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Hans Olsson

In Jesus for Zanzibar: Narratives of Pentecostal (Non-)Belonging, Islam, and Nation Hans Olsson offers an ethnographic account of the lived experience and socio-political significance of newly arriving Pentecostal Christians in the Muslim majority setting of Zanzibar. This work analyzes how a disputed political partnership between Zanzibar and Mainland Tanzania intersects with the construction of religious identities.

Undertaken at a time of political tensions, the case study of Zanzibar’s largest Pentecostal church, the City Christian Center, outlines religious belonging as relationally filtered in-between experiences of social insecurity, altered minority / majority positions, and spiritual powers. Hans Olsson shows that Pentecostal Christianity, as a signifier of (un)wanted social change, exemplifies contested processes of becoming in Zanzibar that capitalizes on, and creates meaning out of, religious difference and ambient political tensions.

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Serawit Bekele Debele

In Locating Politics in Ethiopia's Irreecha Ritual Serawit Bekele Debele gives an account of politics and political processes in contemporary Ethiopia as manifested in Irreecha celebrations over the years. Mobilizing various sources such as archives, oral accounts, conversations, videos, newspapers, and personal observations, Debele critically engages Irreecha and the contested meaning-making processes attached to the annual Thanksgiving ritual which has now become an integral part of Oromo national identity. Through the prism of Irreecha, she also analyses political processes and how they are experienced, made sense of and articulated across political persuasions, generational, educational, religious, gender and ethnic differences. 

Roads Through Mwinilunga

A History of Social Change in Northwest Zambia

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Iva Peša

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.

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Edited by Dustin J. Byrd and Seyed Javad Miri

In Frantz Fanon and Emancipatory Social Theory: A View from the Wretched, Dustin J. Byrd and Seyed Javad Miri bring together a collection of essays by a variety of scholars who explore the lasting influence of Frantz Fanon, psychiatrist, revolutionary, and social theorist. Fanon’s work not only gave voice to the “wretched” in the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962), but also shaped the radical resistance to colonialism, empire, and racism throughout much of the world. His seminal works, such as Black Skin, White Masks, and The Wretched of the Earth, were read by The Black Panther Party in the United States, anti-imperialists in Africa and Asia, and anti-monarchist revolutionaries in the Middle East. Today, many revolutionaries and scholars have returned to Fanon’s work, as it continues to shed light on the nature of colonial domination, racism, and class oppression.

Contributors include: Syed Farid Alatas, Rose Brewer, Dustin J. Byrd, Sean Chabot, Richard Curtis, Nigel C. Gibson, Ali Harfouch, Timothy Kerswell, Seyed Javad Miri, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Pramod K. Nayar, Elena Flores Ruíz, Majid Sharifi, Mohamed Imran Mohamed Taib and Esmaeil Zeiny.

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Edited by Burkhard Schnepel and Tansen Sen

Travelling Pasts, edited by Burkhard Schnepel and Tansen Sen, offers an innovative exploration of the issue of heritage in the Indian Ocean world. This collection of essays demonstrates how the heritagization of the past has played a vital role in processes and strategies related to the making of socio-cultural identities, the establishing of political legitimacies, and the pursuit of economic and geopolitical gains. The contributions range from those dealing with the impact of UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention in the Indian Ocean world as a whole to those that address the politics of cultural heritage in various distinct maritime sites such as Zanzibar, Mayotte, Cape Town, the Maldives, Calcutta and Penang. Also examined are the Maritime Silk Road and the Project Mausam initiatives of the Chinese and Indian governments respectively. The volume is an important contribution to the transdisciplinary fields on Indian Ocean Studies.

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Laura Evans

Apartheid and the project of self-governing bantustans was not a peculiar invention by Afrikaner nationalist ideologues but drew heavily on the prevailing global idioms and state practices of the late colonial period. This chapter locates apartheid in a global perspective. It explores the global circulation of idioms of ‘development’ and trusteeship in the first half of the twentieth century and their significance in shaping segregationist policy in South Africa; it situates bantustan ‘self-government’ in relation to the history of decolonisation and the partitions and federations that emerged as late colonial solutions; and it locates the tightening of rural village planning in the bantustans after 1960 in relation to the elaboration of anti-colonial liberation struggles, repressive southern African settler colonialism and the Cold War. Far from developing policies that were at odds with the global ‘wind of change’, South African apartheid during the 1960s and 1970s reflected much that was characteristic about late colonial strategy.

