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Edited by Christian Erbacher

Every student of the twentieth century has heard both of the great Viennese economist Friedrich von Hayek and of the equally great philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. But what isn’t well known is that the two were distant cousins and that, shortly after Wittgenstein’s death in 1951, Hayek set out to write a biography of his cousin. The project was derailed by Wittgenstein family members, who felt it was to soon to publish such a work. But Hayek’s draft acquired an underground readership, and Wittgenstein’s biographers have used it extensively.Here finally, is the text of that work itself. Hayek’s account has the great merit of being close to its subject; the draft, moreover sheds light, not only on Wittgenstein but on Hayek as well. Allan Janik’s elegant afterword makes these links clear. Anyone interested in Wittgenstein or, for that matter, in the thought and culture of the earlier twentieth century, will want to read Christian Erbacher’s excellent edition of Hayek’s draft biography. – Marjorie Perloff

'Stringing Coral Beads': The Religious Poetry of Brava (c. 1890-1975)

A Source Publication of Chimiini Texts and English Translations

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Edited by Alessandra Vianello, Lidwien Kapteijns and Mohamed Kassim

This book presents fifty-one didactic and devotional Sufi poems (with English translations) composed by the ulama of Brava, on Somalia’s Benadir coast, in Chimiini, a Bantu language related to Swahili and unique to the town. Because the six ulama-poets, among whom two women, guided local believers towards correct beliefs and behaviours in reference to specific authoritative religious texts, the poems allow insight into their authors’ religious education, affiliations, in which the Qādiriyyah and Aḥmadiyyah took pride of place, and regional connections. Because the poems refer to local people, places, events, and livelihoods, they also bring into view the uniquely local dimension of Islam in this small East African port city in this time-period.

The History (Taʾrikh) by Ibn Wāḍiḥ al-Yaʿqūbī

Ibn Wāḍiḥ Qui Dicitur al-Yaʿqūbī, Historiae Vol. 1

M. Th. Houtsma

Abū al-ʿAbbās al-Yaʿqūbī was a Muslim imperial official and polymath of the third/ninth century. On the occasion of the publication of The Works of Ibn Wāḍiḥ al-Yaʿqūbī. An English translation, edited by Matthew S. Gordon, Chase F. Robinson, Everett K. Rowson, and Michael Fishbein (Leiden, 2017-2018), Brill is making the classic Arabic edition of al-Yaʿqūbī’s Taʾrīkh by M.Th. Houtsma (2 vols., 1883) available in paperback for the first time.

Volume 1 covers Pre-Islamic history, from Adam and Eve to the Patriarchs and Prophets of ancient Israel; Jesus and the Apostles; Assyria, Babylonia, and India; the Greek and Persian Empires; a variety of other regions including China and Ethiopia; and a section on the pre-Islamic Arabs. The current volume offers the Arabic text only. The English translation is found in vol. 2 of The Works of Ibn Wāḍiḥ al-Yaʿqūbī.

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Edited by Stephen Bulman and Valentin Vydrine

The Epic of Sumanguru Kante contains the Bamana text and English translation of griot Abdoulaye Sako’s oral narrative of the life of Sumanguru, recorded in 1997 in Koulikoro (Mali), together with explanatory notes, a scholarly introduction, and sections on the Bamana language and musical accompaniment. Sumanguru is a familiar figure within Manding epic oral traditions about ancient Mali. But while these narratives generally focus on Sunjata Keita, Sako’s oral poem is rare in according Sumanguru the central role. In so doing he includes hitherto undocumented episodes relating to Sumanguru’s life and role as the ruler of Soso, the little known state said to have flourished in the western Sudan between the fall of ancient Ghana and rise of ancient Mali.

Les mémoires de Maalaŋ Galisa sur le royaume confédéré du Kaabu

Un récit en langue mandinka de la Guinée-Bissau

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Cornelia Giesing and Denis Creissels

Edition d'un récit en mandinka par Maalaŋ Galisa (octobre 1988) sur la constitution et les conditions de vie au Kaabu, territoire situé entre la Gambie, le Sénégal et la Guinée-Bissau, connu depuis le 16e siècle et détruit vers 1867. La gamme des sujets couvre: le peuplement, le gouvernement, les codes de conduite des guerriers, religieux, esclaves et 'hôtes étrangers', les règles de l'esclavage, du mariage et de la succession, la coexistence des religions, les relations entre groupes d'âge et de genre.
Le texte diffère d'autres qui se focalisent sur un unique fondateur-patriarche, Tiramakan de l'épopée de Sunjata. Galisa parle du sud-est du Kaabu, à la frontière avec la Guinée. Il ajoute des couleurs locales au modèle mandinka, évoquant la puissance féminine et certains conflits violents.

