“With its snapshots of a dazzling variety of everyday activities—sports, social media, music, moviegoing, sex and romance, and the use of public spaces are just a few—this bright and readable collection sets out to provide an antidote to the prevailing depiction of Africa as a scene of unmitigated deprivation, disorder, and despair. It will easily intrigue readers who are not African studies specialists, as well as Africanists in a wide range of disciplines (anthropology, politics, cultural studies, history, literature, development studies).”
Karin Barber, author of A History of African Popular Culture
Africa Every Day presents an exuberant, thoughtful, and necessary counterpoint to the prevailing emphasis in introductory African studies classes on war, poverty, corruption, disease, and human rights violations on the continent. These challenges are real and deserve sustained attention, but this volume shows that adverse conditions do not preclude people from making music, falling in love, playing sports, participating in festivals, writing blogs, telling jokes, making videos, playing games, eating delicious food, and finding pleasure in their daily lives.
Across seven sections—Celebrations and Rites of Passage; Socializing and Friendship; Love, Sex, and Marriage; Sports and Recreation; Performance, Language, and Creativity; Technology and Media; and Labor and Livelihoods—the accessible, multidisciplinary essays in Africa Every Day address these creative and dynamic elements of daily life, without romanticizing them. Ultimately, the book shows that forms of leisure and popular culture in Africa are best discussed in terms of indigenization, adaptation, and appropriation rather than the static binary of European/foreign/global and African. Most of all, it invites readers to reflect on the crucial similarities, rather than the differences, between their lives and those of their African counterparts.
Contributors: Hadeer Aboelnagah, Issahaku Adam, Joseph Osuolale Ayodokun, Victoria Abiola Ayodokun, Omotoyosi Babalola, Martha Bannikov, Mokaya Bosire, Emily Callaci, Deborah Durham, Birgit Englert, Laura Fair, John Fenn, Lara Rosenoff Gauvin, Michael Gennaro, Lisa Gilman, Charlotte Grabli, Joshua Grace, Dorothy L. Hodgson, Akwasi Kumi-Kyereme, Prince F. M. Lamba, Cheikh Tidiane Lo, Bill McCoy, Nginjai Paul Moreto, Jacqueline-Bethel Tchouta Mougoué, James Nindi, Erin Nourse, Eric Debrah Otchere, Alex Perullo, Daniel Jordan Smith, Maya Smith, Steven Van Wolputte, and Scott M. Youngstedt.
Oluwakemi M. Balogun studies gender, nation, and beauty in Nigeria. She teaches in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Sociology at the University of Oregon. She is the author of Beauty Diplomacy: Embodying an Emerging Nation. More info →
Lisa Gilman is a folklorist who studies gender, performance, heritage, and politics in Malawi and Zambia. She teaches at George Mason University. She is the author (with John Fenn) of Handbook for Folklore and Ethnomusicology Fieldwork; My Music, My War: The Listening Habits of U.S. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan; and The Dance of Politics: Performance, Gender, and Democratization in Malawi. More info →
Melissa Graboyes, a historian, examines topics related to global health, ethics, and biomedicine in East Africa. She is the author of The Experiment Must Continue: Medical Research and Ethics in East Africa, 1940–2014. She teaches in the Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon. More info →
Habib Iddrisu is a music and dance scholar and practitioner who writes about dance and cultural change in Ghana and its global context. He teaches at the University of Oregon. More info →
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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.
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.
Stirring the Pot offers a chronology of African cuisine beginning in the sixteenth century and continuing from Africa’s original edible endowments to its globalization, tracing cooks’ use of new crops, spices, and New World imports. It highlighting the relationship between food and the culture, history, and national identity of Africans.
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.