“This book speaks to those interested in labor migrations, to those interested in the origins of contemporary migrants in France, as well as to Africanists in general who are hungry for a well-researched monograph that shakes up current assumptions.”
James L. A. Webb Jr., Colby College
Eighty-five percent of Black African migrants to France come from a single ethnic group in a single region of West Africa. The Soninke have the oldest tradition of labor migration within Africa and were also probably the first itinerant traders of West Africa; an important proportion continue to be merchants today.
The first major study of the Soninke labor migration within Africa and to France, Willing Migrants is based upon critical analysis of French precolonial and colonial records and oral interviews with Soninke migrants. François Manchuelle shows that these migrations were driven by a search for improved economic conditions and that these labor movements have a great deal in common with European and American migrations.
The empirical evidence runs sharply contrary to the theoretical arguments common in the Africanist literature that have stressed the role of the colonial state in forcing migration through coercive violence and taxation. Providing a vital link between African Studies and the study of labor migrations around the world, Willing Migrants marks a major advance in Africanist labor migration literature and should initiate new lines of historical inquiry and set off wide-ranging debate.
François Manchuelle was killed on TWA 800 flight to Paris in 1996. He taught at Georgia Southern University, Bowdoin College, New York University, and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. At the time of his death, he was Associate Director of Africana Studies and the Institute for Afro-American Affairs at New York University. More info →
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Viewing African Cinema in the Twenty-first Century
Art Films and the Nollywood Video Revolution
Edited by Mahir Şaul and Ralph A. Austen
African cinema in the 1960s originated mainly from Francophone countries. It resembled the art cinema of contemporary Europe and relied on support from the French film industry and the French state. But since the early 1990s, a new phenomenon has come to dominate the African cinema world: mass-marketed films shot on less expensive video cameras. These “Nollywood” films, so named because many originate in southern Nigeria, are a thriving industry dominating the world of African cinema.
From the 1820s through the 1840s, debate raged over what Thomas Carlyle famously termed “the Condition of England Question.” While much of the debate focused on how to remedy the material sufferings of the rural and urban working classes, for three writers in particular--William Cobbett, Thomas Carlyle, and Benjamin Disraeli--the times were marked by an even more pervasive crisis that threatened not only the material lives of workers, but also the very stability of meaning itself.
The second half of the nineteenth century witnessed some of the greatest gold mining migrations in history when dreams of bonanza lured thousands of prospectors and diggers to the far corners of the earth—including the Gold Coast of West Africa. El Dorado in West Africa explores the first modern gold rush of Ghana in all of its dimensions—land, labor, capital, traditional African mining, technology, transport, management, the clash of cultures, and colonial rule.