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Showing papers in "International Journal of African Historical Studies in 2006"



Journal Article
TL;DR: Adhikari's most recent book explores the historical formation of the most complex and contested of identity positions in South Africa as mentioned in this paper, focusing on the political and conscious nature of Coloured identity, with particular focus on the period between Union (1910) and the era of Apartheid rule beginning in 1948.
Abstract: Not White Enough, Not Black Enough: Racial Identity in the South African Coloured Community. By Mohamed Adhikari. Ohio University Research in International Studies, Africa Series no. 83. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2005. Pp. vii, 252. $24.00 paper. Mohamed Adhikari's most recent book explores the historical formation of the most complex and contested of identity positions in South Africa. His focus is on the political and conscious nature of Coloured identity, with particular focus on the period between Union (1910) and the era of Apartheid rule beginning in 1948. His central theme is that ambiguity has provided a stabilizing mechanism by which Coloured identity is sustained across different periods of South African history. Adhikari is offering an important and convincing challenge to those who would destabilize Coloured identity because of its racially hybrid origins, reify it for strictly racialist reasons, or deconstruct it for its nonracial political potential. The challenge is to offer insight into the capacity of an inherently unstable category to collectively cohere at the level of conscious conviction and unconscious practice. Adhikari is less interested in the unconscious domain of habituated meaning, focusing, instead, on self-making and instrumental social action. Almost all of the case studies and bodies of literature he reviews are analyzed in terms of the creative responses of political activists, intellectuals, and artists to platforms and changes in official policy and administrative structure. Adhikari succeeds in offering one of the most accessible frameworks for organizing the history behind Coloured identity to date. He does so without reducing the complexity that is the sine qua non of this category. His narrative is organized around the primary goal of assimilation and the structural constraints of a specifically Western Cape climate of political liberalism. It is the constant movement in and around the Janus-faced policies of British liberals rhetorically offering universal human rights, but practicing spatial and economic segregationism, that most notably shapes the contours of Coloured identity. The contradictions inherent in Cape liberalism keep Coloureds politically and culturally marginal as a group, all the while offering economic reward for disciplined and self-governing practice. Coloured leaders and political activists therefore compel the community to aspire to the higher goals of education, temperance, and self-restraint. They also generally compel political ideology to work within the dominant paradigm. The vigilant but thwarted pursuit of respectability is explored through several political organizations-the African Political/People's Organization (1902-mid1940s), the Teachers' League of South Africa (1913-1940), and the NonEuropean Unity Movement (1943-1963), to name a few. …

145 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: The story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya is explored in this article, where Elkins examines the imprisonment of thousands of Kenyans, overwhelmingly Kikuyu and men, in camps scattered across Kenya.
Abstract: Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya. By Caroline Elkins. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2005. Pp. xvi, 475. $27.50. For decades now, Nairobi lore has told of the city's dark skies in the days just before the British made the country independent. Lore has it right. Those dark skies were not a natural act, but caused by the continuous fires used by the British to burn records. Caroline Elkins mentions these "massive bonfires" (p. xii) as an attempt by the British to suppress knowledge of their detention system in Kenya. This erasure of history was but one of the reasons for her near-decade toil to reassemble an evidentiary foundation from which to write this book. Elkins has been successful, indeed triumphant. She has written a harddriving historical narrative about the system of detention erected by the British during 1952-1960 in Kenya to stem the Mau Mau rebellion. She has examined in the greatest depth the imprisonment of thousands of Kenyans, overwhelmingly Kikuyu and men, in camps scattered across Kenya. Her main achievement is pulling back the veil that stood between us and this system so we can now see what took place in the camps. It is a gruesome sight. After telling the rise of the colonial state and later, of nationalism and Mau Mau, in Chapters 1-2, Elkins picks up the pace with chapters on the screening of detainees and on the concept of detainee rehabilitation. Chapter 5, "The Birth of Britain's Gulag," is the epicenter of the book. Here, Elkins shows how in 1954, the detention system was transformed. In that year, at the end of Operation Anvil, a "Gestapolike" (p. 121) sweep of Nairobi, the "detainee population had risen to over fifty-two thousand-an increase of 2,500 percent" (p. 131). It would continue to rise, until its daily average running total was over 70,000-according to Elkins, making the total detained more than previously admitted by colonials. With Elkins's new timeline and demography, we are well-placed to see the camps' infrastructures in creation: the system of interrogation heavily assisted by torture; the indoctrination against Mau Mau, to produce a procolonial new citizen; forced labor; the deeds of specific British commandants and their loyalist allies; the detainees' self-governing committees and resistance, particularly their ingenious communication in oral "newspapers"; camp tactics to break "The Hard Core" (in impressive Chapter 7); the treatment of women in camps; the success at dividing detainees; and the everyday hardships, such as cooling water for drinking. With the spotlight on the camps, "Domestic Terror," Chapter 8, might get overlooked, because it deals with terror in the countryside, but it is a classic, informing us of oppressions visited randomly on rural folk: raids, confessional barazas, physical tortures, sexual assaults against women. …

