This volume investigates the development of biographical study in African history and historiography. Consisting of 10 case studies, it is preceded by an introductory prologue, which deals with the relationship between historiography and different forms of biographical study in the context of Western history-writing but especially African (historical and anthropological) studies. The first three case studies deal with the methodological insights of biographical studies for African history. This is followed by three case studies dealing with personas living through fundamental societal transitions, and four case studies focusing on the discursive dimensions of biographical subjects (including religion, cosmology and ideology). Countries or regions discussed include South Africa, Zambia, Gold Coast, Cameroon, Tanganyika, Congo-Kinshasa and the Central African Republic in colonial times.
Contributors are Lindie Koorts, Elena Moore, Iva Peša, Paul Glen Grant, Jacqueline de Vries, Duncan Money, Morgan Robinson, Eve Wong, Klaas van Walraven, Erik Kennes.
Nationalism, as an ideology coupling self-conscious peoples to fixed territories, is often seen as emerging from European historical developments, also in postcolonial countries outside Europe. André van Dokkum’s
Nationalism and Territoriality in Barue and Mozambique shows that this view is not universally true. The precolonial Kingdom of Barue in what is now Mozambique showed characteristics generally associated with nationalism, giving the country great resilience against colonial encroachment. Postcolonial Mozambique, on the other hand, has so far not succeeded in creating national coherence. The former anti-colonial organization and now party in power Frelimo has always stressed national unity, but only under its own guidance, paradoxically producing disunity.
For years the fact that the debate on science and religion was not related to cultural diversity was considered only a minor issue. However, lately, there is a growing concern that the dominance of ‘Western’ perspectives in this field do not allow for new understandings. This book testifies to the growing interest in the different cultural embeddings of the science and religion interface and proposes a framework that makes an intercultural debate possible. This proposal is based on a thorough study of the ‘lived theology’ of Christian students and university professors in Abidjan, Kinshasa and Yaoundé. The outcomes of the field research are related to a worldwide perspective of doing theology and a broader scope of scholarly discussions.
Histories of Independence in Côte d’Ivoire: an Ethnography of the Past, Konstanze N’Guessan deals with memory work in Côte d’Ivoire and bridges an ethnographic approach with the insights of newer theoretical approaches in historiography. Adopting a long-term perspective from the late 1950s to the present, she attempts to disentangle the condensation of meanings of the
lieu de mémoire “Ivorian independence” and explores how different practices of recalling the past complement and/or contradict each other.
Histories of independence in Côte d’Ivoire looks at national-day celebrations, academic historiography, oral tradition and memory politics in order to understand how (political) actors mobilize the past in order to produce pleasant presents and futures.
Essai d’histoire locale fut écrit par un acteur-clé de l’historiographie de l’Afrique de l’Ouest pourtant encore méconnu: Djiguiba Camara. Rédigé en 1955, ce texte est centré sur l’histoire du Nord de la Guinée, avec une attention particulière portée sur l’empire de Samori Touré et la résistance anticoloniale.
Essai d’histoire locale, illustre la fabrique de l’histoire locale et coloniale par un intermédiaire colonial guinéen et un intellectuel, à partir du point de vue spécifique de la famille Camara, qui fut engagée dans les armées de Samori. Ce texte n’a été connu que parce qu’il est devenu l’une des sources majeures de l’historien français Yves Person pour sa monumentale thèse
Samori, Une Révolution Dyula (1968-1975). Avec cette édition annotée d’une source primaire, “Essai d’histoire locale” de Djiguiba Camara devient enfin accessible à un lectorat plus vaste. Elara Bertho et Marie Rodet ont démontré grâce à cette publication que
Essai d’histoire locale est une source essentielle pour la compréhension de l’histoire de la Guinée ainsi que de la fabrique de l’historiographie, en particulier du travail d’Yves Person.
Although a key figure in West African historiography, Djiguiba Camara from Damaro has remained almost completely unknown. He wrote
Essay on Local History over many years but finally finished it in 1955. His focus was the history of Northern Guinea with an emphasis on the Empire of Samori Touré and anticolonial resistance.
