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Edited by Ingo Haltermann and Julia Tischler

The volume Environmental Change and African Societies contributes to current debates on global climate change from the perspectives of the social sciences and the humanities. It charts past and present environmental change in different African settings and also discusses policies and scenarios for the future. The first section, “Ideas”, enquires into local perceptions of the environment, followed by contributions on historical cases of environmental change and state regulation. The section “Present” addresses decision-making and agenda-setting processes related to current representations and/or predicted effects of climate change. The section “Prospects” is concerned with contemporary African megatrends. The authors move across different scales of investigation, from locally-grounded ethnographic analyses to discussions on continental trends and international policy.
Contributors are: Daniel Callo-Concha, Joy Clancy, Manfred Denich, Sara de Wit, Ton Dietz, Irit Eguavoen, Ben Fanstone, Ingo Haltermann, Laura Jeffrey, Emmanuel Kreike, Vimbai Kwashirai, James C. McCann, Bertrand F. Nero, Jonas Ø. Nielsen, Erick G. Tambo, Julia Tischler.

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Hans Olsson

In Jesus for Zanzibar: Narratives of Pentecostal (Non-)Belonging, Islam, and Nation Hans Olsson offers an ethnographic account of the lived experience and socio-political significance of newly arriving Pentecostal Christians in the Muslim majority setting of Zanzibar. This work analyzes how a disputed political partnership between Zanzibar and Mainland Tanzania intersects with the construction of religious identities.

Undertaken at a time of political tensions, the case study of Zanzibar’s largest Pentecostal church, the City Christian Center, outlines religious belonging as relationally filtered in-between experiences of social insecurity, altered minority / majority positions, and spiritual powers. Hans Olsson shows that Pentecostal Christianity, as a signifier of (un)wanted social change, exemplifies contested processes of becoming in Zanzibar that capitalizes on, and creates meaning out of, religious difference and ambient political tensions.

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Serawit Bekele Debele

In Locating Politics in Ethiopia's Irreecha Ritual Serawit Bekele Debele gives an account of politics and political processes in contemporary Ethiopia as manifested in Irreecha celebrations over the years. Mobilizing various sources such as archives, oral accounts, conversations, videos, newspapers, and personal observations, Debele critically engages Irreecha and the contested meaning-making processes attached to the annual Thanksgiving ritual which has now become an integral part of Oromo national identity. Through the prism of Irreecha, she also analyses political processes and how they are experienced, made sense of and articulated across political persuasions, generational, educational, religious, gender and ethnic differences. 

Regional Integration and Migration in Africa

Lessons from Southern and West Africa

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Vusi Gumede, Samuel Ojo Oloruntoba and Serges Djoyou Kamga

This comparative book debates migration and regional integration in the two regional economic blocs, namely the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The book takes a historical and nuanced citizenship approach to integration by analysing regional integration from the perspective of non-state actors and how they negotiate various structures and institutions in their pursuit for life and livelihood in a contemporary context marked by mobility and economic fragmentation.

Mediating Museums

Exhibiting Material Culture in Tunisia (1881-2016)

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Virginie Rey

This book documents and interprets the trajectory of ethnographic museums in Tunisia from the colonial to the post-revolutionary period, demonstrating changes and continuities in role, setting and architecture across shifting ideological landscapes. The display of everyday culture in museums is generally looked down upon as being kitsch and old-fashioned. This research shows that, in Tunisia, ethnographic museums have been highly significant sites in the definition of social identities. They have worked as sites that diffuse social, economic and political tensions through a vast array of means, such as the exhibition itself, architecture, activities, tourism, and consumerism. The book excavates the evolution of paradigms in which Tunisian popular identity has been expressed through the ethnographic museum, from the modernist notion of 'indigenous authenticity' under colonial time, to efforts at developing a Tunisian ethnography after Independence, and more recent conceptions of cultural diversity since the revolution. Based on a combination of archival research in Tunisia and in France, participant observation and interviews with past and present protagonists in the Tunisian museum field, this research brings to light new material on an understudied area.

