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New African Histories

Cover of 'The Muridiyya on the Move'

The Muridiyya on the Move
Islam, Migration, and Place Making
By Cheikh Anta Babou

Representations of diasporic Murid disciples often depict them as passive recipients of change wrought by powerful clerics left behind in Senegal. In this study, Cheikh Anta Babou examines the construction of their transnational collective identity and its influence on cultural practices, identities, and aspirations.

Emigration and Immigration · History | Africa | West · Sufism · Senegal · Cote d'Ivoire · Gabon · France · United States · African Studies

Cover of 'Safari Nation'

Safari Nation
A Social History of the Kruger National Park
By Jacob S. T. Dlamini

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.

History | Historical Geography · African History · Race and Ethnicity · South Africa · African Studies · Apartheid

Cover of 'Ambivalent'

Ambivalent
Photography and Visibility in African History
Edited by Patricia Hayes and Gary Minkley

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.

African History · Art Criticism and Theory · Africa · Photography Criticism · African Literature

Cover of 'Seeing Like a Citizen'

Seeing Like a Citizen
Decolonization, Development, and the Making of Kenya, 1945–1980
By Kara Moskowitz

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.

African History · Business & Economics | Development Studies · Colonialism and Decolonization · Kenya · African Studies

Cover of 'The Politics of Disease Control'

The Politics of Disease Control
Sleeping Sickness in Eastern Africa, 1890–1920
By Mari K. Webel

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.

African History · History of Science · African Studies · Eastern Africa · Human Geography

Cover of 'Emergent Masculinities'

Emergent Masculinities
Gendered Power and Social Change in the Biafran Atlantic Age
By Ndubueze L. Mbah

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.

African History · Gender Studies · African Studies · Igbo · Slavery and Slave Trade · Western Africa · Atlantic Studies

Cover of 'Powerful Frequencies'

Powerful Frequencies
Radio, State Power, and the Cold War in Angola, 1931–2002
By Marissa J. Moorman

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.

African History · Technology & Engineering | Telecommunications · Media Studies · Angola · African Studies

Cover of 'Age of Concrete'

Age of Concrete
Housing and the Shape of Aspiration in the Capital of Mozambique
By David Morton

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.

African History · Human Geography · Urban History · Mozambique · African Studies · Urban Planning

Cover of 'Water Brings No Harm'

Water Brings No Harm
Management Knowledge and the Struggle for the Waters of Kilimanjaro
By Matthew V. Bender

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.

History | Historical Geography · African History · Tanzania · World and Comparative History

Cover of 'Modernist Art in Ethiopia'

Modernist Art in Ethiopia
By Elizabeth W. Giorgis

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.

Art History · Ethiopia · African Studies · African Art

Cover of 'Buying Time'

Buying Time
Debt and Mobility in the Western Indian Ocean
By Thomas F. McDow

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.

Human Geography · Social History · 19th century · Eastern Africa · Middle East · Indian Ocean Studies · African Studies

Cover of 'Reel Pleasures'

Reel Pleasures
Cinema Audiences and Entrepreneurs in Twentieth-Century Urban Tanzania
By Laura Fair

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.

Media Studies · African History · History | Modern | 20th Century · African Studies · Tanzania · African Film · African Literature

Cover of 'Internal Frontiers'

Internal Frontiers
African Nationalism and the Indian Diaspora in Twentieth-Century South Africa
By Jon Soske

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

African History · Nationalism · South Africa · Race and Ethnicity · Indian Ocean Studies

Cover of 'Living with Nkrumahism'

Living with Nkrumahism
Nation, State, and Pan-Africanism in Ghana
By Jeffrey S. Ahlman

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

African History · Nationalism · Colonialism and Decolonization · African Studies · Cold War · Ghana

Cover of 'Market Encounters'

Market Encounters
Consumer Cultures in Twentieth-Century Ghana
By Bianca Murillo

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.

African History · Popular Culture · History | Modern | 20th Century · Social History · African Studies · Ghana · Western Africa

Cover of 'We Do Not Have Borders'

We Do Not Have Borders
Greater Somalia and the Predicaments of Belonging in Kenya
By Keren Weitzberg

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

African History · Anthropology · Nationalism · Somalia · Eastern Africa · Kenya · African Studies

Cover of 'Football and Colonialism'

Football and Colonialism
Body and Popular Culture in Urban Mozambique
By Nuno Domingos
· Foreword by Harry G. West

In articles for the newspaper O Brado Africano in the mid-1950s, poet and journalist José Craveirinha described the ways in which the Mozambican football players in the suburbs of Lourenço Marques (now Maputo) adapted the European sport to their own expressive ends. Through gesture, footwork, and patois, they used what Craveirinha termed “malice”—or cunning—to negotiate their places in the colonial state.

Anthropology · Social History · Soccer · Colonialism and Decolonization · African Studies · Race and Ethnicity · Mozambique

Cover of 'An Uncertain Age'

An Uncertain Age
The Politics of Manhood in Kenya
By Paul Ocobock

In twentieth-century Kenya, age and gender were powerful cultural and political forces that animated household and generational relationships. They also shaped East Africans’ contact with and influence on emergent colonial and global ideas about age and masculinity. Kenyan men and boys came of age achieving their manhood through changing rites of passage and access to new outlets such as town life, crime, anticolonial violence, and nationalism.

African History · Gender Studies · Colonialism and Decolonization · African Studies · Eastern Africa · Kenya

Cover of 'African Miracle, African Mirage'

African Miracle, African Mirage
Transnational Politics and the Paradox of Modernization in Ivory Coast
By Abou B. Bamba

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Ivory Coast was touted as an African miracle, a poster child for modernization and the ways that Western aid and multinational corporations would develop the continent. At the same time, Marxist scholars—most notably Samir Amin—described the capitalist activity in Ivory Coast as empty, unsustainable, and incapable of bringing real change to the lives of ordinary people.

