans and European slavers allowed these rumors of themselves as man-eaters to stand unchallenged.

African History · African Studies · Atlantic Studies · Slavery and Slave Trade

Cover of 'Children of Hope'

Children of Hope
The Odyssey of the Oromo Slaves from Ethiopia to South Africa
By Sandra Rowoldt Shell

In Children of Hope, Sandra Rowoldt Shell details the life histories of sixty-four Oromo children who were enslaved in Ethiopia in the late nineteenth century, liberated by the British navy, and ultimately sent to a Free Church of Scotland mission in South Africa, where their stories were recorded through a series of interviews.

African History · African Studies · Eastern Africa · Slavery and Slave Trade · Childhood · Children's Studies

Cover of 'Amílcar Cabral'

Amílcar Cabral
A Nationalist and Pan-Africanist Revolutionary
By Peter Karibe Mendy

Amílcar Cabral’s charismatic and visionary leadership, his pan-Africanist solidarity and internationalist commitment to “every just cause in the world,” remain relevant to contemporary struggles for emancipation and self-determination. This concise biography is an ideal introduction to his life and legacy.

Biography, Activists · African History · Guinea-Bissau · African Studies

Cover of 'Modernist Art in Ethiopia'

Modernist Art in Ethiopia
By Elizabeth W. Giorgis

In locating her arguments at the intersection of visual culture and literary and performance studies, Giorgis details how innovations in visual art intersected with shifts in narratives of modernity. The result is a bold intellectual, cultural, and political history of Ethiopia, with art as its centerpiece.

Art History · Ethiopia · African Studies · African Art

Cover of 'A Short History of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart'

A Short History of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
By Terri Ochiagha

In the accessible and concise A Short History of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Terri Ochiagha asks new questions and brings wider attention to unfamiliar but crucial elements of the story, including new insights into questions of canonicity, and into literary, historiographical, and precolonial aesthetic influences.

African History · Literary Criticism, Africa · African Studies · African Authors

Cover of 'Pursuing Justice in Africa'

Pursuing Justice in Africa
Competing Imaginaries and Contested Practices
Edited by Jessica Johnson and George Hamandishe Karekwaivanane
· Afterword by Kamari Maxine Clarke

Pursuing Justice in Africa focuses on visions of justice across the African continent, featuring essays that engage with topics at the cutting edge of contemporary scholarship across a wide range of disciplines including activism, land tenure, international legal institutions, and post-conflict reconciliation.

Anthropology · Human Rights · Gender Studies · Religion, Politics, and the State · Ethics · Africa · African Studies · Law

Cover of 'Foreign Intervention in Africa after the Cold War'

Foreign Intervention in Africa after the Cold War
Sovereignty, Responsibility, and the War on Terror
By Elizabeth Schmidt

Many challenges facing the African continent today are rooted in colonial practices, Cold War alliances, and outsiders’ attempts to influence its political and economic systems. Interdisciplinary and intended for nonspecialists, this book provides a new framework for thinking about foreign political and military intervention in Africa.

African History · National and International Security · Terrorism · Violence in Society · Africa · African Studies · Colonialism and Decolonization

Cover of 'Prelude to Genocide'

Prelude to Genocide
Arusha, Rwanda, and the Failure of Diplomacy
By David Rawson

David Rawson draws on declassified documents and his own experiences as the initial US observer of the 1993 Rwandan peace talks at Arusha to seek out what led to the Rwandan genocide. The result is a commanding blend of diplomatic history and analysis of the crisis and of what happens generally when conflict resolution and diplomacy fall short.

Political Science, Genocide · Peace Studies · Diplomacy · International Studies · Rwanda · African Studies

Cover of 'Boko Haram'

Boko Haram
By Brandon Kendhammer and Carmen McCain

Going beyond the headlines, including the group’s 2014 abduction of 276 girls in Chibok and the ensuing international outrage, Boko Haram provides readers new to the conflict with a clearly written and comprehensive history of how the group came to be, the Nigerian government’s failed efforts to end it, and its impact on ordinary citizens.