Edition of a recital in Mandinka by Maalaŋ Galisa (October 1988) on the political constitution and living conditions in Kaabu, a territory situated between present Gambia, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, known since the 16th century, definitely destroyed in 1867. The narrative presents a range of topics covering governance, codes of conduct of warriors, clerics, slaves and 'strangers', rules of slavery, marriage and succession, the cohabitation of different religions, relations of age and gender.
This text is distinctive from others focussing on a single founder-patriarch, Tiramakan of the Epic of Sunjata. Galisa focuses on South-eastern Kaabu, bordering on the region of Labé (Guinea). He adds local colours to the Mandinka model, depicting powerful women and violent conflicts resulting from injustice.

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Edited by Kai Kresse

Sheikh al-Amin Mazrui wrote his essays of this Guidance ( Uwongozi) collection in Mombasa between 1930 and 1932, providing social critique and moral guidance to Kenya’s coastal Muslims during a period of their decline during British colonial rule. The essays were initially published as a series of double-sided pamphlets called Sahifa (The Page), the first Swahili Islamic newspaper. Inspired by contemporary debates of Pan-Islam and Islamic modernism, and with a critical eye on British colonialism, this leading East African modernist takes issue with his peers, in a sharply critical and yet often humorous tone. Al-Amin Mazrui was the first to publish Islamic educational prose and social commentary in Swahili. This bi-lingual edition makes fascinating reading for specialists and general readers.

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al-ʿAllāmah al-Ḥillī

Edited by Sayyid Amjad Hussain Shah Naqavi

Foundations of Jurisprudence: An Introduction to Imāmī Shīʿī Legal Theory is a critical edition of the Arabic text with a parallel English translation of Mabādiʾ al-wuṣūl ilā ʿilm al-uṣūl by al-ʿAllāmah al-Ḥillī, introduced, edited and translated by Sayyid Amjad H. Shah Naqavi.
Al-ʿAllāmah al-Ḥillī participated in the leading debates of his day and applied his vast erudition in philosophy, logic, and theology to the paramount subject of jurisprudence. This text presents an exemplar of the rich revival of Shīʿī scholarship in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries of the Common Era. Concise, yet comprehensive, this work sets the standard for the subsequent development and discussion of Imāmī Shīʿī legal theory, such that its influence can be traced through to modern times. This dual-text edition is indispensable for students and scholars of Imāmi Shīʿī jurisprudence.

Print Culture and the First Yoruba Novel

I.B. Thomas's 'Life Story of Me, Segilola' and other texts

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Karin Barber

First appearing as a series of letters to a local newspaper, “The Life Story of Me, Segilola” caused a sensation in Lagos in the late 1920s. The lifelike autobiography of a repentant courtesan, it regaled the reader with risqué escapades, pious moralising and vivid evocations of urban popular culture. The narrative and the commentary that sprang up around it in the Yoruba press offer a unique view of life in colonial Lagos. Today it is recognised as I.B.Thomas's work and hailed as the first Yoruba novel in a major African literary tradition. This volume presents the edited Yoruba text with translation, selected newspaper correspondence, and an introductory essay showing how the text emerged from the Yoruba print culture of the time.


Print Culture and the First Yoruba Novel has won the Paul Hair Prize 2013!

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Edited by William Cummings

Beginning in the 1630s, a series of annalists at the main courts of Makassar began keeping records with dated entries that recorded a wide variety of specific historical information about a wide variety of topics, including the births and deaths of notable individuals, the actions of rulers, the spread of Islam, trade and diplomacy, the built environment, ritual activity, warfare, internal political struggles, social and kinship relations, eclipses and comets, and more. These Lontaraq bilang were a clear departure in form and function from the genealogically-structured chronicles being composed about the ruling families of Gowa and Talloq in the same era. By the end of 1751, nearly 2400 entries had been completed.
These records are a rich lode of information for scholars interested in virtually any aspect of life in premodern Makassar, and are a rare and precious resource for scholars of Southeast Asia. This is the first English translation and annotation of the annals.
Full text (Open Access)

Writing for Kenya

The Life and Works of Henry Muoria

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Wangari Muoria-Sal, John Lonsdale and Derek Peterson

Edited by Bodil Folke Frederiksen

Henry Muoria (1914-97), self-taught journalist and pamphleteer, helped to inspire Kenya's nationalisms before Mau Mau. The pamphlets reproduced here, in Gikuyu and English, contrast his own originality with the conservatism of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya's first President. The contributing editors introduce Muoria's political context, tell how three remarkable women sustained his families' life; and remember him as father. Courageous intellectual, political, and domestic life here intertwine.