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Forts, Castles and Society in West Africa

Gold Coast and Dahomey, 1450 - 1960

Generally seen as mementos of the Atlantic slave trade, the forts and castles in West Africa have attained iconic positions as world of heritage and heritage tourism. This volume consists of multiple original comprehensive scholarship about and approaches to the history of the fortresses of Ghana and Benin, suggesting an alternative approach and view on them. This way, it offers a platform for further debate about their spatial historical context, their relationships with the slave trade and other activities, the connections between the Europeans and local polities through presence of the forts, and the forts as heritage objects on different levels.

Contributors are Hermann W. von Hesse, Daniel Hopkins, Jon Olav Hove, Ole Justesen, Ineke van Kessel, Robin Law, John Kwadwo Osei-Tutu, Jarle Simensen, Selena Axelrod Winsnes†, Larry Yarak.
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Ushehwedu Kufakurinani

In Elasticity in Domesticity: White women in Rhodesian Zimbabwe, 1890-1979 Ushehwedu Kufakurinani examines the colonial experiences of white women in what was later called Rhodesia. He demonstrates the extent to which the state and society appropriated white women’s labour power and the workings of the domestic ideology in shaping white women’s experiences. The author also discusses how and to what extent white women appropriated and deployed the domestic ideology. Institutional as well as personal archives were consulted which include official correspondence, diaries, personal letters, newsletters, magazines, commissions of inquiry, among other sources.
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Landscapes, Sources and Intellectual Projects of the West African Past

Essays in Honour of Paulo Fernando de Moraes Farias

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Landscapes, Sources and Intellectual Projects of the West African Past offers a comprehensive assessment of new directions in the historiography of West Africa. With twenty-four chapters by leading researchers in the study of West African history and cultures, the volume examines the main trends in multiple fields including the critical interpretation of Arabic sources; new archaeological surveys of trans-Saharan trade; the discovery of sources in Latin America relating to pan-Atlantic histories; and the continuing analysis of oral histories. The volume is dedicated to Paulo Fernando de Moraes Farias, whose work inspired the intellectual reorientations discussed in its chapters and stands as the clearest formulation of the book’s central focus on the relationship between political conjunctures and the production of sources.

Contributors are: Benjamin Acloque, Karin Barber, Seydou Camara, Mamadou Diawara, Paulo Fernando de Moraes Farias, François-Xavier Fauvelle, Nikolas Gestrich, Toby Green, Bruce Hall, Jan Jansen, Shamil Jeppie, Daouda Keita, Murray Last, Robin Law, Camille Lefebvre, Paul Lovejoy, Ghislaine Lydon, Carlos Magnavita, Sonja Magnavita, Kevin MacDonald, Thomas McCaskie, Ann McDougall, Daniela Moreau, Mauro Nobili, Insa Nolte, Abel-Wedoud Ould-Cheikh, Benedetta Rossi, Charles Stewart.
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Translocal Connections across the Indian Ocean

Swahili Speaking Networks on the Move

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The book describes the worlds where Swahili is spoken as multi-centred contexts that cannot be thought of as located in a specific coastal area of Kenya or Tanzania. The articles presented discuss a range of geographical areas where Swahili is spoken, from Somalia to Mozambique along the Indian Ocean, in Europe and the US. In an attempt to de-essentialize the concepts of translocality and cosmopolitanism, the emphasis of the book is on translocality as experienced by different social strata and by gender and cosmopolitanism as an acquired attitude.

Contributors are: Katrin Bromber, Gerard van de Bruinhorst, Francesca Declich, Rebecca Gearhart Mafazy, Linda Giles, Ida Hadjivayanis, Mohamed Kassim, Kjersti Larsen, Mohamed Saleh, Maria Suriano, Sandra Vianello.
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Spatial Practices

Territory, Border and Infrastructure in Africa

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The edited collection Spatial Practices: Territory, Border and Infrastructure in Africa presents research findings from the German Research Council’s Priority Programme 1448 “Adaptation and Change in Africa” (2011-2018). At the heart of the volume are important new spatial practices that have emerged after the end of the Cold War in the fields of conflict, climate change, migration and urban development, to name but a few, and their ordering effects with regard to social relations. These findings bear particular relevance for the co-production of territorialities and sovereignties, for borders and migrations, as well as infrastructures and orders.

