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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.
In A Grammar of Lopit, Jonathan Moodie and Rosey Billington provide the first detailed description of Lopit, an Eastern Nilotic language traditionally spoken in the Lopit Mountains in South Sudan. Drawing on extensive primary data, the authors describe the phonology, morphology, and syntax of the Lopit language. Their analyses offer new insights into phenomena characteristic of Nilo-Saharan languages, such as ‘Advanced Tongue Root’ vowel distinctions, tripartitite number marking, and marked-nominative case systems, and they uncover patterns which are previously unattested within the Eastern Nilotic family, such as a three-way contrast in aspect, number marking with the ‘greater singular’, and two kinds of inclusory constructions. This book offers a significant contribution to the descriptive and typological literature on African languages.
Volume IV: Prosecutor v. Sankoh, Bockarie, Sesay, Kallon, Gbao (The RUF Case)
The Special Court for Sierra Leone was established through signature of a bilateral treaty between the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone in early 2002, making it the third modern ad hoc international criminal tribunal. It has tried various persons, including former Liberian President Charles Ghankay Taylor, for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed during the latter half of the Sierra Leonean armed conflict. It completed its work in December 2013. A new Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone, based in Freetown and with offices in The Hague, has been created to carry out its essential “residual” functions.
This volume, which consists of three books and a CD-ROM and is edited by two legal experts on the Sierra Leone Court, completes the set of edited Law Reports started in 2012. Together, the Law Reports fill the gap of a single and authoritative reference source of the tribunal’s jurisprudence. The law reports are intended for national and international judges, lawyers, academics, students and other researchers as well as transitional justice practitioners in courts, tribunals and truth commissions, and anyone seeking an accurate record of the trials conducted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

N.B.: The hardback copy of this title contains a CD-ROM with the decisions that are reproduced in the book and the trial transcripts.
The e-book version does not.
Author: Tizian Zumthurm
Tizian Zumthurm uses the extraordinary hospital of an extraordinary man to produce novel insights into the ordinary practice of biomedicine in colonial Central Africa. His investigation of therapeutic routines in surgery, maternity care, psychiatry, and the treatment of dysentery and leprosy reveals the incoherent nature of biomedicine and not just in Africa. Reading rich archival sources against and along the grain, the author combines concepts that appeal to those interested in the history of medicine and colonialism. Through the microcosm of the hospital, Zumthurm brings to light the social worlds of Gabonese patients as well as European staff. By refusing to easily categorize colonial medical encounters, the book challenges our understanding of biomedicine as solely domineering or interactive.
In: African Diaspora

Abstract

Digital media, diaspora and deterritorialisation have provided important ways to think about contemporary global flows and social ties. Digital diasporas as a unit of study have become especially relevant for social scientists, particularly anthropologists: In this paper, the author argues that digital diasporas represent both online communities and the ICT practices of those living abroad, which seemingly actualise the potential inherent in Castell’s notion of the Network Society. Examining the material and social dimensions of these ties, however, this paper moves to critique the notion of networks as stabilised representations of diaspora/homeland connections. Drawing from the author’s ethnographic research with tech professionals in Ghana, and with diaspora-based social media users in the U.S. and the Netherlands, the analysis posits that the asymmetry of Africa’s sociotechnical infrastructures is central to understanding the enduring disjunctive nature of these flows. Through interviews and analysis, the author illustrates how these sociotechnical systems configure Ghana’s global cyberculture.

In: African Diaspora

Abstract

In 2015, a reading group in Abuja, Nigeria, started the hashtag #BeingFemaleinNigeria, which received widespread attention. Within the confines of 140 characters, Nigerian women and men shared stories of gender inequality, sexism and misogyny in the country. Using feminist critical discourse analysis, this article unpacks the tweets under the #BeingFemaleinNigeria hashtag, and teases out what they tell us about gender inequality in Nigeria, and the ambitions for emancipation. This article takes the stance that African feminism(s) exist, that empirical study of lived experiences of African women should define it, and not perspectives that reject and argue that feminism comes from the other. Therefore, this empirical research contributes to scholarship that seeks to define the characteristics of African feminism(s), particularly as the field is criticised for being over-theorised.

In: African Diaspora

Abstract

The ‘New African Diaspora’ (NAD) in Australia is a small yet diverse and interconnected community. African-born persons make up only 1.5 % of the Australian population, yet collectively represent all 54 independent African nation-states, and speak over 60 languages. Nonetheless, Australia embraces stereotypical and misleading understandings of the ‘African migrant’, and whilst these have been subject to academic scrutiny, there is a need to reconceptualise the NAD in both public and academic discourse. This article endeavours to challenge contemporary perceptions through an exploration of the history and demography of the NAD and the manifold ways it continues to shape Australia’s socio-cultural and economic landscapes. We draw upon our findings from a 2018 mapping project, which comprised analyses of publicly available migration data, an online survey, and a series of six in-depth interviews. Our analysis unveils the central role the NAD plays in brokering between multiple cultures and geographies.

In: African Diaspora
Author: Helen Yitah

Abstract

This paper examines rural Ghanaian children’s creative performance of play songs in the context of recent scholarship on children’s rights in children’s literature. This scholarship, which has focused mainly on written literature in western contexts, seeks to give serious literary attention to children’s creative expression and thereby uphold their rights to contribute to the artistic life and culture of their societies. Kasena children of northern Ghana exhibit creative agency in adapting traditional play songs to new situations, as they re-create and reinterpret communal idioms, imagery and symbols, thus generating new forms, new concepts and new meanings. I illustrate the aesthetic qualities and transgressive features of this phenomenon by drawing on relevant indigenous Kasem concepts about art and creative resistance. If taken seriously, this dynamic heritage of children’s poetry can help us see emerging play genres as an affirmation of children’s creativity, and prompt a redefinition of ideas about childhood.

In: Utafiti