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African Studies

African Studies Book List

Cover of 'Not White Enough, Not Black Enough'

Not White Enough, Not Black Enough
Racial Identity in the South African Coloured Community
By Mohamed Adhikari

The concept of Colouredness—being neither white nor black—has been pivotal to the brand of racial thinking particular to South African society. The nature of Coloured identity and its heritage of oppression has always been a matter of intense political and ideological contestation. Not White Enough, Not Black Enough: Racial Identity in the South African Coloured Community is the first systematic study of Coloured identity, its history, and its relevance to South African national life.

African Studies · History · African History · Southern Africa · South Africa · Apartheid · Race and Ethnicity · Africa · 20th century

Cover of 'Limits to Liberation after Apartheid'

Limits to Liberation after Apartheid
Citizenship, Governance, & Culture
Edited by Steven L. Robins

Postapartheid South Africa struggles with race tensions, social inequalities, and unemployment that are contributing to widespread crises. In addressing the transition to democracy, Limits to Liberation After Apartheid examines issues of culture and identity, drawing attention to the creative agency of citizens of the “new” South Africa.

African Studies · Political Science

Cover of 'On the Fringes of History'

On the Fringes of History
A Memoir
By Philip D. Curtin

In the 1950s, professional historians claiming to specialize in tropical Africa were no more than a handful. The teaching of world history was confined to high school courses, and even those were focused on European history, with a chapter added to account for the history of East and South Asia. The change over the ensuing decades was revolutionary. Philip D. Curtin was a leader among a new generation of historians that emerged after the Second World War.

African Studies · Literary Studies · Biography · Memoir · African History · History

Cover of 'Ouidah'

Ouidah
The Social History of a West African Slaving Port, 1727–1892
By Robin Law

Ouidah, an African town in the Republic of Benin, was the principal precolonial commercial center of its region and the second-most-important town of the Dahomey kingdom. It served as a major outlet for the transatlantic slave trade. Between the seventeenth and the nineteenth centuries, Ouidah was the most important embarkation point for slaves in the region of West Africa known to outsiders as the Slave Coast.

African Studies · African History · History · Social History · Slavery and Slave Trade · Africa · Western Africa · 18th century · 19th century

Cover of 'Kola is God’s Gift'

Kola is God’s Gift
Agricultural Production, Export Initiatives, and the Kola Industry in Asante and the Gold Coast, c. 1920–1950
By Edmund Abaka

Kola is a “food-drug”—like coffee, tea, coca, and tobacco—a substance considered neither food nor medicine, but used to induce “flights of fancy.” It is incorporated into rites of passage and ceremonies to cement treaties and contracts; its medicinal properties were first recognized outside Africa in the twelfth century; and it is a legal and popular stimulant among West African Muslims.

African History · African Studies · History

Cover of 'The African AIDS Epidemic'

The African AIDS Epidemic
A History
By John Iliffe

This history of the African AIDS epidemic is a much-needed, accessibly written historical account of the most serious epidemiological catastrophe of modern times. The African AIDS Epidemic: A History answers President Thabo Mbeki’s provocative question as to why Africa has suffered this terrible epidemic. While Mbeki attributed the causes to poverty and exploitation, others have looked to distinctive sexual systems practiced in African cultures and communities.

African History · HIV-AIDS · Medical Humanities · Public Health · 20th century · African Studies · Africa

Cover of 'Dhows and the Colonial Economy of Zanzibar, 1860-1970'

Dhows and the Colonial Economy of Zanzibar, 1860-1970
By Erik Gilbert

Conventional history assumes that the rise of the steamship trade killed off the Indian Ocean dhow trade in the twentieth century. Erik Gilbert argues that the dhow economy played a major role in shaping the economic and social life of colonial Zanzibar. Dhows, and the regional trade they fostered, allowed a class of indigenous entrepreneurs to thrive in Zanzibar.

African Studies · African History · History · Zanzibar · Tanzania · Eastern Africa · Africa

Cover of 'Imperial Gullies'

Imperial Gullies
Soil Erosion and Conservation in Lesotho
By Kate B. Showers

Once the grain basket for South Africa, much of Lesotho has become a scarred and degraded landscape. The nation’s spectacular erosion and gullying have concerned environmentalists and conservationists for more than half a century. In Imperial Gullies: Soil Erosion and Conservation in Lesotho, Kate B. Showers documents the truth behind this devastation. Showers reconstructs the history of the landscape, beginning with a history of the soil.

