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In African Somaesthetics: Cultures, Feminisms, Politics, Catherine F. Botha brings together original research on the body in African cultures, specifically interrogating the possibilities of the contribution of a somaesthetic approach in the context of colonization, decolonization, and globalization in Africa.

The eleven innovative contributions that consider the somaesthetic dimensions of experience in the context of Africa (centred broadly around the themes of politics, feminisms and cultures) reflect a diversity of perspectives and positions. The book is a first of its kind in gathering together novel and focused analyses of the body as conceived of from an African perspective.
In Biomedical Hegemony and Democracy in South Africa Ngambouk Vitalis Pemunta and Tabi Chama-James Tabenyang unpack the contentious South African government’s post-apartheid policy framework of the ‘‘return to tradition policy’’. The conjuncture between deep sociopolitical crises, witchcraft, the ravaging HIV/AIDS pandemic and the government’s initial reluctance to adopt antiretroviral therapy turned away desperate HIV/AIDS patients to traditional healers.

Drawing on historical sources, policy documents and ethnographic interviews, Pemunta and Tabenyang convincingly demonstrate that despite biomedical hegemony, patients and members of their therapy seeking group often shuttle between modern and traditional medicine thereby making both systems of healthcare complementary rather than alternatives. They draw the attention of policy-makers to the need to be aware of ‘‘subaltern health narratives’’ in designing health policy.
Histories of Claims and Conflict in a Kenyan Landscape
Pastoralists, ranchers of European descent, conservationists, smallholders, and land investors with political influence converge on the Laikipia plateau in Kenya. Land is claimed by all - the tactics differ. Private property rights are presented, histories of presence are told, charges of immorality are applied, fences are electrified and some resort to violence. The region, marked by enclosures, is left as a tense fragmented frontier.
Marie Gravesen embedded herself in the region prior to a wave of land invasions that swept the plateau leading up to Kenya’s 2017 general election. Through a rich telling of the history of Laikipia’s social, political and environmental dynamics, she invites a deeper understanding of the pre-election violence and general tensions as never done before.
Structure and Socio-Pragmatics of a Nilotic Language of Uganda
Author: Maren Rüsch
A Conversational Analysis of Acholi elucidates various interaction strategies for the Nilotic language Acholi. Based on detailed examples, Maren Rüsch links the structural organization of Acholi conversations to cultural features such as politeness, language socialization and narrations. Despite common claims of universality regarding the structuring of human languages by previous authors, the study shows that some Acholi strategies differ from other languages. The verbal and non-verbal practices displayed give an in-depth insight into speakers’ cognitive participation during interaction.
On the basis of in-situ research in Uganda, including the collection of rich audio- and video-material, this volume provides an innovative approach to language documentation and description and constitutes a thorough conversation analytic study of an African language.
Ecuador’s “Good Living”: Crises, Discourse, and Law by Gallegos-Anda, presents a critical approach towards the concept of Buen Vivir that was included in Ecuador’s 2008 Constitution. Due to its apparent legal novelty, this normative formula received much praise from multiple civil society and academic circles by forging what some argued to be a new development paradigm based on Andean epistemologies. Gallegos-Anda theorizes this important phenomenon through an inductive analysis of context and power relations. Through a masterful navigation through epistemological fields, the author offers a critical theory of Buen Vivir that focuses on changing citizenship regimes, a retreating state, politicised ethnic cleavages, discursive democracy and the emergence of an empty signifier. Gallegos-Anda is the first to situate Buen Vivir in a theoretical context grounded in international human rights law.
Mutual Discoveries and First Encounters
In Europeans and Africans Michał Tymowski analyses the first contacts between the Portuguese and other Europeans and Western Africans in the 15th and early 16th centuries, the cultural and psychological as well as the organizational aspects of contacts. The territorial scope of the research encompasses the West African coast. Michał Tymowski describes and analyses the feelings and emotions which accompanied the contacts, of both Africans and Europeans, analyses the methods in which both parties communicated and organized the first encounters as well as the influence of these contacts on the cultures of both sides. The work is based on a variety of source material, written sources and works of African art, in which Africans’ opinions and emotions are reflected.