Joel Cabrita is Susan Ford Dorsey Director of the Center for African Studies and an associate professor of African history at Stanford University and a senior research associate in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Johannesburg. Her work focuses on religion, gender, and the politics of knowledge production in Africa and globally. She is the author of Text and Authority in the South African Nazaretha Church and The People’s Zion: Southern Africa, the United States, and a Transatlantic Faith-Healing Movement.
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This biography of Twala, an unjustly neglected Black African literary figure in apartheid South Africa and colonial Swaziland (now Eswatini) shows that her posthumous obscurity has been no accident. The book charts how White scholars and politicians used racial and gendered prejudices to erase Twala’s work and claim her uncompensated intellectual labor for themselves.
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.