African History · Terrorism · Religion, Politics, and the State · Nigeria · African Studies

Cover of 'Children of Hope'

Children of Hope
The Odyssey of the Oromo Slaves from Ethiopia to South Africa
By Sandra Rowoldt Shell

In Children of Hope, Sandra Rowoldt Shell details the life histories of sixty-four Oromo children who were enslaved in Ethiopia in the late nineteenth century, liberated by the British navy, and ultimately sent to a Free Church of Scotland mission in South Africa, where their stories were recorded through a series of interviews.

African History · African Studies · Eastern Africa · Slavery and Slave Trade · Childhood · Children's Studies

Cover of 'Amy Biehl’s Last Home'

Amy Biehl’s Last Home
A Bright Life, a Tragic Death, and a Journey of Reconciliation in South Africa
By Steven D. Gish

Granted unrestricted access to the Biehl family’s papers, Steven Gish brings Amy and the Foundation to life in ways that have eluded previous authors. He is the first to place Biehl’s story in its full historical context, while also presenting a gripping portrait of this remarkable young woman and the aftermath of her death across two continents.

Biography, Women · African History · South Africa · African Studies · Biography, Activists

Cover of 'Buying Time'

Buying Time
Debt and Mobility in the Western Indian Ocean
By Thomas F. McDow

Thomas F. McDow synthesizes Indian Ocean, Middle Eastern, and East African studies to explain how in the nineteenth century, credit, mobility, and kinship knit together a vast interconnected Indian Ocean region. McDow’s new historical analysis of the Indian Ocean reveals roles of previously invisible people.

African History · Legal and Constitutional History · Social History · 19th century · World and Comparative History · Eastern Africa · Middle East · Indian Ocean Studies · African Studies

Cover of 'Hip-Hop in Africa'

Hip-Hop in Africa
Prophets of the City and Dustyfoot Philosophers
By Msia Kibona Clark
· Foreword by Quentin Williams
· Afterword by Akosua Adomako Ampofo

Msia Kibona Clark examines some of Africa’s biggest hip-hop scenes and shows how hip-hop helps us understand specifically African realities. A tribute to a genre and its artists, Hip-Hop in Africa details the spread of hip-hop culture in Africa and pushes the study of music and diaspora in critical new directions.

Hip Hop · African History · Women’s Studies · African Studies · Africa

Cover of 'Robert Mugabe'

Robert Mugabe
By Sue Onslow and Martin Plaut

For some, Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe is a liberation hero who confronted white rule and oversaw the radical redistribution of land. For others, he is a murderous dictator who drove his country to poverty. This concise biography, in a highly successful series, reveals the complexity of the man who led Zimbabwe for its first decades of independence.

Biography, Heads of State · African History · Zimbabwe · African Studies

Cover of 'Religion, Media, and Marginality in Modern Africa'

Religion, Media, and Marginality in Modern Africa
Edited by Felicitas Becker, Joel Cabrita, and Marie Rodet

In recent years, anthropologists, historians, and others have been drawn to study the profuse and creative usages of digital media by religious movements. At the same time, scholars of Christian Africa have long been concerned with the history of textual culture, the politics of Bible translation, and the status of the vernacular in Christianity.

Media Studies · Sociology of Religion · African History · Islam · Christianity · Africa · African Studies

Cover of 'Reel Pleasures'

Reel Pleasures
Cinema Audiences and Entrepreneurs in Twentieth-Century Urban Tanzania
By Laura Fair

Reel Pleasures brings the world of African moviehouses and the publics they engendered to life, revealing how local fans creatively reworked global media—from Indian melodrama to Italian westerns, kung fu, and blaxploitation films—to speak to local dreams and desires.

Media Studies · African History · 20th century · African Studies · Tanzania · African Film

Cover of 'Dedan Kimathi on Trial'

Dedan Kimathi on Trial
Colonial Justice and Popular Memory in Kenya’s Mau Mau Rebellion
Edited by Julie MacArthur
· Introduction by Julie MacArthur
· Foreword by Mĩcere Gĩthae Mũgo and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

Perhaps no figure embodied the ambiguities, colonial fears, and collective imaginations of Kenya’s decolonization era more than Dedan Kimathi, the self-proclaimed field marshal of the rebel forces that took to the forests to fight colonial rule in the 1950s. Kimathi personified many of the contradictions that the Mau Mau rebellion represented: rebel statesman, literate peasant, modern traditionalist.

