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Voices that Reason

Theoretical Parables


Ari Sitas

Voices that Reason is a path-breaking work. The author has charted the thoroughfares that speed the thought of many black South Africans towards specific expectations, grievances and actions. The present work constitutes an important and thought-provoking culmination of a generation's worth of disparate but related revisionist thinking within the social sciences and history of South Africa.


Ashraf Jamal

Symptomatic of an emergent shift away from prescriptive and deterministic accounts of change in South Africa, Predicaments of culture in South Africa posits an open-ended and speculative approach to the question and agency of culture. The key question, posed by Justice Albie Sachs of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, ‘what does it mean to be a South African?’ is shifted from its familiar ontological and epistemological habitat, ‘what is identity?’, the better to embrace its ethical and political rider, ‘what are identities for?’, and its more pragmatic possibility, ‘what can identities do?’ These qualifications – Bhabha’s – form the building blocks that skew and enrich existing presumptions about South Africa’s history, its present moment and its future.

Jamal challenges and qualifies the conflicting and contiguous drives of fatalism, positivism and relativism, which are the dominant claimants upon the South African cultural imaginary. It is this critical non-positionality that forms the distinctive trait of an inquiry which, in eschewing allegiance and closure, opens up the debate about what it means to be South African and the role of culture therein.

‘In hindsight, and with the hither side of the future before us’, Jamal’s driving assumption is that ‘world society is advancing towards yet another age of ignorance;
an age beyond suspicion and irony, in which thought, whether self-critical or not, is no longer the agent of reason’. Jamal calls for an urgent reappraisal of the absence of love – of lovelessness – which he sees as the infected root of South Africa’s inability to create a positively affirmative cultural imaginary.

Hugh Clapperton into the Interior of Africa

Records of the Second Expedition, 1825-1827


Edited by Jamie Lockhart and Paul Lovejoy

This definitive edition of Clapperton’s second journey, is a compilation of the various diaries, remark books, letters, maps, and other documents that survived Clapperton’s death in 1827. Hitherto, it has been necessary to rely on the original published version (Journal of a Second Expedition into the Interior of Africa), edited by John Barrow of the Admiralty and published by John Murray in 1829. The present volume differs from the 1829 edition by including material that was previously omitted and offering detailed annotation and commentary. The account reproduced in the new edition adheres as closely as possible to the original sources.
A comprehensive introduction provides information on Clapperton’s life, an account of previous European missions into the interior of West Africa, an assessment of Clapperton’s contribution to geographical “discovery,” details on Clapperton’s methods of journal-keeping, and a discussion of the publication history of the 1829 edition. The introduction offers a commentary on the principal themes on which Clapperton’s records shed original light – the coastal slave trade, abolitionist issues in the Sokoto Caliphate, the history of the states of Oyo, Nupe and Sokoto, and information on travel and trade in the interior of West Africa. The text itself is annotated, with observations on differences between the original sources and the published version of 1829.
The volume includes six appendices of official documents relating to the expedition, its preparation and progress. These include the correspondence of various members of the expedition, letters in Arabic with a commentary, annotated itineraries of travel, and a note on contemporary medicines. Also included is a collection of maps from Clapperton’s earlier mission in 1824-26 – the first known route-maps of the central Sudan, now in the collection of the Royal Geographical Society, London. The book is illustrated with previously unpublished sketches and maps from Clapperton’s remark books and a dozen sketches drawn by one of the co-editors when tracing Clapperton’s footsteps across Nigeria from Badagry to Sokoto in the early 1990s. There is an extensive bibliography.
This comprehensive edition of Clapperton’s last journey will appeal equally to scholars of pre-colonial Africa, specialists in Yoruba studies, and students of European travel and exploration.

Democracy X

Marking the Present, Re-presenting the Past


Edited by Andries Oliphant, Peter Delius and Lalou Meltzer

This book is a catalogue and a reader. It is the companion to the exhibition "Democracy X' held in Cape Town 2004. It also explores a range of historical, cultural and political matters around the 10th anniversary of the new democratic South-Africa.
Richly illustrated, this book includes essays of eminent writers about topics such as the Boer War, the Iron Age, ethnic politics, nationalism, film and popular media.


