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African Studies

African Studies Book List

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 · Media Studies · Angola · African Studies

Cover of 'Modernist Art in Ethiopia'

Modernist Art in Ethiopia
By Elizabeth W. Giorgis

If modernism initially came to Africa through colonial contact, what does Ethiopia’s inimitable historical condition—its independence save for five years under Italian occupation—mean for its own modernist tradition?

Art History · Ethiopia · African Studies · African Art

Cover of 'Converging on Cannibals'

Converging on Cannibals
Terrors of Slaving in Atlantic Africa, 1509–1670
By Jared Staller

In Converging on Cannibals, Jared Staller demonstrates that one of the most terrifying discourses used during the era of transatlantic slaving—cannibalism—was co-produced by Europeans and Africans. When these people from vastly different cultures first came into contact, they shared a fear of potential cannibals. Some Africans and European slavers allowed these rumors of themselves as man-eaters to stand unchallenged.

African History · African Studies · Slavery and Slave Trade

Cover of 'A Short History of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart'

A Short History of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
By Terri Ochiagha

In the accessible and concise A Short History of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Terri Ochiagha asks new questions and brings wider attention to unfamiliar but crucial elements of the story, including new insights into questions of canonicity, and into literary, historiographical, and precolonial aesthetic influences.

African History · Literary Criticism, Africa · African Studies

Cover of 'Pursuing Justice in Africa'

Pursuing Justice in Africa
Competing Imaginaries and Contested Practices
Edited by Jessica Johnson and George Hamandishe Karekwaivanane
· Afterword by Kamari Maxine Clarke

Pursuing Justice in Africa focuses on visions of justice across the African continent, featuring essays that engage with topics at the cutting edge of contemporary scholarship across a wide range of disciplines including activism, land tenure, international legal institutions, and post-conflict reconciliation.

Anthropology · Human Rights · Gender Studies · Religion, Politics, and the State · Ethics · Africa · African Studies · Law

Cover of 'Prelude to Genocide'

Prelude to Genocide
Arusha, Rwanda, and the Failure of Diplomacy
By David Rawson

David Rawson draws on declassified documents and his own experiences as the initial US observer of the 1993 Rwandan peace talks at Arusha to seek out what led to the Rwandan genocide. The result is a commanding blend of diplomatic history and analysis of the crisis and of what happens generally when conflict resolution and diplomacy fall short.

Genocide · Peace Studies · Diplomacy · International Studies · Rwanda · African Studies

Cover of 'Amy Biehl’s Last Home'

Amy Biehl’s Last Home
A Bright Life, a Tragic Death, and a Journey of Reconciliation in South Africa
By Steven D. Gish

Granted unrestricted access to the Biehl family’s papers, Steven Gish brings Amy and the Foundation to life in ways that have eluded previous authors. He is the first to place Biehl’s story in its full historical context, while also presenting a gripping portrait of this remarkable young woman and the aftermath of her death across two continents.

Biography, Women · African History · South Africa · African Studies

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.

African History · African Studies · Legal and Constitutional History · Social History · 19th century · World History · Middle East

Cover of 'Hip-Hop in Africa'

Hip-Hop in Africa
Prophets of the City and Dustyfoot Philosophers
By Msia Kibona Clark
· Foreword by Quentin Williams
· Afterword by Akosua Adomako Ampofo

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.

Hip Hop · African History · Women’s Studies · African Studies · Africa

Cover of 'Robert Mugabe'

Robert Mugabe
By Sue Onslow and Martin Plaut

For some, Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe is a liberation hero who confronted white rule and oversaw the radical redistribution of land. For others, he is a murderous dictator who drove his country to poverty. This concise biography, in a highly successful series, reveals the complexity of the man who led Zimbabwe for its first decades of independence.

Biography, Heads of State · African History · Zimbabwe · African Studies

Cover of 'Religion, Media, and Marginality in Modern Africa'

Religion, Media, and Marginality in Modern Africa
Edited by Felicitas Becker, Joel Cabrita, and Marie Rodet

In recent years, anthropologists, historians, and others have been drawn to study the profuse and creative usages of digital media by religious movements. At the same time, scholars of Christian Africa have long been concerned with the history of textual culture, the politics of Bible translation, and the status of the vernacular in Christianity.

Media Studies · Religion · Anthropology · Islam · Christianity · African History · African Studies · Africa

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 · 20th century · African Studies · Tanzania · African Film

Cover of 'Dedan Kimathi on Trial'

Dedan Kimathi on Trial
Colonial Justice and Popular Memory in Kenya’s Mau Mau Rebellion
Edited by Julie MacArthur
· Introduction by Julie MacArthur
· Foreword by Mĩcere Gĩthae Mũgo and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

Perhaps no figure embodied the ambiguities, colonial fears, and collective imaginations of Kenya’s decolonization era more than Dedan Kimathi, the self-proclaimed field marshal of the rebel forces that took to the forests to fight colonial rule in the 1950s. Kimathi personified many of the contradictions that the Mau Mau rebellion represented: rebel statesman, literate peasant, modern traditionalist.

African History · Colonialism and Decolonization · 20th century · African Studies · Mau Mau · Kenya