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Memoir of an Academic and Former Minister of State for Presidential Affairs
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An account of the author’s triple careers in academia, and services to two distinct governments of Liberia – William R. Tolbert’s and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s (consultant). Situated between the crisis years of the True Whig Party (TWP) regime, and the hopeful years of the first post-civil war government, stands more than three decades of teaching, research and public intellectual engagement. More than an impressionistic account, the author employs a rich repertoire of unpublished documents that include his personal cabinet notes and a wide range of government papers. His personal research papers acquired from archival research and interviews over the years supplement these. It is this rich background material that enables the telling of a fascinating story of the tensions within the TWP regime on the eve of the bloody 1980 coup, and in the process, paints enlightening portraits of such key players as Tolbert and his finance minister, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, among a host of others. Included as well are some specifics of the 1979 “rice riots” and its impact on the politics of change. Discoveries are also unearthed about the author’s role in racially integrating and internationalizing an American Episcopal/Anglican University in rural Tennessee. Among the questions explained are: Who was President Tolbert? What sort of finance minister to Tolbert was Ellen Johnson Sirleaf? Who was C. Cecil Dennis? Who was Jackson Fiah Doe? Who was Bacchus Matthews? How did the forces for change interact with those of the status quo in the 1970s? What were some of the forces at play in the reform attempts in the early 2000s? All things considered, what are Liberia’s prospects going forward?
Remembering Captivity, Enslavement and Resistance in African Oral Narratives
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Emmanuel Saboro’s study on memories of the slave era in northern Ghana is a most welcome addition to a long and storied scholarly tradition examining song lyrics associated with the institution of slavery. As one might expect, the vast majority of such studies focus on the music traditions of the enslaved in North America. Collected between the mid-19th and early 20th century, historians, musicologist, and literary scholars have systematically analyzed these songs for what the lyrics can tell us about experiences during the era of slavery and the slave trade. Similar works that focus on West Africa, however, are rare indeed. Like his North American counterparts, Saboro examines the songs of northern Ghana as coded messages that express hope, comfort, resistance, rage and triumph over adversity. Having “no fixed meanings”, Saboro describes them as both flexible and greatly useful for conveying a variety of meanings.
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In ten essays authored by an international team of scholars, this volume explores queer readings of Western and Eastern Mediterranean Europe, Northern Africa, Islam and Arabic traditions. The contributors enter into a dialogue, comparing cases from opposite sides of the Mediterranean, in order to analyze the forgotten exchange of sexualities that was brought forth through the Mediterranean and its bordering landmasses during the Middle Ages.
This collection questions the hypothesis that distinct cultures treated sexuality and the “other” differently. The volume initiates the conversation around queerness and sexuality on these trade routes, and problematizes the differences between various Mediterranean cultures in order to argue that through both queerness and sexuality, neighboring civilizations had access to, and knowledge of, common shared experiences.

Contributors are Sahar Amer, Israel Burshatin, Robert L.A. Clark, Denise K. Filos, Ellen Lorraine Friedrich, Edmund Hayes, Gregory S. Hutcheson, Vicente Lledó-Guillem, Leyla Rouhi, and Robert S. Sturges.
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.
L’œuvre d’un historien guinéen à l’époque coloniale / The Work of a Guinean Historian during the Colonial Period
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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 de la Haute Guinée, avec une attention particulière portée sur l’empire de Samori Touré et la résistance anticoloniale.
Ce texte, Essai d’histoire locale, illustre la fabrique de l’histoire locale 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 l'édition annotée de cette 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 et de la fabrique de l’historiographie en générale, et du travail d’Yves Person en particulier.

Although a key figure in West African historiography, Djiguiba Camara has remained almost completely unknown. Completed in 1955, Essay on Local History focuses on the history of Upper Guinea with an emphasis on the Empire of Samori Touré and anticolonial resistance.
Everywhere in Essay on Local History we can see not only the highly developed craft of the local 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 Essay on Local History 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 the making of historiography in general, but also Yves Person’s modus operandi.
Transnational Histories touched by National Socialism and Apartheid
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This book is situated at the cutting edge of the political-ethical dimension of history writing. Henkes investigates various responsibilities and loyalties towards family and nation, as well as other major ethical obligations towards society and humanity when historical subjects have to deal with a repressive political regime. In the first section we follow pre-war German immigrants in the Netherlands and their German affiliation during the era of National Socialism. The second section explores the positions of Dutch emigrants who settled after the Second World War in Apartheid South Africa. The narratives of these transnational agents and their relatives provide a lens through which changing constructions of national identities, and the acceptance or rejection of a nationalist policy on racial grounds, can be observed in everyday practice.
In 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.
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.
Belonging and Becoming in Self-Testimony
In Black South African Autobiography After Deleuze: Belonging and Becoming in Self-Testimony, Kgomotso Michael Masemola uses Gilles Deleuze’s theories of immanence and deterritorialization to explore South African autobiography as both the site and the limit of intertextual cultural memory. Detailing the intertextual turn that is commensurate with belonging to the African world and its diasporic reaches through the Black Atlantic, among others, this book covers autobiographies from Peter Abrahams to Es’kia Mphahlele, from Ellen Kuzwayo to Nelson Mandela. It proceeds further to reveal wider dimensions of angst and belonging that attend becoming through transcultural memory. Kgomotso Michael Masemola successfully marshalls Deleuzean theories in a sophisticated re-reading that makes clear the autobiographers’ epistemic access to wor(l)ds beyond South Africa.

In A History of the University Presses in Apartheid South Africa, Elizabeth le Roux examines scholarly publishing history, academic freedom and knowledge production during the apartheid era. Using archival materials, comprehensive bibliographies, and political sociology theory, this work analyses the origins, publishing lists and philosophies of the university presses. The university presses are often associated with anti-apartheid publishing and the promotion of academic freedom, but this work reveals both greater complicity and complexity. Elizabeth le Roux demonstrates that the university presses cannot be considered oppositional – because they did not resist censorship and because they operated within the constraints of the higher education system – but their publishing strategies became more liberal over time.