The Contributions of Research in Africa to the Social Sciences and Humanities
Author: Robert H. Bates
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
African Studies, contrary to some accounts, is not a separate continent in the world of American higher education. Its intellectual borders touch those of economics, literature, history, philosophy, and art; its history is the story of the world, both ancient and modern. This is the clear conclusion of Africa and the Disciplines, a book that addresses the question: Why should Africa be studied in the American university? This question was put to distinguished scholars in the social sciences and humanities, prominent Africanists who are also leaders in their various disciplines. Their responses make a strong and enlightening case for the importance of research on Africa to the academy. Paul Collier's essay, for example, shows how studies of African economies have clarified our understanding of the small open economies, and contributed to the theory of repressed inflation and to a number of areas in microeconomics as well. Art historian Suzanne Blier uses the terms and concepts that her discipline has applied to Africa to analyze the habits of mind and social practice of her own field. Christopher L. Miller describes the confounding and enriching impact of Africa on European and American literary theory. Political scientist Richard Sklar outlines Africa's contributions to the study of political modernization, pluralism, and rational choice. These essays, together with others from scholars in history, anthropology, philosophy, and comparative literature, attest to the influence of African research throughout the curriculum. For many, knowledge from Africa seems distant and exotic. These powerful essays suggest the contrary: that such knowledge has shaped the way in which scholars in various disciplines understand their worlds. Eloquent testimony to Africa's necessary place in the mainstream of American education, this book should alter the academy's understanding of the significance of African research, its definition of core and periphery in human knowledge. "These essays are at once exceptionally thoughtful and remarkably comprehensive. Not only do they offer an unusually interesting overview of African studies; they are also striking for the depth and freshness of their insights. This is the sort of volume from which both seasoned regional experts and students stand to learn an enormous amount."—John Comaroff, University of Chicago "These essays provide an important perspective on the evolution of African studies and offer insights into what Africa can mean for the different humanistic and social science disciplines. Many show in ingenious and subtle ways the enormous potential that the study of Africa has for confounding the main tenets of established fields. One could only hope that the strictures expressed here would be taken to heart in the scholarly world."—Robert L. Tignor, Princeton University
This book examines key emergent trends related to aspects of power, sovereignty, conflict, peace, development, and changing social dynamics in the African context. It challenges conventional IR precepts of authority, politics and society, which have proven to be so inadequate in explaining African processes. Rather, this edited collection analyses the significance of many of the uncharted dimensions of Africa's international relations, such as the respatialisation of African societies through migration, and the impacts this process has had on state power; the various ways in which both formal and informal authority and economies are practised; and the dynamics and impacts of new transnational social movements on African politics. Finally, attention is paid to Africa's place in a shifting global order, and the implications for African international relations of the emergence of new world powers and/or alliances. This edition includes a new preface by the editors, which brings the findings of the book up-to-date, and analyses the changes that are likely to impact upon global governance and human development in policy and practice in Africa and the wider world post-2015.
Essays on Francophone African Literature and Culture
Author: Christopher L. Miller
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Literary Collections
How does African literature written in French change the way we think about nationalism, colonialism, and postcolonialism? How does it imagine the encounter between Africans and French? And what does the study of African literature bring to the fields of literary and cultural studies? Christopher L. Miller explores these and other questions in Nationalists and Nomads. Miller ranges from the beginnings of francophone African literature—which he traces not to the 1930s Negritude movement but to the largely unknown, virulently radical writings of Africans in Paris in the 1920s—to the evolving relations between African literature and nationalism in the 1980s and 1990s. Throughout he aims to offset the contemporary emphasis on the postcolonial at the expense of the colonial, arguing that both are equally complex, with powerful ambiguities. Arguing against blanket advocacy of any one model (such as nationalism or hybridity) to explain these ambiguities, Miller instead seeks a form of thought that can read and recognize the realities of both identity and difference.
