Laura Fair

Laura Fair author of Pastimes and Politics: Culture, Community, and Identity in Post-Abolition Urban Zanzibar, 1890–1945 and Historia ya Jamii ya Zanzibar na Nyimbo za Siti binti Saad. She teaches at Michigan State University.

Listed in: African Studies · Gender Studies · African Film · African History · Slavery and Slave Trade · Biography, Heads of State · Media and Film Studies




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.

“Fair masterfully integrates the diverse and complicated elements that define a comprehensive examination of film: economic and business history, political history, and the histories of social change, media, and popular culture. A landmark work in both history and film studies.”

Charles Ambler, author of Kenyan Communities in the Age of Imperialism




Pastimes and Politics · Culture, Community, and Identity in Post-Abolition Urban Zanzibar, 1890–1945
By Laura Fair

The first decades of the twentieth century were years of dramatic change in Zanzibar, a time when the social, economic, and political lives of island residents were in incredible flux, framed by the abolition of slavery, the introduction of colonialism, and a tide of urban migration.

“This book is a masterpiece. Historian Laura Fair has woven a multifaceted series of studies on music, housing, sport, and dress into a single narrative that explores the fluid and multifaceted communities of ordinary townspeople in Zanzibar from the abolition of slavery in 1890 through the end of the Second World War”

African Studies Quarterly