“Using ‘anxiety’ as the organizing rubric, this collective examination of affect, emotion, and concern across Africa, geographically and temporally, delves into fascinating disciplinary endeavors and disparate approaches. Although ‘anxiety’ is deliberately not defined strictly by the editors, and the contributors employ their own, different takes on what is anxiety inducing (and what is inferred by being anxiety provoking), this volume contains valuable essays about historical periods or behavioral thresholds that may be labeled as sources of anxiety…. Recommended.”
How does anxiety impact narratives about African history, culture, and society?
This volume demonstrates the richness of anxiety as an analytical lens within African studies. Contributors call attention to ways of thinking about African spaces—physical, visceral, somatic, and imagined—as well as about time and temporality. Through a multidisciplinary approach, the volume also brings histories of anxiety in colonial settings into conversation with work on the so-called negative emotions in disciplines beyond history. While anxiety has long been acknowledged for its ability to unsettle colonial narratives, to reveal the vulnerability of the colonial enterprise, this volume shows it can equally complicate contemporary narratives, such as those of sustainable development, migration, sexuality, and democracy. These essays therefore highlight the need to take emotions seriously as contemporary realities with particular histories that must be carefully mapped out.
Andrea Mariko Grant is a lecturer in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge. Her work explores popular culture and religious change in Rwanda, as well as memory and the creation of postgenocide archives. Her work has appeared in Africa: The Journal of the International African Institute, Journal of Religion in Africa, and Journal of Eastern African Studies, among others. More info →
Yolana Pringle is senior lecturer in the history of medicine at the University of Roehampton. Her research interests include the history of psychiatry and mental health, humanitarianism, and global health, with a regional focus on East Africa. Her first book, Psychiatry and Decolonisation in Uganda, was published in 2019. She is currently working on a history of mental health care in contexts of political violence in Africa. More info →
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Until they were banned in 2009, the radio debates called Ugandan People’s Parliaments gave common folk a forum to air their views. But how do people talk about politics in an authoritarian regime? The forms and parameters of such speech turn out to be more complex than a simple confrontation between an oppressive state and a liberal civil society.
Africa Every Day is a multidisciplinary and accessible counterpoint to the prevailing emphasis on war, poverty, corruption, and other challenges on the continent. Essays address creative and dynamic elements of daily life without romanticizing them, showing that African leisure and popular culture are the product of dynamism and adaptation.
Black Skin, White Coats is a history of psychiatry in Nigeria from the 1950s to the 1980s. Working in the contexts of decolonization and anticolonial nationalism, Nigerian psychiatrists sought to replace racist colonial psychiatric theories about the psychological inferiority of Africans with a universal and egalitarian model focusing on broad psychological similarities across cultural and racial boundaries. Particular emphasis is placed on Dr.
Interracial sex mattered to the British colonial state in West Africa. In Crossing the Color Line, Carina E. Ray goes beyond this fact to reveal how Ghanaians shaped and defined these powerfully charged relations. The interplay between African and European perspectives and practices, argues Ray, transformed these relationships into key sites for consolidating colonial rule and for contesting its hierarchies of power.
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