Once the major success story of a troubled continent,by the early 1990s Kenya came to be regarded as its fallen star. This book challenges such images of reversal and the analytical polarities which sustain them. The analysis ranges from telescopic to microscopic fields, and combining many disciplines and perspectives to give a rich and varied picture of the culture of politics in twentieth-century Kenya.'...a highly perceptive and interesting analysis, deconstruction is not too strong a term, of Kenya's politics....[A] well researched, documented and enlightening book' African Affairs
Are the factors that initiate democratization the same as those that maintain a democracy already established? The scholarly and policy debates over this question have never been more urgent. In 1970, Dankwart A. Rustow's clairvoyant article "Transitions to Democracy: Toward a Dynamic Model" questioned the conflation of the primary causes and sustaining conditions of democracy and democratization. Now this collection of essays by distinguished scholars responds to and extends Rustow's classic work, Transitions to Democracy--which originated as a special issue of the journal Comparative Politics and contains three new articles written especially for this volume--represents much of the current state of the large and growing literature on democratization in American political science. The essays simultaneously illustrate the remarkable reach of Rustow's prescient article across the decades and reveal what the intervening years have taught us. In light of the enormous opportunities of the post-Cold War world for the promotion of democratic government in parts of the world once thought hopelessly lost of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, this timely collection constitutes and important contribution to the debates and efforts to promote the more open, responsive, and accountable government we associate with democracy.
Religion and the African American Conjuring Tradition
Author: Yvonne P. Chireau
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Black Magic looks at the origins, meaning, and uses of Conjure—the African American tradition of healing and harming that evolved from African, European, and American elements—from the slavery period to well into the twentieth century. Illuminating a world that is dimly understood by both scholars and the general public, Yvonne P. Chireau describes Conjure and other related traditions, such as Hoodoo and Rootworking, in a beautifully written, richly detailed history that presents the voices and experiences of African Americans and shows how magic has informed their culture. Focusing on the relationship between Conjure and Christianity, Chireau shows how these seemingly contradictory traditions have worked together in a complex and complementary fashion to provide spiritual empowerment for African Americans, both slave and free, living in white America. As she explores the role of Conjure for African Americans and looks at the transformations of Conjure over time, Chireau also rewrites the dichotomy between magic and religion. With its groundbreaking analysis of an often misunderstood tradition, this book adds an important perspective to our understanding of the myriad dimensions of human spirituality.
This bibliography lists the most important works published in sociology in 1993. Renowned for its international coverage and rigorous selection procedures, the IBSS provides researchers and librarians with the most comprehensive and scholarly bibliographic service available in the social sciences. The IBSS is compiled by the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, one of the world's leading social science institutions. Published annually, the IBSS is available in four subject areas: anthropology, economics, political science and sociology.
Igbo Political Leadership in Colonial Nigeria, 1900–1996
Author: Raphael Chijoke Njoku
Although numerous studies have been made of the Western educated political elite of colonial Nigeria in particular, and of Africa in general, very few have approached the study from a perspective that analyzes the impacts of indigenous institutions on the lives, values, and ideas of these individuals. This book is about the diachronic impact of indigenous and Western agencies in the upbringing, socialization, and careers of the colonial Igbo political elite of southeastern Nigeria. The thesis argues that the new elite manifests the continuity of traditions and culture and therefore their leadership values and the impact they brought on African society cannot be fully understood without looking closely at their lived experiences in those indigenous institutions where African life coheres. The key has been to explore this question at the level of biography, set in the context of a carefully reconstructed social history of the particular local communities surrounding the elite figures. It starts from an understanding of their family and village life, and moves forward striving to balance the familiar account of these individuals in public life, with an account of the ongoing influences from family, kinship, age grades, marriage and gender roles, secret societies, the church, local leaders and others. The result is not only a model of a new approach to African elite history, but also an argument about how to understand these emergent leaders and their peers as individuals who shared with their fellow Africans a dynamic and complex set of values that evolved over the six decades of colonialism.
This study analyzes contributions made by Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972) to the development of Pan-African agency from the 1945 Pan-African Congress in Manchester to the military coup d'etat of Nkrumah's government in February 1966.