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Voices that Reason

Theoretical Parables

Series:

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.

Series:

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.

Democracy X

Marking the Present, Re-presenting the Past

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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.

Livelihoods and Landscapes

The People of Guquka and Koloni and their Resources

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Edited by Paul Hebinck and Peter Lent

Drawing on original data, secondary literature, aerial photographs and archives, this book analyzes changes in the use of the landscape and the nature of rural livelihoods in two South African villages. Taking an interdisciplinary approach on how livelihoods and landscapes in the Eastern Cape link the text provides a comprehensive study of the patterns of land use over time. Three separate chapters focus on cropping and cultivation practices, livestock and foraging as well as the gathering of wild plants. The book gives a vivid picture of the social dynamics and the interaction between ‘urban’ and ‘rural’. It depicts the steady deterioration in agricultural production and the corresponding increase in dependence on social grants and wages. Despite this trend remnants of a peasantry do exist.

Mobile Africa

Changing Patterns of Movement in Africa and Beyond

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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.

Edited by Terry Barringer and Marion Wallace

African Studies in the Digital Age. DisConnects? seeks to understand the complex changes brought about by the digital revolution. The editors, Terry Barringer and Marion Wallace, have brought together librarians, archivists, researchers and academics from three continents to analyse the creation and use of digital research resources and archives in and about Africa. The volume reveals new opportunities for research, teaching and access, as well as potential problems and digital divides. Published under the aegis of SCOLMA (the UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa), this new work is a major step forward in understanding the impact of the Internet Age for the study of Africa, in and beyond the continent.


Contributors are: Terry Barringer, Hartmut Bergenthum, Natalie Bond, Mirjam de Bruijn, Ian Cooke, Jos Damen, Jonathan Harle, Diana Jeater, Rebecca Kahn, Peter Limb, Lucia Lovison-Golob, Walter Gam Nkwi, Jenni Orme, Daniel A. Reboussin, Ashley Rockenbach, Amidu Sanni, Simon Tanner, Edgar C. Taylor, Laurie N. Taylor, Marion Wallace, Massimo Zaccaria

Bridging Humanities

Platform for Alternatives Methodologies

Edited by Mirjam de Bruijn

Bridging Humanities – Platform for Alternatives Methodologies is a peer reviewed, interdisciplinary and multi-area online publication. The scope of Bridging Humanities is to publish original projects that include visuals and other kinds of digital sources as an integral part of the publication. Bridging Humanities includes original research from the humanities intended as an open field that is connected with other disciplines. Each publication is an interactive online space in which text and visuals are used as sources to produce and present knowledge from their field. Using this new format, Bridging Humanities encourages researchers to experiment with new methodologies for publication in which the importance of the digital is recognized as an integral part of the publication and research process. The website publishes at least one new project per year and is hosted externally: www.bridginghumanities.com

Mehler, Andreas

surprisingly, both were won by the regime in power. All available data on the social situation presented a miserable picture. President Bozizé tried to diversify his international ties, both in the sub-region and beyond.

Southall, Roger

economic growth, although present gains are threatened by a recent reduction in employment in the textile sector and by long-term threats such as HIV/AIDS.

Hirschler, Kurt and Hofmeier, Rolf

orientation of gradual reform policies remained practically unchanged. Neither the domestic political arena nor the foreign policy field presented any outstanding challenges. Despite the partial effects of drought and recurrent power shortages, economic performance remained satisfactory.