145 citations



Journal Article
TL;DR: Ruedy's Modern Algeria: The Origins and Development of a Nation as mentioned in this paper is the best historical survey of the country in English and has been widely used in the field of Algerian history.
Abstract: Modern Algeria: The Origins and Development of a Nation. Second edition. By John Ruedy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005. Pp. xii, 325; 7 maps. $21.95 paper. The pioneering "first generation" of American historians studying Algeria's modern period prominently included, among others, Alf Andrew Heggoy, David C. Gordon, and Richard and Joan Brace. John Ruedy, professor emeritus of Georgetown University, bridged that generation with an emerging generation of historians through his teaching and books, notably Land Policy in Algeria (1967) and especially Modern Algeria (1991). His comprehension, contribution, and, above all, his clarity are most appreciated in a relatively understudied field. Indiana University Press wisely asked Professor Ruedy to produce a second edition of Modern Algeria, which remains the best historical survey of the country in English. The book studies Algeria's political, social, and economic history from the Ottoman era to the contemporary period. In his preface to the first edition of Modern Algeria (included in the second edition), Ruedy identified himself within the "liberal school of Algerian historiography" (p. xi) headlined by Charles-Andre Julien and Charles-Robert Ageron. The College de France's Jacques Berque was also an influence and taught Ruedy at the University of California-Los Angeles. (Berque fondly recalls his "senior student" in Memoires des deux rives [Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1989, 218].) In his second preface, Ruedy reflects on Algeria's unfulfilled endeavors in its modern history to create a "consensus regarding national identity." As disclosed by such self-defining documents as the Algiers Charter (1964), the National Charter (1976), and four constitutions, Algeria has sought to answer "the question of who Algerians are and where they wish to proceed" (p. ix). That question is still being addressed. In the new edition, Ruedy left the first seven chapters unchanged, revised the eighth, and seamlessly added a ninth entitled "Insurgency and the Pursuit of Democracy." This chapter studies the tragic conflict in Algeria that commenced after the cancellation of the second round of parliamentary elections in January 1992 and the dismantling of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS). Approximately 150,000 Algerians have lost their lives since 1992 in what many have called, especially in the popular press, a "civil war." Ruedy characterizes the conflict as "an insurgency, since, in spite of its toll, only a small minority of Algerians supported the Islamists' resort to war and the number of their combatants peaked at no more than 25,000" (p. 257). He explains that the violence "was far more than the result of confrontation between Islamists and security forces." It included intra-Islamist assaults, clan conflicts, and indiscriminate killings. …

