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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.

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.

Biblical Interpretation and African Traditional Religion

Cross-Cultural and Community Readings in Owamboland, Namibia

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Helen C. John

In Biblical Interpretation and African Traditional Religion, Helen C. John juxtaposes grassroots biblical interpretations from Owamboland, Namibia, with professional interpretations of selected New Testament texts, effectively demonstrating the capacity of grassroots interpretations to destabilise, challenge and nuance dominant professional interpretations. John uses a cross-cultural and dialogical approach – ‘Cross-Cultural Biblical Interpretation Groups’ – to explore the relationship between African Traditional Religion (ATR), Christianity and biblical interpretation in Owamboland, Namibia. She contextualises the grassroots Owambo interpretations using fieldwork experiences and ethnographic literature, thus heightening the cross-cultural encounter. In particular, John reflects on Western epistemologies and the Eurocentric interpretative trends that are brought into relief by the African interpretations gathered in Owamboland.

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Raphaël Lambert

In Narrating the Slave Trade, Theorizing Community, Raphaël Lambert explores the notion of community in conjunction with literary works concerned with the transatlantic slave trade. The recent surge of interest in both slave trade and community studies concurs with the return of free-market ideology, which once justified and facilitated the exponential growth of the slave trade. The motif of unbridled capitalism recurs in all the works discussed herein; however, community, whether racial, political, utopian, or conceptual, emerges as a fitting frame of reference to reveal unsuspected facets of the relationships between all involved parties, and expose the ramifications of the trade across time and space. Ultimately, this book calls for a complete reevaluation of what it means to live together.

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Fiona Leach

Reclaiming the Women of Britain’s First Mission to Africa is the compelling story of three long-forgotten women, two white and one black, who lived, worked and died on the Church Missionary Society’s first overseas mission at the dawn of the nineteenth century. It was a time of momentous historical events: the birth of Britain’s missionary movement, the creation of its first African colony as a home for freed slaves, and abolition of the slave trade. Casting its long shadow over much of the women’s story was the protracted war with Napoleon.

Taking as its starting point a cache of fifty letters from the three women, the book counters the prevailing narrative that early missionary endeavour was a uniquely European and male affair, and reveals the presence of a surprising number of women, among them several with very forceful personalities. Those who are interested in women’s life history, black history, the history of the slave trade and British evangelism will find this book immensely enjoyable.

Ways of Knowing Muslim Cultures and Societies

Studies in Honour of Gudrun Krämer

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Edited by Bettina Gräf, Birgit Krawietz and Schirin Amir-Moazami

This volume showcases a variety of innovative approaches to the study of Muslim societies and cultures, inspired by and honouring Gudrun Krämer and her role in transforming the landscape of Islamic Studies. With contributions from scholars from around the world, the articles cover an extraordinarily wide geographical scope across a broad timeline, with transdisciplinary perspectives and a historically informed focus on contemporary phenomena. The wide-ranging subjects covered include among others a “men in headscarves” campaign in Iran, an Islamic call-in radio programme in Mombassa, a refugee-related court case in Germany, the Arab revolutions and aftermath from various theoretical perspectives, Ottoman family photos, Qurʾān translation in South Asia, and words that can’t be read.

Challenging the Status Quo

Diversity, Democracy, and Equality in the 21st Century

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Edited by David G. Embrick, Sharon M. Collins and Michelle S. Dodson

In Challenging the Status Quo: Diversity, Democracy, and Equality in the 21st Century, David G. Embrick, Sharon M. Collins, and Michelle Dodson have compiled the latest ideas and scholarship in the area of diversity and inclusion. The contributors in this edited book offer critical analyses on many aspects of diversity as it pertains to institutional policies, practices, discourse, and beliefs. The book is broken down into 19 chapters over 7 sections that cover: policies and politics; pedagogy and higher education; STEM; religion; communities; complex organizations; and discourse and identity. Collectively, these chapters contribute to answering three main questions: 1) what, ultimately, does diversity mean; 2) what are the various mechanisms by which institutions understand and use diversity; and 3) and why is it important for us to rethink diversity?

Contributors: Sharla Alegria, Joyce M. Bell, Sharon M. Collins, Ellen Berrey, Enobong Hannah Branch, Meghan A. Burke, Tiffany Davis, Michele C. Deramo, Michelle Dodson, David G. Embrick, Edward Orozco Flores, Emma González-Lesser, Bianca Gonzalez-Sobrino, Matthew W. Hughey, Paul R. Ketchum, Megan Klein, Michael Kreiter, Marie des Neiges Léonard, Wendy Leo Moore, Shan Mukhtar, Antonia Randolph, Victor Erik Ray, Arthur Scarritt, Laurie Cooper Stoll.

Co-operativism and Local Development in Cuba

An Agenda for Democratic Social Change

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Edited by Sonja Novković and Henry Veltmeyer

Co-operativism and Local Development in Cuba consists of a series of pathbreaking essays on the role of co-operativism, and the new co-operatives, in the democratic transformation of Cuba and the government’s plan to update the model in the current context. The contributors are well-known specialists on Cuba, co-operativism and local development. With a shared concern for how an increased focus on co-operativism and local development can contribute to the updating of the Cuban model and the advance of socialism, the contributors to the book have placed an analysis of the issues involved in the broader context of the international co-operative movement and the ongoing capitalist development process in Latin America.

Contributors include: Milford Bateman, Al Campbell, Grizel Donéstevez Sánchez, Cliff DuRand, Olga Fernández Ríos, Julio C. Gambina, Camila Piñeiro Harnecker, Sonja Novković, Dayrelis Ojeda Suris, Gabriela Roffinelli, Frederick. S. Royce, Dean Sinković, Henry Veltmeyer, Marcelo Vieta.

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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.