Innovative. Imaginative. Provocative. Original. Methodologically rigorous.
Since its founding in 2004, New African Histories has redefined the field of African history. Books in this series bring the practice of history to unlikely places, ask unsettling questions, and adopt unorthodox methodologies. We welcome history written “from below,” but we also encourage work from other angles: histories of therapies; forms and aesthetics; political traditions; and technologies that are less frequently the subject of historical analysis.
In this series, environmental and urban histories live side by side with histories of slavery, migration, and labor. World, comparative, diaspora, and border histories sit next to media and art histories. Economic and modernization histories are published alongside histories of gender and sexuality; race and ethnicity; nationality and citizenship; and generation and class. Capacious in their analytical and thematic scope, books in the New African Histories series reach across the very categories that define them.
In recent years the series has expanded its remit to include groundbreaking work on aesthetics, visual culture, and art history. Published in a larger format and generously illustrated, these books allow readers to see history in new ways. As we continue to reflect the dynamism of our field, we also aim to push it in new directions by publishing works that challenge the conventions that continue to shape the field. Imperative to this mission is our commitment to publishing the cutting-edge work of historians based at African institutions; manuscripts by first-time authors; and the work of established scholars who are breaking new ground. Ohio University Press is proud of its relationships with a number of African presses that co-publish affordable editions of many of its African Studies titles.
Jean Allman, Series Editor
Professor of African and African American Studies
Washington University in St. Louis
Allen Isaacman, Series Editor
Professor of History
University of Minnesota
Derek R. Peterson, Series Editor
Professor of History and African Studies
University of Michigan
Carina Ray, Series Editor
Associate Professor, African and African American Studies
In this finely textured social and intellectual history of gender and nation-making, Byfield captures the dynamism of women’s political activism in postwar Nigeria. She illuminates the centrality of gender to the study of nationalism, thus offering new lines of inquiry into the late colonial era and its consequences for the future Nigerian state.
Safari Nation tells the history of the Kruger National Park through a black perspective, helping explain why Africa’s national parks—often derided by scholars as colonial impositions—survived the end of white rule on the continent.
Situating sleeping sickness control within African intellectual worlds and political dynamics, Webel prioritizes local histories to understand the successes and failures of a widely used colonial public health intervention—the sleeping sickness camp—in dialogue with African strategies to mitigate illness and death in the past.
In focusing on rural Kenyans as they actively sought access to aid, Moskowitz offers new insights into the texture of political life in the decolonizing and early postcolonial world. Her account complicates our understanding of Kenyan experiences of independence, and the meaning and form of development.
Ambivalent makes photography an engaging and important subject of historical investigation. Contributors bring photography into conversation with orality, travel writing, ritual, psychoanalysis, and politics, with new approaches to questions of race, time, and postcolonial and decolonial histories.
Atlanticization—or interaction between regional processes and Atlantic forces such as the slave trade and Christianization—from 1750 to 1920 transformed gender into a primary mode of social differentiation in the Bight of Biafra. Mbah examines this process to fill a major gap in our understanding of gender’s role in precolonial Africa.
Radio technology and broadcasting played a central role in the formation of colonial Portuguese Southern Africa and the postcolonial nation-state, Angola. Moorman details how settlers, the colonial state, African nationalists, and the postcolonial state all used radio to project power, while the latter employed it to challenge empire.
Age of Concrete is about people building homes on tenuous ground in the outer neighborhoods of Maputo, Mozambique, places thought of simply as slums. But up close, they are an archive: houses of reeds, wood, zinc, and concrete embodying the ambitions of people who built their own largest investment and greatest bequest to the future.
Water Brings No Harm explores the history of community water management on Mount Kilimanjaro. Using the concept of waterscapes—describing how people “see” water and how physical resources intersect with beliefs, needs, and expectations—Bender argues that water conflicts should be understood as struggles between competing forms of knowledge.
In locating her arguments at the intersection of visual culture and literary and performance studies, Giorgis details how innovations in visual art intersected with shifts in narratives of modernity. The result is a bold intellectual, cultural, and political history of Ethiopia, with art as its centerpiece.
Thomas F. McDow synthesizes Indian Ocean, Middle Eastern, and East African studies to explain how in the nineteenth century, credit, mobility, and kinship knit together a vast interconnected Indian Ocean region. McDow’s new historical analysis of the Indian Ocean reveals roles of previously invisible people.
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.
In this ambitious new history of the antiapartheid struggle, Jon Soske places India and the Indian diaspora at the center of the African National Congress’s development of an inclusive philosophy of nationalism. In so doing, Soske combines intellectual, political, religious, urban, and gender history to tell a story that is global in reach while remaining grounded in the everyday materiality of life under apartheid.Even
In the 1950s, Ghana, under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah and the Convention People’s Party, drew the world’s attention as anticolonial activists, intellectuals, and politicians looked to it as a model for Africa’s postcolonial future. Nkrumah was a visionary, a statesman, and one of the key makers of contemporary Africa. In Living with Nkrumahism, Jeffrey S. Ahlman reexamines the infrastructure that organized and consolidated Nkrumah’s philosophy into a political program.Ahlman
By emphasizing the centrality of human relationships to Ghana’s economic past, Murillo introduces a radical rethinking of consumption studies from an Africa-centered perspective. The result is a keen look at colonial capitalism in all of its intricacies, legacies, and contradictions, including its entanglement with gender and race.
Though often associated with foreigners and refugees, many Somalis have lived in Kenya for generations, in many cases since long before the founding of the country. Despite their long residency, foreign and state officials and Kenyan citizens often perceive the Somali population to be a dangerous and alien presence in the country, and charges of civil and human rights abuses have mounted against them in recent years.In