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Laura Evans

Relocation to the bantustans wrought profound changes in the lives of those affected and had critical implications for politics and society in the bantustans. This was no more true than in the Ciskei, where mass relocation from across the Cape had the impact of doubling the population density of this bantustan during the 1970s alone. Sada and Ilinge were first established as a product of apartheid’s repressive social engineering, yet they nevertheless became complex and multi-faceted social spaces that were made by the diverse people who came to live there. While some people were forced by the state to move, others came to join families; to access education; to build independent households; to bolster livelihoods. Having experienced removal, dislocation and loss, many made what they could of their unchosen circumstances and established new homes and lives around them. Relocation had unintended outcomes for the state, as these dense settlements became key sites of struggle against the regime and were closely linked within the networks of the liberation movement. While state neglect and economic marginality continue to shape the daily struggles of the residents of Sada and Ilinge, the structural conditions that they face do not define the lives that are lived and the histories that are made there.

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Laura Evans

The state’s coercive regime of relocation imposed widespread hardship and trauma. People refused to comply where they could, and many angrily rejected the premise of ethnic ‘self-government’ that the regime employed to legitimate its grossly unjust practices. Yet, faced with the threat of police violence, few were able to refuse the repressive regime of bantustan relocation. Nevertheless, those who moved to Sada and Ilinge exercised their agency and negotiated relocation even in circumstances where there was very little room for manoeuvre. Their circumstances were diverse and they attached a range of different meanings to their experiences. This chapter explores the impacts and the meanings of farm evictions, urban removals, and the banishment of political prisoners to Sada and Ilinge. For those removed from settled lives in urban areas, forced removal involved great losses. For others in more precarious circumstances – new migrants to town and farm dwellers facing constant eviction – moving to a resettlement township brought some limited gains, particularly in terms of finding more secure tenure. The ordeals of banished political prisoners and their families have been often elided in the academic literature, yet their experiences demonstrate how political repression was woven into the project of bantustan relocation.

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Laura Evans

For farm dwellers eking out a living in the white-dominated countryside, moving to the relocation townships precipitated an ambivalent mix of experiences. This chapter explores how gendered and generational relations and changing aspirations informed the ways that farm dwellers negotiated, experienced and remembered processes of relocation to Sada and Ilinge. The apparent ‘voluntarism’ of farm dwellers’ relocation may be located within an understanding of the necessary repertoires of itinerancy that were adopted by black South Africans amid the exploitative regimes of settler colonial agriculture, as families in the region continued to practise settlement strategies that bridged the rural reserves and the white owned farms. Farm dwellers’ relocation must be examined in relation to processes of agrarian change and its uneven implications for men and women, young and old. If relocation cemented the status of younger male migrants as breadwinners, while presenting opportunities to access housing and education, for others the experience of relocation was rather more paradoxical. For women and non-migrant men leaving paternalistic relations on farms for the relocation townships, newfound personal freedoms were accompanied by unemployment, a battle for survival and periodic employment on wages that barely enabled subsistence.

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Laura Evans

The relocation of black South Africans to townships in the rural bantustans was one of the defining and most brutal aspects of apartheid. Survival in the ‘Dumping Grounds’ examines the makings and the meanings of relocation into Sada and Ilinge, two rural relocation townships located in the Ciskei bantustan. These townships, and others like them, have often been represented as the ‘dumping grounds’ of apartheid. While this discourse condemns apartheid in no uncertain terms, it also has the effect of homogenising the diverse experiences of those who experienced relocation and remade their lives in these places, and elides their historical agency. By examining the variety of experiences that relocation produced, the meanings people attached to it and the strategies they employed to negotiate this process, this book demonstrates how the residents of Sada and Ilinge – and not only the apartheid state – shaped this history. The regimes and repertoires of apartheid relocation were complex and multifaceted. By tracing the makings and the meanings of relocation in the Ciskei, this book explores bantustan relocation as a vital process in the making of apartheid. This introduction outlines the historiographical contribution of the book; its methodological approach; the sources employed and the scope of each chapter.