African History · Colonialism and Decolonization · 20th century · African Studies · Mau Mau · Kenya

Cover of 'Following the Ball'

Following the Ball
The Migration of African Soccer Players across the Portuguese Colonial Empire, 1949–1975
By Todd Cleveland

With Following the Ball, Todd Cleveland incorporates labor, sport, diasporic, and imperial history to examine the extraordinary experiences of African football players from Portugal’s African colonies as they relocated to the metropole from 1949 until the conclusion of the colonial era in 1975. The backdrop was Portugal’s increasingly embattled Estado Novo regime, and its attendant use of the players as propaganda to communicate the supposed unity of the metropole and the colonies.Clev

African History · Emigration and Immigration · Soccer · Colonialism and Decolonization · African Studies · Portugal

Cover of 'Market Encounters'

Market Encounters
Consumer Cultures in Twentieth-Century Ghana
By Bianca Murillo

By emphasizing the centrality of human relationships to Ghana’s economic past, Murillo introduces a radical rethinking of consumption studies from an Africa-centered perspective. The result is a keen look at colonial capitalism in all of its intricacies, legacies, and contradictions, including its entanglement with gender and race.

African History · Popular Culture · 20th century · Social History · African Studies · Ghana · Western Africa

Cover of 'Living with Nkrumahism'

Living with Nkrumahism
Nation, State, and Pan-Africanism in Ghana
By Jeffrey S. Ahlman

In the 1950s, Ghana, under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah and the Convention People’s Party, drew the world’s attention as anticolonial activists, intellectuals, and politicians looked to it as a model for Africa’s postcolonial future. Nkrumah was a visionary, a statesman, and one of the key makers of contemporary Africa. In Living with Nkrumahism, Jeffrey S. Ahlman reexamines the infrastructure that organized and consolidated Nkrumah’s philosophy into a political program.Ahlman

African History · Nationalism · Colonialism and Decolonization · African Studies · Cold War · Ghana

Cover of 'Making Money'

Making Money
Life, Death, and Early Modern Trade on Africa’s Guinea Coast
By Colleen E. Kriger

A new era in world history began when Atlantic maritime trade among Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas opened up in the fifteenth century, setting the stage for massive economic and cultural change. In Making Money, Colleen Kriger examines the influence of the global trade on the Upper Guinea Coast two hundred years later—a place and time whose study, in her hands, imparts profound insights into Anglo-African commerce and its wider milieu.A

African History · World and Comparative History · Social History · Atlantic Studies · African Studies · Western Africa · 17th century

Cover of 'The Truth and Reconciliation Commission'

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission
By Mary Ingouville Burton

In 1995, South Africa’s new government set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a lynchpin of the country’s journey forward from apartheid. In contrast to the Nuremberg Trials and other retributive responses to atrocities, the TRC’s emphasis on reconciliation marked a restorative approach to addressing human rights violations and their legacies. The hearings, headed by Bishop Desmond Tutu, began in spring of 1996.The

African History · Political Science · Conflict Resolution (Business and Econ.) · Peace Studies · African Studies · Apartheid · South Africa

Cover of 'Football and Colonialism'

Football and Colonialism
Body and Popular Culture in Urban Mozambique
By Nuno Domingos
· Foreword by Harry G. West

In articles for the newspaper O Brado Africano in the mid-1950s, poet and journalist José Craveirinha described the ways in which the Mozambican football players in the suburbs of Lourenço Marques (now Maputo) adapted the European sport to their own expressive ends. Through gesture, footwork, and patois, they used what Craveirinha termed “malice”—or cunning—to negotiate their places in the colonial state.