African History · Economic Policy · Colonialism and Decolonization · African Studies · Cote d'Ivoire

Cover of 'The Art of Life in South Africa'

The Art of Life in South Africa
By Daniel Magaziner

From 1952 to 1981, South Africa’s apartheid government ran an art school for the training of African art teachers at Indaleni, in what is today KwaZulu-Natal. The Art of Life in South Africa is the story of the students, teachers, art, and politics that circulated through a small school, housed in a remote former mission station.

African History · African Art · Colonialism and Decolonization · Art History · South Africa · African Studies · Apartheid · Art Education

Cover of 'Cartography and the Political Imagination'

Cartography and the Political Imagination
Mapping Community in Colonial Kenya
By Julie MacArthur

Encompassing history, geography, and political science, MacArthur’s study evaluates the role of geographic imagination and the impact of cartography not only as means of expressing imperial power and constraining colonized populations, but as tools for the articulation of new political communities and resistance.

African History · Human Geography · Colonialism and Decolonization · Kenya · African Studies · Race and Ethnicity

Cover of 'Nation on Board'

Nation on Board
Becoming Nigerian at Sea
By Lynn Schler

Schler’s study of Nigerian seamen during Nigeria’s transition to independence provides a fresh perspective on the meaning of decolonization for ordinary Africans. She traces the workers’ shift from optimism to disillusionment, providing a working-class perspective on nation building in Nigeria and illustrating the hopes for independence and subsequent disappointments.

History | Maritime History & Piracy · Labor History · Nigeria · African Studies · History | Africa | West

Cover of 'The Gun in Central Africa'

The Gun in Central Africa
A History of Technology and Politics
By Giacomo Macola

Examining the history of warfare and political development through a technological lens, Macola relates the study of military technology to the history of gender. A lively analysis of the social forms and political systems of central Africa, this work focuses on the question of why some societies embraced the gun while others didn’t, and how the technology shaped them in the precolonial years.

Social History · History of Technology · African History · African Studies · Central Africa

Cover of 'Authentically African'

Authentically African
Arts and the Transnational Politics of Congolese Culture
By Sarah Van Beurden

Together, the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium, and the Institut des Musées Nationaux du Zaire (IMNZ) in the Congo have defined and marketed Congolese art and culture. In Authentically African, Sarah Van Beurden traces the relationship between the possession, definition, and display of art and the construction of cultural authenticity and political legitimacy from the late colonial until the postcolonial era.

African History · Museum Studies · African Art · African Studies · Democratic Republic of the Congo

Cover of 'Crossing the Color Line'

Crossing the Color Line
Race, Sex, and the Contested Politics of Colonialism in Ghana
By Carina E. Ray

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.

African History · Women’s Studies · Race and Ethnicity · African Studies · Ghana · United Kingdom

Cover of 'Diamonds in the Rough'

Diamonds in the Rough
Corporate Paternalism and African Professionalism on the Mines of Colonial Angola, 1917–1975
By Todd Cleveland

Diamonds in the Rough explores the lives of African laborers on Angola’s diamond mines from the commencement of operations in 1917 to the colony’s independence from Portugal in 1975. The mines were owned and operated by the Diamond Company of Angola, or Diamang, which enjoyed exclusive mining and labor concessions granted by the colonial government. Through these monopolies, the company became the most profitable enterprise in Portugal’s African empire.

African History · Labor History · African Studies · Angola

Cover of 'States of Marriage'

States of Marriage
Gender, Justice, and Rights in Colonial Mali
By Emily S. Burrill

States of Marriage shows how throughout the colonial period in French Sudan (present-day Mali) the institution of marriage played a central role in how the empire defined its colonial subjects as gendered persons with certain attendant rights and privileges. The book is a modern history of the ideological debates surrounding the meaning of marriage, as well as the associated legal and sociopolitical practices in colonial and postcolonial Mali.

Gender Studies · African History · History · Mali · African Studies

Cover of 'Making Modern Girls'

Making Modern Girls
A History of Girlhood, Labor, and Social Development in Colonial Lagos
By Abosede A. George

In Making Modern Girls, Abosede A. George examines the influence of African social reformers and the developmentalist colonial state on the practice and ideology of girlhood as well as its intersection with child labor in Lagos, Nigeria. It draws from gender studies, generational studies, labor history, and urban history to shed new light on the complex workings of African cities from the turn of the twentieth century through the nationalist era of the 1950s.

African History · Labor History · Women’s History · Women’s Studies · Children's Studies · Childhood · African Studies · Nigeria

Cover of 'In Idi Amin’s Shadow'

In Idi Amin’s Shadow
Women, Gender, and Militarism in Uganda
By Alicia C. Decker

In Idi Amin’s Shadow is a rich social history examining Ugandan women’s complex and sometimes paradoxical relationship to Amin’s military state. Based on more than one hundred interviews with women who survived the regime, as well as a wide range of primary sources, this book reveals how the violence of Amin’s militarism resulted in both opportunities and challenges for women.

African History · Gender Studies · Colonialism and Decolonization · Uganda · African Studies

Cover of 'Who Shall Enter Paradise?'

Who Shall Enter Paradise?
Christian Origins in Muslim Northern Nigeria, c. 1890–1975
By Shobana Shankar

Who Shall Enter Paradise? recounts in detail the history of Christian-Muslim engagement in a core area of sub-Saharan Africa’s most populous nation, home to roughly equal numbers of Christians and Muslims. It is a region today beset by religious violence, in the course of which history has often been told in overly simplified or highly partisan terms.

African History · Islam · Nigeria · African Studies · Religion | Christianity