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African Studies

African Studies Book List

Cover of 'The ANC Women’s League'

The ANC Women’s League
Sex, Gender and Politics
By Shireen Hassim

First formed in the early twentieth century, the ANC Women’s League has grown into a leading organization in the women’s movement in South Africa. The league has been at the forefront of the nation’s century-long transition from an authoritarian state to a democracy that espouses gender equality as a core constitutional value.

African History · Women’s Studies · Politics · Women’s History · African Studies · South Africa · Africa

Cover of 'Short-Changed?'

Short-Changed?
South Africa since Apartheid
By Colin Bundy

What have been the most significant developments — political, social, economic — in South Africa since 1994? How much has changed since the demise of apartheid, and how much remains stubbornly the same? Should one celebrate a robust democracy now two decades old, or lament the corrosive effects of factionalism, greed, and corruption on political life? Colin Bundy tries to answer such questions, while avoiding simplistic or one-sided assessments of life under Mandela, Mbeki, and Zuma.

African History · African Studies · History · South Africa · Southern Africa · Africa · Politics

Cover of 'The Soweto Uprising'

The Soweto Uprising
By Noor Nieftagodien

The Soweto uprising was a true turning point in South Africa’s history. Even to contemporaries, it seemed to mark the beginning of the end of apartheid. This compelling book examines both the underlying causes and the immediate factors that led to this watershed event. It looks at the crucial roles of Black Consciousness ideology and nascent school-based organizations in shaping the character and form of the revolt.

African History · African Studies · History · Politics · South Africa · Southern Africa · Africa

Cover of 'Patrice Lumumba'

Patrice Lumumba
By Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja

Patrice Lumumba was a leader of the independence struggle in what is today the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the country’s first democratically elected prime minister. After a meteoric rise in the colonial civil service and the African political elite, he became a major figure in the decolonization movement of the 1950s.

Biography, Heads of State · African History · African Studies · Democratic Republic of the Congo

Cover of 'Thomas Sankara'

Thomas Sankara
An African Revolutionary
By Ernest Harsch

Thomas Sankara, often called the African Che Guevara, was president of Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in Africa, until his assassination during the military coup that brought down his government. Although his tenure in office was relatively short, Sankara left an indelible mark on his country’s history and development.

African History · Biography, Heads of State · Burkina Faso · African Studies

Cover of 'Emperor Haile Selassie'

Emperor Haile Selassie
By Bereket Habte Selassie

Emperor Haile Selassie was an iconic figure of the twentieth century, a progressive monarch who ruled Ethiopia from 1916 to 1974. This book, written by a former state official who served in a number of important positions in Selassie’s government, tells both the story of the emperor’s life and the story of modern Ethiopia. After a struggle for the throne in 1916, the young Selassie emerged first as regent and then as supreme leader of Ethiopia.

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

Cover of 'Who Shall Enter Paradise?'

Who Shall Enter Paradise?
Christian Origins in Muslim Northern Nigeria, c. 1890–1975
By Shobana Shankar

Who Shall Enter Paradise? recounts in detail the history of Christian-Muslim engagement in a core area of sub-Saharan Africa’s most populous nation, home to roughly equal numbers of Christians and Muslims. It is a region today beset by religious violence, in the course of which history has often been told in overly simplified or highly partisan terms.

African History · Islam · Nigeria · African Studies · Christianity

Cover of 'In Idi Amin’s Shadow'

In Idi Amin’s Shadow
Women, Gender, and Militarism in Uganda
By Alicia C. Decker

In Idi Amin’s Shadow is a rich social history examining Ugandan women’s complex and sometimes paradoxical relationship to Amin’s military state. Based on more than one hundred interviews with women who survived the regime, as well as a wide range of primary sources, this book reveals how the violence of Amin’s militarism resulted in both opportunities and challenges for women.

African History · Gender Studies · Colonialism and Decolonization · Uganda · African Studies

Cover of 'Making Modern Girls'

Making Modern Girls
A History of Girlhood, Labor, and Social Development in Colonial Lagos
By Abosede A. George

In Making Modern Girls, Abosede A. George examines the influence of African social reformers and the developmentalist colonial state on the practice and ideology of girlhood as well as its intersection with child labor in Lagos, Nigeria. It draws from gender studies, generational studies, labor history, and urban history to shed new light on the complex workings of African cities from the turn of the twentieth century through the nationalist era of the 1950s.

African History · Labor History · Women’s History · Women’s Studies · Children's Studies · Childhood · African Studies · Nigeria

Cover of 'Conjugal Rights'

Conjugal Rights
Marriage, Sexuality, and Urban Life in Colonial Libreville, Gabon
By Rachel Jean-Baptiste

Conjugal Rights is a history of the role of marriage and other arrangements between men and women in Libreville, Gabon, during the French colonial era, from the mid–nineteenth century through 1960. Conventional historiography has depicted women as few in number and of limited influence in African colonial towns, but this book demonstrates that a sexual economy of emotional, social, legal, and physical relationships between men and women indelibly shaped urban life.

African History · Gender Studies · Gabon · African Studies

Cover of 'Violent Intermediaries'

Violent Intermediaries
African Soldiers, Conquest, and Everyday Colonialism in German East Africa
By Michelle R. Moyd

The askari, African soldiers recruited in the 1890s to fill the ranks of the German East African colonial army, occupy a unique space at the intersection of East African history, German colonial history, and military history.

African History · African Studies · History · Military History · Germany · Western Europe · Europe · Africa

Cover of 'Stones of Contention'

Stones of Contention
A History of Africa’s Diamonds
By Todd Cleveland

Stones of Contention explores the major developments in the remarkable history of Africa’s diamonds, from the earliest stirrings of international interest in the continent’s mineral wealth in the first millennium A.D. to the present day.

African History · African Studies

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 'Paths toward the Nation'

Paths toward the Nation
Islam, Community, and Early Nationalist Mobilization in Eritrea, 1941–1961
By Joseph L. Venosa

In the early and mid-1940s, during the period of British wartime occupation, community and religious leaders in the former Italian colony of Eritrea engaged in a course of intellectual and political debate that marked the beginnings of a genuine national consciousness across the region.

African History · Nationalism · Islam · Religion · Eritrea · African Studies

Cover of '491 Days'

491 Days
Prisoner Number 1323/69
By Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
· Foreword by Ahmed Kathrada

On a freezing winter’s night, a few hours before dawn on May 12, 1969, South African security police stormed the Soweto home of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, activist and wife of the imprisoned Nelson Mandela, and arrested her in the presence of her two young daughters, then aged nine and ten. Rounded up in a group of other antiapartheid activists under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act, designed for the security police to hold and interrogate people for as long as they wanted, she was taken away.

Diaries and Journals · African Authors · Letters · African History · South Africa · African Studies