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Edited by Werner Graebner

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Gregory F. Barz

Performing Religion considers issues related to Tanzanian kwayas [KiSwahili, “choirs”], musical communities most often affiliated with Christian churches, and the music they make, known as nyimbo za kwaya [choir songs] or muziki wa kwaya [choir music]. The analytical approach adopted in this text focusing on the communities of kwaya is one frequently used in the fields of ethnomusicology, religious studies, culture studies, and philosophy for understanding diversified social processes-consciousness. By invoking consciousness an attempt is made to represent the ways seemingly disparate traditions coexist, thrive, and continue within contemporary kwaya performance.
An East African kwaya is a community that gathers several times each week to define its spirituality musically. Members of kwayas come together to sing, to pray, to support individual members in times of need, and to both learn and pass along new and inherited faith traditions. Kwayas negotiate between multiple musical traditions or just as often they reject an inherited musical system while others may continue to engage musical repertoires from both Europe and Africa. Contemporary kwayas comfortably coexist in the urban musical soundscape of coastal Dar es Salaam along with jazz dance bands, taarab ensembles, ngoma performance groups, Hindi film music, rap, reggae, and the constant influx of recorded American and European popular musics.
This ethnography calls into question terms frequently used to draw tight boundaries around the study of the arts in African expressive religious cultures. Such divisions of the arts present well-defended boundaries and borders that are not sufficient for understanding the change, adaptation, preservation, and integration that occur within a Tanzanian kwaya. Boundaries break down within the everyday performance of East African kwayas, such as Kwaya ya Upendo [“The Love Choir”] in Dar es Salaam, as repertoires, traditions, histories, and cultures interact within a performance of social identity.

Negotiating Sexual Idioms

Image, Text, Performance

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Edited by Marie-Luise Kohlke and Luisa Orza

Negotiating Sexual Idioms: Image, Text, Performance affords new theoretical approaches and insights into the complexity of sexual discourse pervading contemporary cultures, exploring sexuality’s role in dominant conceptualisations of self and society, in patterns of political belonging and exclusion, and in societal transformations. Opening with a substantial critical introduction, this collection of twelve essays and creative pieces contributes to significant current debates regarding sexual rights and their violation, queer theory and identity politics, sexual fantasy formations and strategies of pleasure, and the celebration of sexual diversity, topics explored through a variety of disciplinary frameworks, including gender and film studies, religious philosophy, neo-Victorian and postcolonial literature, sociology, pornography, and performance art. The volume positions the subjects of sex and sexuality as crucial to our ethical understanding of the human, both in individual and communal terms, exploring how claims for sexual subjectivity and citizenship are formulated and the entitlements they entail. The analytical insights offered signal important new directions for critical engagement with the socio-political construction of sexuality and its strategic deployment within the cultural imaginary. Designed to appeal equally to scholars, students, and general readers, Negotiating Sexual Idioms will prove essential reading for those interested in multi-disciplinary approaches to reading sex and sexuality within inter-cultural contexts, from the early modern period to the present-day.

Finbarr Barry Flood

, and East Africa, and even appeared as far east as Java. 15 While the pattern of constructing imperially sponsored mosques was repeated as the Delhi sultanate expanded its reach southward into the Deccan, at the Qutb itself, the subsequent additions and extensions by Iltutmish and ʿAla⁠ʾ al

Hybrid Cultures – Nervous States

Britain and Germany in a (Post)Colonial World

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Edited by Ulrike Lindner, Maren Möhring, Mark Stein and Silke Stroh

While cultural diversity and hybridity have often been celebrated, they also challenge traditional concepts of national and cultural identity – challenges which have caused considerable anxiety. Various disciplines have often investigated the impact of cultural hybridity, multiculture, and (post)colonialism in relative isolation and with a tendency towards over-theorization and loss of specificity. Greater interdisciplinary cooperation can counter this tendency and encourage sustained comparisons between different former empires and across language boundaries.
This volume contributes to such developments by combining contributions from history, English and German studies, cultural geography, theatre studies, and film studies; by covering both the colonial and the postcolonial period; and by looking comparatively at two different (post)colonial contexts: the United Kingdom and Germany.
The result is productive dialogue across the distinct colonial and migration histories of the UK and Germany, which brings out divergent concepts of cultural difference – but, importantly, without neglecting similarities and transnational developments. The interdisciplinary outlook extends beyond political definitions of identity and difference to include consumer culture, literature, film, and journalism – cultural and social practices that construct, represent, and reflect personal and collective identities.
Section I discusses the historical and contemporary role of colonial experience and its remembrance in the construction of national identities. Section II follows on by tracing the reflections of (post)coloniality and twentieth-century migration in the specific fields of economic history and consumer culture. Section III centres on recent debates about multiculture and national/cultural identity in politics, literature, and film.

Anna Contadini

told over the centuries by authors dealing with the unicorn, what is particularly puzzling is that there is no earlier source, as far as I have ascertained, for Urreta’s “naturalistic ” version of it. 42 In any case, it can hardly be fortuitous that the East African—or more precisely Ethiopian