African-Asian interactions contribute to the emergence of a decentred, multi-polar world in which different actors need to redefine themselves and their relations to each other.
Afrasian Transformations explores these changes to map out several arenas where these transformations have already produced startling results: development politics, South-South cooperation, cultural memory, mobile lifeworlds and transcultural connectivity. The contributions in this volume neither celebrate these shifting dynamics as felicitous proof of a new age of South-South solidarity, nor do they debunk them as yet another instance of burgeoning geopolitical hegemony. Instead, they seek to come to terms with the ambivalences, contradictions and potential benefits entailed in these transformations – that are also altering our understanding of (trans)area in an increasingly globalized world.
Contributors include: Seifudein Adem, Nafeesah Allen, Hanna Getachew Amare, Tom De Bruyn, Casper Hendrik Claassen, Astrid Erll, John Njenga Karugia, Guive Khan-Mohammad, Vinay Lal, Pavan Kumar Malreddy, Jamie Monson, Diderot Nguepjouo, Satwinder Rehal, Ute Röschenthaler, Alexandra Samokhvalova, and Sophia Thubauville.
The Catechumenate in Late Antique Africa (4th-6th centuries) Matthieu Pignot explores how individuals became Christian in ancient North Africa. Before baptism, converts first became catechumens and spent a significant time of gradual integration into the community through rituals and teaching. This book provides the first historical study of this process in African sources, from Augustine of Hippo, to canon of councils, anonymous sermons and 6th-century letters. Pignot shows that practices varied more than is generally assumed and that catechumens, because of their liminal position, were a disputed and essential group in the development of Christian communities until the 6th century at least. This book demonstrates that the catechumenate is key to understanding the processes of Christianisation and conversion in the West.
Dissimilar Coffee Frontiers Sven Van Melkebeke compares the divergent development of coffee production in eastern Congo and western Rwanda during the colonial period. The Lake Kivu region offers a remarkable case-study to investigate diversity in economic development. In Rwanda, on the eastern side of the lake, coffee was mainly cultivated by smallholder families, while in the Congo, on the western side of the lake, European plantations were the dominant mode of production.
Making use of a wide array of largely untapped archival sources, Sven Van Melkebeke convincingly succeeds in moving the manuscript beyond a case-study of colonizers to a more nuanced history of interaction and in presenting an innovative new social history of labor and land processes.
Irit Back’s book
From Sudan to South Sudan: IGAD and the Role of Regional Mediation in Africa comprehensively analyses the full achievements, shortcomings, and implications of IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) mediation efforts in Sudan and South Sudan. IGAD’s active mediation was a primary force behind the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the south and the north that eventually resulted in South Sudan’s declaration of independence in 2011. The euphoria of this historic achievement was, however, almost immediately overshadowed by internal strife, which has, since 2013, escalated to a large-scale conflict in the new-born nation that demanded IGAD’s renewed mediation efforts.
The book offers readers new insights and perspectives to apply when seeking to develop a more balanced understanding of Africa’s contemporary conflicts and the efforts to resolve them. More specifically, the book will also help readers to better comprehend the potential role of regional mediation in East Africa, a region with a turbulent history in the post-Cold War era.
What history and motivations make up the discourses we are taught to hold, and spread, as common sense? As a member of Brazil's upper middle class, Ana Beatriz Ribeiro grew up with the image that to be developed was to be as European as possible. However, as a researcher in Europe during her country's Workers' Party era, she kept reading that Africans should be repaid for developing Brazilian society – via Brazil's "bestowal" of development upon Africa as an "emerging power." In
Modernization Dreams, Lusotropical Promises, the researcher investigates where these two worldviews might intersect, diverge and date back to, gauging relations between representatives and projects of the Brazilian and Mozambican states, said to be joined in cooperation more than others.
Robert Lachmann’s letters to Henry George Farmer, from the years 1923-38, provide insightful glimpses into his life and his progressive research projects. From an historical perspective, they offer critical data concerning the development of comparative musicology as it evolved in Germany during the early decades of the twentieth century. The fact that Lachmann sought contact with Farmer can be explained from their mutual, yet diverse interests in Arab music, particularly as they were then considered to be the foremost European scholars in the field. During the 1932 Cairo International Congress on Arab Music, they were selected as presidents of their respective committees.
Democracy and Electoral Politics in Zambia aims to comprehend the current dynamics of Zambia’s democracy and to understand what was specific about the 2015/2016 election experience. While elections have been central to understanding Zambian politics over the last decade, the coverage they have received in the academic literature has been sparse. This book aims to fill that gap and give a more holistic account of contemporary Zambian electoral dynamics, by providing innovative analysis of political parties, mobilization methods, the constitutional framework, the motivations behind voters’ choices and the adjudication of electoral disputes by the judiciary. This book draws on insights and interviews, public opinion data and innovative surveys that aim to tell a rich and nuanced story about Zambia’s recent electoral history from a variety of disciplinary approaches.
Contributors include: Tinenenji Banda, Nicole Beardsworth, John Bwalya, Privilege Haang’andu, Erin Hern, Marja Hinfelaar, Dae Un Hong, O’Brien Kaaba, Robby Kapesa, Chanda Mfula, Jotham Momba, Biggie Joe Ndambwa, Muna Ndulo, Jeremy Seekings, Hangala Siachiwena, Sishuwa Sishuwa, Owen Sichone, Aaron Siwale, Michael Wahman.
A Grammar of Makary Kotoko, Sean Allison provides a thorough description and analysis of Makary Kotoko - a Central Chadic language of Cameroon, framing the discussion within R.M.W. Dixon’s (2010a, 2010b, 2012) Basic Linguistic Theory. Working with an extensive corpus of recorded texts supplemented by interactions with native speakers of the language, the author provides the first full grammar of a Kotoko language. The detailed analysis of the phonology, morphology, syntax, and discourse features of Makary Kotoko is from a functional/typological perspective. Being based on a large number of oral texts, the analysis provides an example-rich description showing the range of variation of the constructions presented while giving insights into Kotoko culture.
Moroccan Female Religious Agents: Old Practices and New Perspectives, Ouguir studies Moroccan female religious agents in particular historical women saints and Sufis, the way they constructed powerful saintly personalities that challenged the dominant conventional norms, and the way they are received by venerators and feminist Islamist activists of modern Morocco.
Through hagiographic and oral narratives, Ouguir examines the techniques religious women followed to achieve ethical self-formation and strong religious personalities that promoted them to leadership. She also examined the venerators’,
murshidᾱt and Islamist feminists’ reception of women saints in their discourses. Ouguir states convincingly that Moroccan religious women agents in both Morocco’s past and present are to be highlighted for broader discourses on Muslim women and feminism.
The Things of Others: Ethnographies, Histories, and Other Artefacts deals with the things mainly, but not only, mobilized by anthropologists in order to produce knowledge about the African American, the Afro-Brazilian and the Afro-Cuban during the 1930s. However, the book's goal is not to dig up evidence of the creation of an epistemology of knowledge and its transnational connections. The research on which this book is based suggests that the artefacts created in fieldwork, offices, libraries, laboratories, museums, and other places and experiences – beyond the important fact that these places and situations involved actors other than the anthropologists themselves – have been different things during their troubled existence. The book seeks to make these differences apparent, highlighting rather than concealing the relationships between partial modes of making and being ‘Afro’ as a subject of science. If the artefacts created in a variety of situations have been different things, we should ask what sort of things they were and how the actors involved in their creation sought to make them meaningful. The book foregrounds these discontinuous and ever-changing contours.