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Transforming Innovations in Africa

Explorative Studies on Appropriation in African Societies

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Edited by Jan-Bart Gewald, André Leliveld and Iva Peša

Africa abounds with examples of material and immaterial innovations that were envisaged, developed and designed elsewhere yet came to be innovatively and sometimes unexpectedly transformed in Africa. The authors in this volume explore how external innovations (products, technologies, services, institutions and processes) have been appropriated in African societies in order to be acceptable and relevant to local conditions, expectations and demands. Written from different disciplinary perspectives, the chapters demonstrate the depth and richness of innovation in Africa with, in some cases, surprising outcomes. The case studies presented are on subjects as diverse as the wine industry, trading stores, land reforms, washing powder, M-Pesa, cassava, weddings, international borders, guest houses, urban water supply, car technology, shallow wells, and railways and blacksmithing.

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Abbas Gnamo

This work examines the philosophical origins of Oromo egalitarian and democratic thoughts and practice, the Gadaa-Qaalluu system, kinship organization, the introduction and spread of Islam and the consequent socio-cultural change. It sheds light on the advent of the Ethiopian empire under Menelik II, its conquests and Arsi Oromo fierce resistance (1880-1900), the nature and legacy of Ethiopian imperial polity, centre-periphery relations, feudal political economy and its impacts on the newly conquered regions with a focus on Arsi Oromo country. The book also analyzes the root causes of the national political crisis including, but not limited to, the attempts at transforming the empire-state to a nation-state around a single culture, contested definition of national identity and state legitimacy, grievance narratives, uprisings, the birth and development of competing nationalisms as well as the limitations of the current ethnic federalism to address the national question in Ethiopia.

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Edited by Troy Paddock

World War I and Propaganda offers a new look at a familiar subject. The contributions to this volume demonstrate that the traditional view of propaganda as top-down manipulation is no longer plausible. Drawing from a variety of sources, scholars examine the complex negotiations involved in propaganda within the British Empire, in occupied territories, in neutral nations, and how war should be conducted. Propaganda was tailored to meet local circumstances and integrated into a larger narrative in which the war was not always the most important issue. Issues centering on local politics, national identity, preservation of tradition, or hopes of a brighter future all played a role in different forms of propaganda.
Contributors are Christopher Barthel, Donata Blobaum, Robert Blobaum, Mourad Djebabla, Christopher Fischer, Andrew T. Jarboe, Elli Lemonidou, David Monger, Javier Pounce,Catriona Pennell, Anne Samson, Richard Smith, Kenneth Andrew Steuer, María Inés Tato, and Lisa Todd.

West African ʿulamāʾ and Salafism in Mecca and Medina

Jawāb al-Ifrῑqῑ - The Response of the African

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Chanfi Ahmed

Chanfi Ahmed shows how West African ʿulamāʾ, who fled the European colonization of their region to settle in Mecca and Medina, helped the regime of King Ibn Sa’ud at its beginnings in the field of teaching and spreading the Salafῑ-Wahhabῑ’s Islam both inside and outside Saudi Arabia. This is against the widespread idea of considering the spread of the Salafῑ-Wahhābῑ doctrine as being the work of ʿulamāʾ from Najd (Central Arabia) only. We learn here that the diffusion of this doctrine after 1926 was much more the work of ʿulamāʾ from other parts of the Muslim World who had already acquired this doctrine and spread it in their countries by teaching and publishing books related to it. In addition Chanfi Ahmed demonstrates that concerning Islamic reform and mission (daʿwa), Africans are not just consumers, but also thinkers and designers.

Africa in Scotland, Scotland in Africa

Historical Legacies and Contemporary Hybridities

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Edited by Afe Adogame and Andrew Lawrence

Africa in Scotland, Scotland in Africa provides scholarly, interdisciplinary analysis of the historical and contemporary relationships, links and networks between Scotland, Africa and the African diaspora. The book interrogates these links from a variety of perspectives – historical, political, economic, religious, diplomatic, and cultural – and assesses the mutual implications for past, present and future relationships. The socio-historical connection between Scotland and Africa is illuminated by the many who have shaped the history of African nationalism, education, health, and art in respective contexts of Africa, Britain, the Caribbean and the USA. The book contributes to the empirical, theoretical and methodological development of European African Studies, and thus fills a significant gap in information, interpretation and analysis of the specific historical and contemporary relationships between Scotland, Africa and the African diaspora.