76 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: Debility and the Moral Imagination in Botswana as mentioned in this paper is a history of the strains and redemptive qualities of familial care, of the changing ways in which people envision a different set of possible futures worthy of their labors in the present.
Abstract: Debility and the Moral Imagination in Botswana. By Julie Livingston. African Systems of Thought. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005. Pp.xii, 310; 13 illustrations. $65.00 cloth, $24.95 paper. Debility and the Moral Imagination in Botswana, Julie Livingston's first book, offers a compelling history of the strains and redemptive qualities of familial care, of the changing ways in which people envision a different set of possible futures worthy of their labors in the present. Livingston centers care and a moral vision in a history of bodily experience framed by the eclipse of African therapeutics by biomedicine, migrant labor, gendered conflict, and intergenerational tensions. The interstices and intersections of these familiar frames are wholly novel. Debility and the Moral Imagination meets the challenge of producing textured, deep, regional histories of the person and community and draws from them the hardest new questions for the moral imagination to work on. The book should become a mainstay of graduate seminars on historiography and method. It could be used with great profit in courses on medical anthropology, modern African history, the comparative study of health and healing systems, of the body, and in courses on colonial and postcolonial studies. An elegantly argued introduction sets out Livingston's theoretical grounding and the scope of her historical interest. From embodied personhood to moral imagination, the central focus on debility, disability, work, and able-bodiedness takes shape as shifting territories of experience that intersect with larger, well-known political, social, and economic processes in twentieth-century Southern Africa. Debility forces into view "how fundamental social, moral, and biological dynamics are grounded in experience as people struggle to marshal care and rework meanings and lives within and around bodies that are somehow impaired or different" (p. 234). But moral imagination holds Livingston's attention throughout the book: Because the sets of relationships that make up a moral order are continually renegotiated in conversation with broader historical transformation, moral imagination and moral expression provide both an index of cultural response to historical change and a force which helps dictate how and where sickness and disability are defined and the ways of coping with them (pp. 21-22). Debility and the Moral Imagination opens up these pithy connections in a first chapter that examines how family, especially women and the sources and fates of money, lie at the center of the shifting experience, management, and power struggles that debility brings. Livingston applies her fine historical sensibility to drawing out how unexpected practices and ideas become related to issues of health and physical ity. The convergence and interpretation of these historical circumstances occupy her analysis of a southern African twentieth century that has not been opened up in quite this way by any other of its historians. The story begins early in the twentieth century, as chiefship and Tsvvana therapeutics (bongaka) moved against mission medicine in ways that tended to support their former roles in public health. Livingston unearths the ways in which therapeutic systems maintained and reproduced a stratified social system. But she also shows how medicine (and politics, for that matter) contain tensions "between the egalitarian and the hierarchical" (p. 85). The ideal life course went off track by discord-violation of or ambiguity in the application of moral guidelines. Whether bungled or ruined, lives bore burdens "often realized through historical change" and expressed in acts of sorcery and ancestral anger (p. 98). Chiefs, as well as able-bodied doctors, men, and women directed efforts "to make the spatial, cosmological, and social aspects of life mirror one another." They did this by trying to unify all those mirrors "in a greater moral ethos" (p. …

69 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: Adebajo and Rashld as discussed by the authors present West Africa's Security Challenges: Building Peace in a Troubled Region, a collection of essays dealing primarily with war and with peace efforts in the region.
Abstract: West Africa's Security Challenges: Building Peace in a Troubled Region: Edited by Adekeye Adebajo and Ismail Rashld. Boulder CoIo.: Lynne Rienner, 2004. Pp. xviii, 448; bibliography, index, map. $59.95 cloth, $22.00 paper. The word "security" has lately achieved a degree of pervasiveness that can undoubtedly be traced to the 9/11 attacks, but it now pops up (at least in the West, and particularly in the United States) in connection with almost any of the recurrent forms of hardship or calamity that people worldwide have had to face (and sought to avoid) throughout the course of human history. West Africa's security "challenges" (another buzzword) are, for the most part, of this ancient sort, and not different from those faced by other regions of the world where the four riders of the Apocalypse continue to gallop, but one of the effects of globalization is that their "security" dimensions may be read quite differently by local or outside actors. This excellent and informative collection of essays deals primarily with war and (as its title suggests) with peace efforts in the region. None of the essays is exclusively devoted to a particular "case study," if only because earlier publications by Adebajo and others have already addressed the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone.1 Chapters in this volume, which grew out of a seminar jointly convened by the New York-based International Peace Academy (IPA)2 and ECOWAS in Abuja in September 2001, analyze the root causes of conflict, as well as the peacemaking efforts and mediating roles of ECOWAS, the United Nations, France, Britain, and the United States, but the sequels of war and its human toll are not really addressed, except when they pertain to the logistics of the conflict itself (as in the case of child soldiers, covered by 'Funmi Olonisakin). The problems of refugees and displaced persons are barely mentioned, and while several essays naturally include extensive references to specific conflicts (Liberia and Sierra Leone, of course, but also Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Cote d'Ivoire, or Nigeria), the 18 contributors deal for the most part, with broad-gauged issues, such as regionalization or integration, governance and democratization, civilmilitary relations, African unity, civil society, or regional security mechanisms. These chapters refrain, happily, from heavy handed theorizing, but review (and occasionally critique) the many pseudo- or instant theories and/or explanatory schemes that have mushroomed around such confrontations-whether in West Africa or in other parts of the "developing world. …