Anthropology · Social History · Soccer · Colonialism and Decolonization · African Studies · Race and Ethnicity · Mozambique

Cover of 'We Do Not Have Borders'

We Do Not Have Borders
Greater Somalia and the Predicaments of Belonging in Kenya
By Keren Weitzberg

Though often associated with foreigners and refugees, many Somalis have lived in Kenya for generations, in many cases since long before the founding of the country. Despite their long residency, foreign and state officials and Kenyan citizens often perceive the Somali population to be a dangerous and alien presence in the country, and charges of civil and human rights abuses have mounted against them in recent years.In

African History · Anthropology · Nationalism · Somalia · Eastern Africa · Kenya · African Studies

Cover of 'The Riddle of Malnutrition'

The Riddle of Malnutrition
The Long Arc of Biomedical and Public Health Interventions in Uganda
By Jennifer Tappan

More than ten million children suffer from severe acute malnutrition globally each year. In Uganda, longstanding efforts to understand, treat, and then prevent the condition initially served to medicalize it, in the eyes of both biomedical personnel and Ugandans who brought their children to the hospital for treatment and care. Medicalization meant malnutrition came to be seen as a disease—as a medical emergency—not a preventable condition, further compromising nutritional health in Uganda.Rath

African History · Public Health · History of Science · African Studies · Global Issues · Uganda

Cover of 'Julius Nyerere'

Julius Nyerere
By Paul Bjerk

With vision, hard-nosed judgment, and biting humor, Julius Nyerere confronted the challenges of nation building in modern Africa. Constructing Tanzania out of a controversial Cold War union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, Nyerere emerged as one of independent Africa’s most influential leaders. He pursued his own brand of African socialism, called Ujamaa, with unquestioned integrity, and saw it profoundly influence movements to end white minority rule in Southern Africa.

Biography, Heads of State · African History · Colonialism and Decolonization · African Studies · Cold War · Tanzania · Eastern Africa

Cover of 'Feeding Globalization'

Feeding Globalization
Madagascar and the Provisioning Trade, 1600–1800
By Jane Hooper

Between 1600 and 1800, the promise of fresh food attracted more than seven hundred English, French, and Dutch vessels to Madagascar. Throughout this period, European ships spent months at sea in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, but until now scholars have not fully examined how crews were fed during these long voyages. Without sustenance from Madagascar, European traders would have struggled to transport silver to Asia and spices back to Europe.

World and Comparative History · African History · Slavery and Slave Trade · Economic History · African Studies · Madagascar · Indian Ocean Studies

Cover of 'An Uncertain Age'

An Uncertain Age
The Politics of Manhood in Kenya
By Paul Ocobock

In twentieth-century Kenya, age and gender were powerful cultural and political forces that animated household and generational relationships. They also shaped East Africans’ contact with and influence on emergent colonial and global ideas about age and masculinity. Kenyan men and boys came of age achieving their manhood through changing rites of passage and access to new outlets such as town life, crime, anticolonial violence, and nationalism.

African History · Gender Studies · Colonialism and Decolonization · African Studies · Eastern Africa · Kenya

Cover of 'Jihād in West Africa during the Age of Revolutions'

Jihād in West Africa during the Age of Revolutions
By Paul E. Lovejoy

In Jihād in West Africa during the Age of Revolutions, a preeminent historian of Africa argues that scholars of the Americas and the Atlantic world have not given Africa its due consideration as part of either the Atlantic world or the age of revolutions.

African History · Slavery and Slave Trade · Islam · World and Comparative History · African Studies · Atlantic Studies

Cover of 'African Miracle, African Mirage'

African Miracle, African Mirage
Transnational Politics and the Paradox of Modernization in Ivory Coast
By Abou B. Bamba

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Ivory Coast was touted as an African miracle, a poster child for modernization and the ways that Western aid and multinational corporations would develop the continent. At the same time, Marxist scholars—most notably Samir Amin—described the capitalist activity in Ivory Coast as empty, unsustainable, and incapable of bringing real change to the lives of ordinary people.

African History · Economic Policy · Colonialism and Decolonization · African Studies · Cote d'Ivoire