Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart provided the impetus for the foundation of Heinemann’s African Writers Series in 1962 with Achebe as the editorial adviser. Africa Writes Back presents portraits of the leading characters and the many consultants and readers providing reports and advice to new and established writers.
Heterosexual Africa? The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS builds from Marc Epprecht’s previous book, Hungochani (which focuses explicitly on same-sex desire in southern Africa), to explore the historical processes by which a singular, heterosexual identity for Africa was constructed—by anthropologists, ethnopsychologists, colonial officials, African elites, and most recently, health care workers seeking to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Prisons are always a key focus of those interested in human rights and the rule of law. Human Rights in African Prisons looks at the challenges African governments face in dealing with these issues. Written by some of the most eminent researchers from and on Africa, including the former chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Myth of Iron is the first book-length scholarly study of the famous Zulu leader Shaka to be published. It lays out, as far as possible, all the available evidence — mainly hitherto underutilized Zulu oral testimonies, supported by other documentary sources — and decides, item by item, legend by legend, what exactly we can know about Shaka’s reign.
Hanging by a Thread illuminates the connections between Africa and the global economy. The editors offer a compelling set of linked studies that detail one aspect of the globalization process in Africa, the cotton commodity chain.
“These two volumes clearly demonstrate the efforts by a wide range of African scholars to explain the roots, routes, regimes and resolution of African conflicts and how to re-build post-conflict societies. They offer sober and serious analyses, eschewing the sensationalism of the western media and the sophistry of some of the scholars in the global North for whom African conflicts are at worst a distraction and at best a confirmation of their pet racist and petty universalist theories.”
“Africa is no more prone to violent conflicts than other regions. Indeed, Africa’s share of the more than 180 million people who died from conflicts and atrocities in the twentieth century is relatively modest.… This is not to underestimate the immense impact of violent conflicts on Africa; it is merely to emphasize the need for more balanced debate and commentary.”
The Sacred Door and Other Stories: Cameroon Folktales of the Beba offers readers a selection of folktales infused with riddles, proverbs, songs, myths, and legends, using various narrative techniques that capture the vibrancy of Beba oral traditions. Makuchi retells the stories that she heard at home when she was growing up in her native Cameroon.
The Unsettled Land engages with the current debates on land and politics in Africa and provides a much-needed historical narrative of the Zimbabwean case. In early 2000, a process of land occupation began in Zimbabwe. It involved the movement of hundreds of thousands of black farmers onto mostly white-owned farms, often under the leadership of veterans of Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation war. The Zanu (PF) government cast this moment as the end of colonialism.
This groundbreaking book by two leading scholars offers a complete historical picture of women and their work in Uganda, tracing developments from precolonial times to the present and into the future. Setting women’s economic activities into a broader political, social, and cultural context, it provides the first general account of their experiences amid the changes that shaped the country.
Slavery in the Great Lakes Region of East Africa is a collection of ten studies by the most prominent historians of the region. Slavery was more important in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa than often has been assumed, and Africans from the interior played a more complex role than was previously recognized. The essays in this collection reveal the connections between the peoples of the region as well as their encounters with the conquering Europeans.
In Western scholarship, Africa’s so-called sacred forests are often treated as the remains of primeval forests, ethnographic curiosities, or cultural relics from a static precolonial past. African Sacred Groves challenges dominant views of these landscape features by redefining the subject matter beyond the compelling yet uninformative term “sacred.”
The notion of engagement represents an indispensable tool in a foreign policy practitioner’s armory. The idea of constructive engagement is forwarded by governments as a method whereby pressure can be brought to bear on countries to improve their record on human rights, while diplomatic and economic contracts can be maintained. But does this approach succeed?
War in Pre-Colonial Eastern Africa examines the nature and objectives of violence in the region in the nineteenth century. It is particularly concerned with highland Ethiopia and the Great Lakes. It will be of use to those interested in military history and to anyone involved in modern development and conflict resolution seeking to understand the deeper historical roots of African warfare.
The literature on women enslaved around the world has grown rapidly in the last ten years, evidencing strong interest in the subject across a range of academic disciplines.