64 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: Werbner as discussed by the authors argues that anthropologists should give up their "Machiavellian suspicion" of elites and extend to them the same empathy they extend to the rest of the people they study.
Abstract: Reasonable Radicals and Citizenship in Botswana: The Public Anthropology of Kalanga Elites. By Richard Werbner. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2004. Pp. 268. $60.00 cloth, $24.95 paper. Richard Werbner puts his long experience of fieldwork among the Kalanga of Botswana to effective use in this insider's account of minority political and economic strategies and successes. His stated goal is to counter Afro-pessimism and its negative criticisms of elites and offer a model for a new kind of "public anthropology," one based on the example of Botswana. This approach focuses on the forum as process, a place of reasonable deliberation, as opposed to the muckraking approach that he characterizes as focusing on economic conflicts and violence. He argues that anthropologists should give up their "Machiavellian suspicion" of elites and extend to them the same empathy they extend to the rest of the people they study (p. 8), emphasizing the leadership of elites, their voice and agency. Political analysis would focus on "the political art of negotiated power in good governance" and would shift the study of ethnic relations from analyses of conflict and competition to analyses of the processes that build up trust and accommodation (p. 9). Such an approach, however, assumes shared interests between elites and the ethnic groups to which they belong-an issue of class that Werbner does not address in his wholesale dismissal of analyzing politics as expressing material interests. Werbner argues that such research can best be done by field workers, such as himself, who have built up the trust of elites over a long period of time, and he acknowledges his "implication in elite sociality"(p. 8). His insider perspective enables him to provide convincing, detailed accounts of the strategies that Kalanga male elites have used in gaining the education, resources, and connections that have made them a notably successful force in Botswana politics, administration, and entrepreneurship. He traces the weakening of Tswana cultural hegemony over time, and the changing strategies used by the Kalanga to assert their own interests. His analysis shows how a "linked set of apparent paradoxes" have been resolved by the Kalanga, including the merging of urban cosmopolitanism with assertions of their own ethnic identity, and the combining of strong national identity with a continuing connection to a cross-national Kalanga community. This analysis would be strengthened if Werbner were to include an explanation as to how the Kalanga came to be in a position to pursue their strategies-why they, as opposed to many of the other non-Tswana groups in what was to become Botswana, were not incorporated into Tswana polities as slaves or servants. …

