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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.

Johannesburg

The Making and Shaping of the City

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Keith Beavon

Until now there has been no single text that brings together the material that reveals the unfolding geography of Johannesburg, South Africa. This books describes the history of the city from its days as a mining camp to its position of premier metropolis in Africa. The present geography of Johannesburg, and the problems and dysfunctions that is hat exhibited at various stages in its history since 1886, cannot be understood without a firm grasp of what has evolved of the past 120 years.

Markets of Well-being

Navigating Health and Healing in Africa

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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

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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.

Disputed Desert

Decolonization, Competing Nationalisms and Tuareg Rebellions in Mali

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Baz Lecocq

This book deals with the relation between the Malian state and the Tuareg people in the late 20th century, which has been characterized by three violent uprisings against Malian authority by Tuareg nationalists: between 1963 and 1964, between 1990 and 1996, and again between 2006 and 2009. In presenting a detailed history of this conflict between an African state and a people inhabiting it involuntarily, a number of social and political tensions are brought to the fore which haunt all of the Sahel today: the heritage of slavery, local and European concepts of race and the racialisation of social and political relations, colonial rule, the inchoate process of decolonisation, and the presence of competing nationalist forces in one postcolonial state.

Disputing the Floodplains

Institutional Change and the Politics of Resource Management in African Wetlands

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Edited by Tobias Haller

African Floodplains in semi-arid areas are important for local livelihoods as they harbor many common-pool resources such as fisheries, pasture, wildlife, veldt products, water and land for irrigation. However, in many of these areas resources are under pressure. This book is presenting seven case studies from Mali, Cameroon, Tanzania, Zambia and Botswana based on anthropological fieldwork (2002-08) and explores how these common-pool resources have been managed in pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial times. The major focus of the study is how institutional change has contributed to resource management problems and offers a comparative analysis based on the New Institutionalist approach (Jean Ensminger, Elinor Ostrom), which is combined with a special focus on ideology, discourse and narratives while focusing on conflict and power issues.

With a foreword by Elinor Ostrom.

This book has received the Environmental Research Award 2011 of the University of Bern, Switzerland.

One Zambia, Many Histories

Towards a History of Post-colonial Zambia

Series:

Giacomo Macola

Edited by Jan-Bart Gewald and Marja Hinfelaar

In contrast to the rich tradition of academic analysis and understanding of the pre-colonial and colonial history of Zambia, the country’s post-colonial trajectory has been all but ignored by historians. The assumptions of developmentalism, the cultural hegemony of the United National Independence Party’s orthodoxy and its conflation with national interests, and a narrow focus on Zambia’s diplomatic role in Southern African affairs, have all contributed to a dearth of studies centring on the diverse lived experiences of Zambians. Inspired by an international conference held in Lusaka in August 2005, and presenting a broad range of essays on different aspects of Zambia’s post-colonial experience, this collection seeks to lay the foundations for a future process of sustained scholarly enquiry into the country’s most recent past.

Living the End of Empire

Politics and Society in Late Colonial Zambia

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Edited by Jan-Bart Gewald, Marja Hinfelaar and Giacomo Macola

Building on the foundational work of the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute, the essays contained in Living the End of Empire offer a nuanced and complex picture of the late-colonial period in Zambia. The present volume, based on untapped archival material and sources that have emerged in recent years, throws new light on some of the historical trajectories that the teleological gaze of nationalist scholars tended to ignore or belittle. By bringing to view the deep-rooted tensions underlying the Zambian nationalist movement, the painful dilemmas faced by chiefly and religious institutions, and the contradictory experiences of European and Asian minorities, Living the End of Empire draws inspiration from – and contributes to – a growing literature that is concerned with the study of social, political and cultural forces that did not readily fit into the then dominant narratives of united anti-colonial struggles.

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.