Essay on Local History we can see not only the highly developed craft of the local and colonial historical writing of a Guinean colonial intermediary and scholar, but the view he gave is from the particular perspective of the Camara family, who had served in Samori’s armies. Djiguiba Camara’s own work had been known only by reputation as a source for the monumental thee-volume
Samori – Une Révolution Dyula (1968-1975) by the French historian Yves Person. Now however, in this fully annotated text edition, Djiguiba Camara’s
Essai d’histoire locale becomes available to a wider audience for the first time. Elara Bertho and Marie Rodet have demonstrated through this publication that
Essay on Local History is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand both the history of Guinea and more especially Yves Person’s modus operandi.
A Companion to Medieval Ethiopia and Eritrea introduces readers to current research on major topics in the history and cultures of the Ethiopian-Eritrean region from the seventh century to the mid-sixteenth, with insights into foundational late-antique developments where appropriate. Multiconfessional in scope, it includes in its purview both the Christian kingdom and the Islamic and local-religious societies that have attracted increasing attention in recent decades, tracing their internal features, interrelations, and imbrication in broader networks stretching from Egypt and Yemen to Europe and India. Utilizing diverse source types and methodologies, its fifteen essays offer an up-to-date overview of the subject for students and nonspecialists, and are rich in material for researchers.
Faith in African Lived Christianity – Bridging Anthropological and Theological Perspectives offers a comprehensive, empirically rich and interdisciplinary approach to the study of faith in African Christianity. The book brings together anthropology and theology in the study of how faith and religious experiences shape the understanding of social life in Africa. The volume is a collection of chapters by prominent Africanist theologians, anthropologists and social scientists, who take people’s faith as their starting point and analyze it in a contextually sensitive way. It covers discussions of positionality in the study of African Christianity, interdisciplinary methods and approaches and a number of case studies on political, social and ecological aspects of African Christian spirituality.
The Africa Yearbook covers major domestic political developments, the foreign policy and socio-economic trends in sub-Sahara Africa – all related to developments in one calendar year. The Yearbook contains articles on all sub-Saharan states, each of the four sub-regions (West, Central, Eastern, Southern Africa) focusing on major cross-border developments and sub-regional organizations as well as one article on continental developments and one on African-European relations. While the articles have thorough academic quality, the Yearbook is mainly oriented to the requirements of a large range of target groups: students, politicians, diplomats, administrators, journalists, teachers, practitioners in the field of development aid as well as business people.
Moving Spaces: Creolisation and Mobility in Africa, the Atlantic and Indian Ocean addresses issues of creolisation, mobility, and migration of ideas, songs, stories, and people, as well as plants, in various parts of Africa, the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean worlds. It brings together Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone specialists from various fields – anthropology, geography, history, language & literary studies – from Africa, Brazil, Europe, and the Indo-Pacific. It is a book which, while opening new perspectives, also intriguingly suggests that languages are essential to all processes of creolisation, and that therefore the latter cannot be understood without reference to the former. Its strength therefore lies in bringing together studies from different language domains, particularly Afrikaans, Creole, English, French, Portuguese, and Sanskrit.
Contributors include Andrea Acri, Joaze Bernardino, Marina Berthet, Alain Kaly, Uhuru Phalafala, Haripriya Rangan, Fernando Rosa, António Tomás and Shaun Viljoen.
Roads through Mwinilunga provides a historical appraisal of social change in Northwest Zambia from 1750 until the present. By looking at agricultural production, mobility, consumption, and settlement patterns, existing explanations of social change are reassessed. Using a wide range of archival and oral history sources, Iva Peša shows the relevance of Mwinilunga to broader processes of colonialism, capitalism, and globalisation. Through a focus on daily life, this book complicates transitions from subsistence to market production and dichotomies between tradition and modernity.
Roads through Mwinilunga is a crucial addition to debates on historical and social change in Central Africa.