63 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: Hansen and Vaa as discussed by the authors discuss the importance of housing and land claims to urban political activism and discuss the role of community associations in the development of urban spaces and neighborhoods in sub-Saharan Africa.
Abstract: Reconsidering Informality: Perspectives from Urban Africa. Edited by Karen Tranberg Hansen and Mariken Vaa. Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 2004. Pp. 235. £16.95/ euro 25/ SEK 250 paper. This book draws its content from the June 2000 conference "Cities, Governance, and Civil Society in Africa: Formal and the Informal City" held in Copenhagen. The volume's strength lies in its synthetic approach to the study of urban planning, urban politics and informal economies, the large number of contributions from African scholars, and relevance to academics as well as practitioners. The Hansen and Vaa's Introduction (Ch. 1) provides an extensive review of issues related to urban space and settlement. The theme of housing and household security runs through the book as a whole and includes consideration of a range of settlement types: from the make-shift structures of impoverished urban dwellers (Ch. 3) to largely informal yet long-standing middle class settlements (Ch. 9, 11) and elite peri-urban neighborhoods (Ch. 8, 20). In nearly all of these cases it becomes apparent that informal settlements (of whatever ilk) endow urban space with added value, spurring the development of infrastructure, attracting investment and enterprises and inspiring cross-class interactions and alliances. The case studies equally recount the importance of housing and land claims to urban political activism. Tati's study of fishing communities of Congo's Point-Noire (Ch. 2) examines the mobilization of migrant fisherman around property rights and the concessions they receive from state agencies, longersettled neighbors and even multinationals oil companies. In the Durban settlements-once squatter camps and now middle class neighborhood-described by Nustad (Ch. 3) longstanding civic associations command the attention of post-apartheid government agents and planners. Nustad describes the way the growing clout of these associations inspires rivalry among community factions, politicizing an earlier participatory agenda. In contrast, in Burra's study of suburban development in Dar es Salaam (Ch. 8) community based organizations remain at the forefront of participatory planning in interaction with government authorities. Far from formalized or systematic, these efforts are typically ad hoc, made possible largely by the elite status of some community residents. Kamau and Gitau (Ch. 9) trace the gradual legitimation of an informal middle class settlement in Nairobi's urban core and the rising value and recognition of land and householding rights. They likewise note the community's continued dependence on political patronage. Leduka's research on illegal subdivision of peri-urban lands in Lesotho (Ch. 10) similarly reveals the arbitrary influence of state officials and the concerted resistance of residents to the often arcane legal provisions surrounding land acquisition. Abbot (Ch. 11) looks to the way residents of Cape Town's informal settlements appeal not to state authorities but to technical experts within local universities for urban planning advice and inputs. …

57 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: Hanson as discussed by the authors argues that the practice of power in Buganda was based on mutual obligation, a kind of vertical social contract in which the ruler owed the subjects as much affection and loyalty as they owed the ruler labor.
Abstract: Landed Obligation: The Practice of Power in Buganda. By Holly Elizabeth Hanson. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2003. Pp. xxi, 264. $26.95 paper. A wave of European anthropologists and administrators made land tenure their focus around the 1950s-when colonial powers were losing their grip, when land matters seemed to be one of the reasons why, and when the struggle to record and fathom the "customary law" about landholding seemed like a race against time. Today the World Bank and other aid agencies also seem to be at a loss for answers, realizing that their strategy of promoting private property in land across Africa has not been working as planned. A new generation of scholars has taken up the questions raised by the 1900 establishment of mailo land tenure-the sudden establishment of private property in square mile chunks in the Buganda kingdom, registered under the names of chiefs and other prominent persons-questions that keep reverberating through discussions of property, wealth, and poverty, and of power and ethnicity. This is clearly a topic that speaks to more than one age. In Landed Obligation, Holly Hanson hinges her contribution on a few fairly simple observations about Ganda politics. "When people in Buganda thought about power," her opener reads, "they spoke about love." In pre-European and early European times, she argues, leaders and followers shared a general understanding of mutual obligation, a kind of vertical social contract in which the ruler owed the subjects as much affection and loyalty as they owed the ruler labor. When kabaka-hood (or kingship) and chiefship became brutal and arbitrary under late nineteenth-century colonial taxation and labor demands that chiefs passed on to their followers, these bonds-between farming people and chiefs, and between chiefs and king-were stretched to the breaking point. It was only after a period of fear and violence that a set of chiefs-now with altered authority and legitimacy in local eyes-persuaded London to allow them to grab title to Buganda's land in large blocks under their own names. But by then the old ties of affection had snapped, only partly through the land-grab itself. Private property in land now became the whipping hawser, the loose fire hose, that Baganda have been struggling to control ever since. After reviewing a wide variety of official and unofficial sources, Hanson is convinced of the widespread effects of the attempted property reform. She follows stories of gainers and losers, and she charts the sentiments of popular songs in claiming that "Mailo land ... turned people into slaves" (p. 222)-suggesting that "mailo land led to greed, and greed led to ill will in society" (p. …