Edited by Scott Reese

In a series of essays this collected volume challenges much of the conventional wisdom regarding the intellectual history of Muslim Africa. Ranging from the libraries of Early Modern Mauritania and Timbuktu to mosque lectures in contemporary Mombasa the contributors to this collection overturn many commonly accepted assumptions about Africa's Muslim learned classes. Rather than isolated, backward and out of touch, the essays in this volume reveal Muslim intellectuals as not only well aware of the intellectual currents of the wider Islamic world but also caring deeply about the issues facing their communities.

Mobile Africa

Changing Patterns of Movement in Africa and Beyond


Edited by Rijk van Dijk, Dick Foeken and Mirjam de Bruijn

This anthology deals with the complexity, variety and experience of all the forms of mobility we witness today in Sub-Saharan Africa. Three sets of issues are being discussed.
First, the concept of mobility itself is considered and how it is conceived of in distinction from sedentarity. Second, which forms of mobility can be distinguished, not only from the perspective of Western social sciences, but also from the perspective of people's own experiences, ideas, notions, etc? Social science in Africa has particularly focused on rural-urban migration, but it is clear that there are many other forms as well. Third, the concept of mobility concerns not only geographical space, but there are other 'spaces' to consider as well. In addition to 'forms of mobility' there is a 'mobility of forms' in which the perception of those other spaces plays a crucial role.
In short, the book intends to turn the whole notion of mobility as a supposedly rupturing phenomenon on its head, emphasizing that rather through travelling connections are established and continuity is experienced. We are challenged to delve into the traveller's mind, to think and follow their multi-spatial livelihoods and to explore what it means to people if they move in a variety of spaces.

Markets of Well-being

Navigating Health and Healing in Africa


Edited by Marleen Dekker and Rijk van Dijk

Health and healing are distinctive domains as far as the pursuit of people’s well-being is concerned. In Africa, both fields have increasingly become subject to monetization and commodification, in short, the market. Based on extensive fieldwork in nine African countries by scholars with diverse academic backgrounds, this volume offers different perspectives on the emerging markets and the way medical staff, patients, households and institutions navigate them in their quest for well-being. By presenting a detailed economic ethnography of this multifacetted process of navigating the market, the book sets a new agenda for research as a result of the current predicaments facing health and healing in African societies.

Land, Labour and Entrustment

West African Female Farmers and the Politics of Difference


Pamela Kea

Diverse contractual arrangements and forms of exchange established between smallholder farmers, their households and community work groups, are important to our understanding of processes of agrarian transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, little has been written in this area. Challenging portrayals of West African female farmers as a homogenous group, the present study provides an ethnographic account of the contractual relations established between female hosts and migrants, in the exchange of land and labour for agrarian production in a Gambian community. Further, it demonstrates the way in which, despite the liberalization of the economy, local cultural practices, such as that of entrustment, continue to be of significance in affecting the nature and particular character of agrarian transformation and postcolonial capitalist development.


Edited by Abdulqawi A. Yusuf

Founded in 1993, the African Yearbook, now published under the auspices of the African Foundation for International Law, is the only scholarly publication devoted exclusively to the study, development, dissemination and wider appreciation of international law in Africa as a whole.

Through the study and analysis of emerging legal issues of particular relevance to Africa, such as the creation of viable continental institutions capable of promoting unity and security for the peoples of the continent, the effective protection of human rights, the need for accountability for mass killings and massive violations of the rule of law, the promotion of a rule-based democratic culture, the role of African countries in a globalizing world economy and in international trade relations, the Yearbook strives to be responsive to the intellectual needs of African countries in the area of international law, and to the continuing struggle for creating an environment conducive to the rule of law throughout the continent

Cultural Tourism and Identity

Rethinking Indigeneity


Edited by Keyan G. Tomaselli

Studies of cultural tourism and indigenous identity are fraught with questions concerning exploitation, entitlement, ownership and authenticity. Unease with the idea of leveraging a group identity for commercial gain is ever-present. This anthology articulates some of these debates from a multitude of standpoints. It assimilates the perspectives of members of indigenous communities, non-governmental organizations, tourism practitioners and academic researchers who participated in an action research project that aims to link research to development outcomes. The book’s authors weave together discordant voices to create a dialogue of sorts, an endeavour to reconcile the divergent needs of the stakeholders in a way that is mutually beneficial. Although this book focuses on the ≠Khomani Bushmen and the Zulu communities of Southern Africa, the issues raised are ubiquitous to the cultural tourism industry anywhere.