African History · Environmental History · Environmental Policy · Colonialism and Decolonization · Lesotho · African Studies

Cover of 'We Are Fighting the World'

We Are Fighting the World
A History of the Marashea Gangs in South Africa, 1947–1999
By Gary Kynoch

Since the late 1940s, a violent African criminal society known as the Marashea has operated in and around South Africa’s gold mining areas. With thousands of members involved in drug smuggling, extortion, and kidnapping, the Marashea was more influential in the day-to-day lives of many black South Africans under apartheid than were agents of the state. These gangs remain active in South Africa.

African History · Social History · 20th century · Violence in Society · South Africa · African Studies · Criminology · Global Issues

Cover of 'African Genius'

African Genius
By Basil Davidson

The African Genius presents the ideas, social systems, religions, moral values, arts, and metaphysics of a range of African peoples, disputing the notion that Africa gained under colonialism by entering the modern world.

African History · Historical Essays · Africa · African Studies

Cover of 'African Underclass'

African Underclass
Urbanisation, Crime, and Colonial Order in Dar es Salaam
By Andrew Burton

African Underclass examines the social, political, and administrative repercussions of rapid urban growth in Dar es Salaam. The origins of an often coercive response to urbanization in postcolonial Tanzania are traced back to the colonial period. The British reacted to unanticipated urban growth by attempting to limit the process, though this failed to prevent a substantial increase in rates of urbanization.

African Studies · African History · Political Science · History · Tanzania · Eastern Africa · Africa · Violence in Society · Criminology

Cover of 'No Peace, No War'

No Peace, No War
An Anthropology of Contemporary Armed Conflicts
Edited by Paul Richards

A rash of small wars erupted after the Cold War ended in Africa, the Balkans, and other parts of the former communist world. The wars were in “inter-zones,” the spaces left where weak states had withdrawn or collapsed. Consequently the debate over what constitutes war has returned to basics. No Peace, No War departs from the usual analysis that considers the new wars mindless mass actions to offer the paradoxical idea that to understand war one must deny war special status.

Political Science · Violence in Society · 20th century · Africa · Eastern Europe · History · African Studies · African History · Sociology · Europe

Cover of 'Negotiating Power and Privilege'

Negotiating Power and Privilege
Career Igbo Women in Contemporary Nigeria
By Philomina E. Okeke-Ihejirika

Even with a university education, the Igbo women of southeastern Nigeria face obstacles that prevent them from reaching their professional and personal potentials. Negotiating Power and Privilege is a study of their life choices and the embedded patriarchy and other obstacles in postcolonial Africa barring them from fulfillment. Philomina E. Okeke recorded life-history interviews and discussions during the 1990s with educated women of differing ages and professions.

African Studies · Gender Studies · Sociology · Women’s Studies · Nigeria · Western Africa · Africa · Igbo · Education

Cover of 'The Risks of Knowledge'

The Risks of Knowledge
Investigations into the Death of the Hon. Minister John Robert Ouko in Kenya, 1990
By David William Cohen and E. S. Atieno Odhiambo

The Risks of Knowledge minutely examines the multiple and unfinished investigations into the murder of Kenya's distinguished Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Robert Ouko, and raises important issues about the production of knowledge and the politics of memory.

African Studies · African History · History · Kenya · Eastern Africa · Africa

Cover of 'Race, Resistance, and the Boy Scout Movement in British Colonial Africa'

Race, Resistance, and the Boy Scout Movement in British Colonial Africa
By Timothy H. Parsons

Conceived by General Sir Robert Baden-Powell as a way to reduce class tensions in Edwardian Britain, scouting evolved into an international youth movement. It offered a vision of romantic outdoor life as a cure for disruption caused by industrialization and urbanization. Scouting's global spread was due to its success in attaching itself to institutions of authority.

African Studies · British History · Europe · Northern Europe · United Kingdom · Africa · Colonialism and Decolonization · Race and Ethnicity · History · African History · European History