44 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: Robins et al. as mentioned in this paper investigate the limits of liberal democracy in the context of cultural diversity, identity, and emerging practices of citizenship and governance in South Africa, focusing on the structural limits of liberation after Apartheid.
Abstract: Limits to Liberation after Apartheid: Citizenship, Governance and Culture Edited by Steven L Robins Athens: Ohio University Press; Oxford, UK: James Currey; Cape Town, So Afr: David Philip Publishers, 2005 Pp x, 246; index, bibliography, illustrations $4995 cloth, $2695 paper Whether one dates it from Nelson Mandela's release in 1990, or from his election to the presidency in 1994, the "miracle" of South Africa's transition from apartheid to "non-racial democracy" has acquired a mythical resonance that may have had the unanticipated side effect of freezing it in an embalmed time frameat least as far as the outside world is concerned For students now entering college in the United States or in Europe-if they have any awareness of Africa-the image of the "rainbow nation" is the only one to which they have been exposed, while apartheid looms in a "dark ages" background, along with such gruesome episodes as the slave trade, the Gulag, or the Nazi death camps Nor is the general population in the West immune to this sanguine perception that, by virtue of some divine surprise akin to that which brought about the end of the Cold War, South Africa has morphed into a model of harmony and communal tolerance South Africans, for the most part, are exempt from this sort of self-induced myopia, and have long since come to realize that the promises of the new "democratic order" would be much harder to achieve than had been hoped-especially in such matters as employment, housing, education, health delivery, or land reform-or, to put it more succinctly, that the ostensible triumph of "liberty" did not automatically entail "equality" or "fraternity" The structural limits of liberation, which are the focus of this collection of essays-originating in a number of workshops sponsored by CODESRIA-have often been analyzed from a political economy perspective that suggests disturbing parallels between the continued dependency of African states encapsulated in a world capitalist order and the sort of internal neo-colonialism perpetuated by the "new" South Africa's commitment to neo-liberal pragmatism In this volume, however, problems are approached from a different angle, and instead of dissecting economic policies, voting behavior, or electoral strategies, the authors attempt to investigate the limits of (and prospects for) liberal democracy in the context of cultural diversity, identity, and emerging practices of citizenship and governance …

Journal Article
TL;DR: In this paper, anthropologist Mary H. Moran uses a grassroots perspective to analyze the political violence that has gripped Liberia over the last several decades and argues that Liberians have well established habits and institutions of democracy such as checks and balances on leaders, and the recognition that everyone (even women and youth) have a right to express their political views.
Abstract: Liberia: The Violence of Democracy. By Mary H. Moran. The Ethnography of Political Violence Series. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006. Pp. 190; 15 illustrations. $49.95 /£32.50. In Liberia: The Violence of Democracy, anthropologist Mary Moran uses a grassroots perspective to analyze the political violence that has gripped Liberia over the last several decades. Drawing on her field research of the early 1980s, her previously published work on southeastern Liberia, her extensive links to Liberians in America, and her "virtual fieldwork" through the internet and e-mail, Moran challenges prevailing notions that Liberia and Africa are irrationally violent and lack democratic traditions. Claiming that Liberia has a "fully modern," albeit non-western form of democracy (p. 6), Moran rejects popular writer Robert Kaplan's description of Africa as the home of a chaotic and anti-liberal "New Barbarianism." In addition, she challenges academics such as Nicholas Van de Walle, Jean-Francois Bayart, Stephen Ellis, William Reno, Amos Sawyer, and Caroline Bledsoe who contend that autocracy, ethnic exclusivity, patrimonialism, patron-clientalism, secrecy, and age- or gender-based hierarchies define African politics. Reviewing the records of the Doe and Taylor regimes, Moran argues that many of Liberia's woes can be traced to the politics of the cold war and the amoral forces of the global market place. Recalling Liberian history from 1847 through the Tubman era, Moran contends that Liberians have a long tradition of democratic elections and a constitutional form of government. Citing her own experiences among the Glebo (a Kwa/Kruan-speaking group that includes the Kru, Krahn, Bassa, and Grebo), Moran argues that Liberians have well established habits and institutions of democracy such as checks and balances on leaders, and the recognition that everyone (even women and youth) have a right to express their political views. Looking at popular culture, for example newspaper cartoons, Moran persuasively demonstrates that Liberians actively contest identity markers that define who is civilized, who deserves prestige, and who should be obeyed. Finally, discussing the role of violence in West Africa, Moran rejects the view that violence is an expression of non-democratic and irrational anarchy. Violence, she says, is simply one end of a continuum of communication; violence is one way to express legitimate grievances. In short, Moran believes that Liberians possess the resources needed to build a healthy political future. …