An Azanian Trio

Three East African Arabic Historical Documents

Edited by James McL. Ritchie and Sigvard von Sicard

This work consists of the translation and annotation of three East African Arabic / Swahili manuscripts together with the original texts. They cover aspects of the history of the coast from the early Himyaritic period up to the beginning of the 20th century. By the use of earlier, in some cases hitherto unused Arabic sources, the authors of the texts have contributed to a fuller picture of the East African coastal history. The texts relate directly to works on East African coastal history that have appeared since the latter part of the 19th century. They are presented against the background of general Arabic and Islamic history. The annotations indicate, and some case stress, significant hints and references to matters that need to be borne in mind, along with archeological and other evidences.

No BS (Bad Stats)

Black People Need People Who Believe in Black People Enough Not to Believe Every Bad Thing They Hear about Black People

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Ivory A. Toldson

What if everything you thought you knew about Black people generally, and educating Black children specifically, was based on BS (bad stats)? We often hear things like, “Black boys are a dying breed,” “There are more Black men in prison than college,” “Black children fail because single mothers raise them,” and “Black students don’t read.” In No BS, Ivory A. Toldson uses data analysis, anecdotes, and powerful commentary to dispel common myths and challenge conventional beliefs about educating Black children. With provocative, engaging, and at times humorous prose, Toldson teaches educators, parents, advocates, and students how to avoid BS, raise expectations, and create an educational agenda for Black children that is based on good data, thoughtful analysis, and compassion. No BS helps people understand why Black people need people who believe in Black people enough not to believe every bad thing they hear about Black people.

African Countries and the Global Scramble for China

A Contribution to Africa’s Preparedness and Rehearsal

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Ngonlardje Kabra Mbaidjol

In this new book on Africa-China relations, Ngonlardje Kabra Mbaidjol strongly engages in the heated debates on African cooperation with China, an increassingly rich and powerful partner. The current dominant view highlights the neo-colonial and exploitative nature of these relations with a denial of any positive results for African people. However, the growing China-Africa partnership took its roots at Bandung 1955 conference, to culminate with an overt competition between China and other nations over African resources. For many, "a new scramble for Africa" emerges. The author argues there is rather a "global scramble for China," a fierce battle to get the PRC's kind attention. Africa is right to engage the struggle to access China's development funding. Africa may wish to avoid being distracted by rival voices, but to endeavor doing its own homework and rehearse for the global competiton, in the only interest of African people. Mbaidjol's book unpacks Africa's preparedness and rehearsal strategy.

Two Thousand Years in Dendi, Northern Benin

Archaeology, History and Memory

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Edited by Anne Haour

In Two Thousand Years in Dendi, Northern Benin an international team examines a little-known part of the Niger River valley, West Africa, over the longue durée. This area, known as Dendi, has often been portrayed as the crossroads of major West African medieval empires but this understanding has been based on a small number of very patchy historical sources. Working from the ground up, from the archaeological sites, standing remains, oral traditions and craft industries of Dendi, Haour and her team offer the first in-depth account of the area.

Contributors are: Paul Adderley, Mardjoua Barpougouni, Victor Brunfaut, Louis Champion, Annalisa Christie, Barbara Eichhorn, Anne Filippini, Dorian Fuller, Olivier Gosselain, David Kay, Nadia Khalaf, Nestor Labiyi, Raoul Laibi, Richard Lee, Veerle Linseele, Alexandre Livingstone Smith, Carlos Magnavita, Sonja Magnavita, Didier N'Dah, Nicolas Nikis, Sam Nixon, Franck N’Po Takpara, Jean-François Pinet, Ronika Power, Caroline Robion-Brunner, Lucie Smolderen, Abubakar Sule Sani, Romuald Tchibozo, Jennifer Wexler, Wim Wouters.

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Janice P. De-Whyte

In Wom(b)an: A Cultural-Narrative Reading of the Hebrew Bible Barrenness Narratives Janice Pearl Ewurama De-Whyte offers a reading of the Hebrew Bible barrenness narratives. The original word “wom(b)an” visually underscores the centrality of a productive womb to female identity in the ANE and Hebrew contexts. Conversely, barrenness was the ultimate tragedy and shame of a woman. Utilizing Akan cultural custom as a lens through which to read the Hebrew barrenness tradition, De-Whyte uncovers another kind of barrenness within these narratives. Her term “social barrenness” depicts the various situations of childlessness that are generally unrecognized in western cultures due to the western biomedical definitions of infertility. Whether biological or social, barrenness was perceived to be the greatest threat to a woman’s identity and security as well as the continuity of the lineage. Wom(b)an examines these narratives in light of the cultural meanings of barrenness within traditional cultures, ancient and present.