Contributors are: Afe Adogame, Andrew Lawrence, Esther Breitenbach, John McCracken, Markku Hokkanen, Olutayo Charles Adesina, Marika Sherwood, Caroline Bressey, Janice McLean, Everlyn Nicodemus, Kristian Romare, Oluwakemi Adesina, Elijah Obinna, Damaris Seleina Parsitau, Kweku Michael Okyerefo, Musa Gaiya and Jordan Rengshwat, Vicky Khasandi-Telewa, Kenneth Ross, Magnus Echtler, and Geoff Palmer.

The Dispersion

A History of the Word Diaspora

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Stéphane Dufoix

Winner of the 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award

In The Dispersion, Stéphane Dufoix skillfully traces how the word “diaspora”, first coined in the third century BCE, has, over the past three decades, developed into a contemporary concept often considered to be ideally suited to grasping the complexities of our current world. Spanning two millennia, from the Septuagint to the emergence of Zionism, from early Christianity to the Moravians, from slavery to the defence of the Black cause, from its first scholarly uses to academic ubiquity, from the early negative connotations of the term to its contemporary apotheosis, Stéphane Dufoix explores the historical socio-semantics of a word that, perhaps paradoxically, has entered the vernacular while remaining poorly understood.

Nearly Native, Barely Civilized

Henri Gaden’s Journey through Colonial French West Africa (1894-1939)

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Roy Dilley

Nearly Native, Barely Civilized by Roy Dilley offers the first full-length biography of Henri Gaden, an exceptional French colonial character who lived through some of the most radical transformations in West African history. It provides an in-depth, intimate and rounded portrayal of the man, his place in history, and the contradictions, tensions and ambiguities not only in his personal and professional life but also at the heart of the colonial enterprise.

Soldier, ethnographer and linguist, lover, father, administrator and Governor, Henri Gaden (1867-1939) lived for 45 years in West Africa. Faced with the chaos, insecurity and insanity of colonial existence, Gaden experienced a rich mosaic of human pain and passion, of curiosity and intellectual endeavour, of folly and failure.

Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Kenya

A Social History of the Shifta Conflict, c. 1963-1968

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Hannah Whittaker

In Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Kenya, Hannah Whittaker offers an in-depth analysis of the Somali secessionist war in northern Kenya, 1963-68. Combining archival and oral data, the work captures the complexity of the conflict, which combined a series of local, national and regional confrontations. The conflict was not, Whittaker argues, evidence of the potency of Somali nationalism, but rather an early expression of its failure. The book also deals with the Kenyan government’s response to the conflict as part of the entrenchment of African colonial boundaries at independence. Contrary to current narratives of an increasingly borderless world, Whittaker reminds us of the violence that is produced by state-led attempts to shore up contested borderlands. This work provides vital insights into the history behind the on-going troubled relationship between the Kenyan state and its Somali minority, and between Kenya and Somalia.

The Forgotten People

Political Banishment under Apartheid

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Saleem Badat

The apartheid state employed many weapons against its opponents: imprisonment, banning, detention, assassination – and banishment. In a practice reminiscent of Tsarist and Soviet Russia, a large number of ‘enemies of the state’ were banished to remote areas, far from their homes, communities and followers. Here their existence became ‘a slow torture of the soul’, a kind of social death. This is the first study of an important but hitherto neglected group of opponents of apartheid, set in a global, historical and comparative perspective. It looks at the reasons why people were banished, their lives in banishment and the efforts of a remarkable group of activists, led by Helen Joseph, to assist them.

Networks and Trans-Cultural Exchange

Slave Trading in the South Atlantic, 1590-1867

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Edited by David Richardson and Filipa Ribeiro da Silva

Winner of the 2015 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award

Studies of the South Atlantic commercial world typically focus on connections between Angola and Brazil, and specifically on the flows of enslaved Africans from Luanda and the relations between Portuguese-Brazilian traders and other agents and their local African and mulatto trading partners. While reaffirming the centrality of slaving activities and of the networks that underpinned them, this collection of new essays shows that there were major Portuguese-Brazilian slave-trading activities in the South Atlantic outside Luanda as well as the Angolan-Brazil axes upon which historians usually focus. In drawing attention to these aspects of the South Atlantic commercial world, we are reminded that this was a world of change and also one in which Portuguese-Brazilian traders were unable to sustain in the face of competition from northern European rivals the dominant position in slave trading in Atlantic Africa that they had first established in the sixteenth century.