Contributors are: Sabine Baumgardt, Andrea Behrends, Marc Boeckler, Martin Doevenspeck, Ulf Engel, Claudia Gebauer, Karsten Giese, Katharina Heitz Tokpa, Shahadat Hossain, Anna Hüncke, Gabriel Klaeger, Kelly Si Miao Liang, Andreas Mehler, Felix Müller, Detlef Müller-Mahn, Wolfgang Scholz, Sophie Schramm, Jannik Schritt, Michael Stasik, Florian Weisser, Julia Willers, and Franzisca Zanker.
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Janice P. De-Whyte

In Wom(b)an: A Cultural-Narrative Reading of the Hebrew Bible Barrenness Narratives Janice Pearl Ewurama De-Whyte offers a reading of the Hebrew Bible barrenness narratives. The original word “wom(b)an” visually underscores the centrality of a productive womb to female identity in the ANE and Hebrew contexts. Conversely, barrenness was the ultimate tragedy and shame of a woman. Utilizing Akan cultural custom as a lens through which to read the Hebrew barrenness tradition, De-Whyte uncovers another kind of barrenness within these narratives. Her term “social barrenness” depicts the various situations of childlessness that are generally unrecognized in western cultures due to the western biomedical definitions of infertility. Whether biological or social, barrenness was perceived to be the greatest threat to a woman’s identity and security as well as the continuity of the lineage. Wom(b)an examines these narratives in light of the cultural meanings of barrenness within traditional cultures, ancient and present.
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Clinical Trials and the African Person

A Quest to Re-Conceptualize Responsibility

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Ike Iyioke

Clinical Trials and the African Person aims to position the African notion of the self/person within the clinical trials context. As opposed to autonomy-based principlism, this other-regarding/communalist perspective is the preferred alternative model. This tactic draws further attention to the inadequacy of the principlist approach particularly in multicultural settings. It also engenders a rethink, stimulates interest, and re-assesses the failed assumptions of universal ethical principles.
As a novel attempt that runs against much of the prevailing (Euro-American) intellectual mood, this approach strives to introduce the African viewpoint by making explicit the import of the self in a re-contextualized arena, meaning within the community and a given milieu. Thus, research ethics must go beyond autonomy-based considerations for the individual, to rightly embed him/her within his/her community and the environment.
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Writers of Indian origin seldom appear in the South African literary landscape, although the participation of Indian South Africans in the anti-apartheid struggle was anything but insignificant. The collective experiences of violence and the plea for reconciliation that punctuate the rhythms of post-apartheid South Africa delineate a national script in which ethnic, class, and gender affiliations coalesce and patterns of connectedness between diverse communities are forged. Relations and Networks in South African Indian Writing brings the experience of South African Indians to the fore, demonstrating how their search for identity is an integral part of the national scene’s project of connectedness. By exploring how ‘Indianness’ is articulated in the South African national script through the works of contemporary South African Indian writers, such as Aziz Hassim, Ahmed Essop, Farida Karodia, Achmat Dangor, Shamim Sarif, Ronnie Govender, Rubendra Govender, Neelan Govender, Tholsi Mudly, Ashwin Singh, and Imraan Coovadia, along with the prison memoirists Dr Goonam and Fatima Meer, the book offers a theoretical model of South–South subjectivities that is deeply rooted in the Indian Ocean world and its cosmopolitanisms. Relations and Networks demonstrates convincingly the permeability of identity that is the marker of the Indian Ocean space, a space defined by ‘relations and networks’ established within and beyond ethnic, class, and gender categories.


CONTRIBUTORS
Isabel Alonso–Breto, M.J. Daymond, Felicity Hand, Salvador Faura, Farhad Khoyratty, Esther Pujolràs–Noguer, J. Coplen Rose, Modhumita Roy, Lindy Stiebel, Juan Miguel Zarandona