Journal Article
TL;DR: Rolandsen as discussed by the authors investigated the political changes in the Southern Sudan during the 1990s and scrutinized an event that many SPLM/A supporters regarded as a watershed, namely, the National Convention of 1994, which called for the construction of a new Sudan.
Abstract: Guerrilla Government: Political Changes in the Southern Sudan during the 1990s. By Oystein H. Rolandsen. Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 2005. Pp. 201; 2 maps; 3 tables. £15.95/euro 20/SEK 200 paper. After 1983, when Sudan descended into civil war, the major force representing the south was the Sudan People's Liberation Movement and Army (SPLM/A), led by John Garang. In Guerrilla Government, Oystein H. Rolandsen (Horn of Africa advisor for Norwegian People's Aid) considers the SPLM/A in the 1990s and scrutinizes an event that many SPLM/A supporters have regarded as a watershed, namely, the National Convention of 1994, which called for the construction of a "New Sudan." Noting that this convention was unique for trying to establish "a liberal civil government in a war-zone" (p. 14), Rolandsen sets out to understand why the convention took place, who influenced it, and what practical effects it had on governance within SPLM/A-controlled regions. The National Convention came out of a reform process that started within the SPLM/A in 1991, when Garang-a highly autocratic but pragmatic leaderrealized that change was imperative. Two critical events of 1991 prompted this realization. First, the Soviet-backed Mengistu regime of Ethiopia collapsed, thereby removing a major source of logistical and military assistance for the SPLM/A. The SPLM/A was forced to shift its cross-border centers to Kenya and Uganda and to cultivate ties with Western donors and foreign NGOs, particularly those associated with Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS). second, officers within the SPLM/A attempted to overthrow Garang, citing objections to his dictatorial style and to his refusal to support southern secession. They also resented what they perceived as ethnic Dinka hegemony within the movement. The coup failed but led to factional splintering and to some heavy internal fighting. With the SPLM/A thus weakened and divided, Garang began to promote reform as a tactical move to consolidate support among southern Sudanese and potential foreign supporters. The National Convention occurred in 1994 after a year's planning, and involved 516 delegates who took what one SPLM/A supporter called the "first step towards democratic rule" in the South. "Compared to the existing state of affairs," Rolandsen writes, "the legal reforms adopted at the National Convention were, if not radical, at least extensive. Some fourteen laws or collections of laws were to be drafted-everything from "The New Sudan Penal Code" to "The New Sudan Traffic Act" (p. 116)." Proposed reforms also called for the organization of a National Liberation Council that could function as a legislative assembly and for a judiciary combining lower "traditional" chiefs courts and higher "modern" SPLM-directed courts. At the convention Garang stressed the idea of "New Sudan," but left the political status of this entity purposely vague. The term was capable of suggesting a reformed but territorially intact Sudan (the scenario favored by foreign observers) or an independent southern Sudan, separated from the Khartoum-dominated north (the scenario favored by many war-weary, rankand-file supporters of the SPLM/A). For historians of Africa, one of the most intriguing aspects of this book is its commentary on the continuities of indirect rule as established by the British colonial regime during the Anglo-Egyptian period. …

Journal Article
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examine the multiplicity of ways that identities were created and experienced in coastal society and the ways that these were played out at varying geographical and temporal scales.
Abstract: "the contribution of archaeology to the history of Africa is not limited to the discovery of new and complementary sources to be used by others, but goes to the very heart of the historical enterprise"1 Introduction Locally produced ceramics are the mainstay of archaeological research in East Africa. They are understood to be products of a particular socio-cultural milieu such that ceramic variation will correspond with cultural variation at some level. Ceramics are thus seen to indicate some form of shared identity-the archaeological "culture." Historians of the East African coast have sometimes drawn upon the data from archaeological "cultures" to supplement their insights, although their own sources-both documentary and oral-engage with the concept of identity on a rather different level. There has, however, been little comparative, self-critical analysis of the different types of identity being studied by historians and archaeologists, the extent to which such identities may be regarded as coterminous, and the interplay between different types of knowledge (i.e., historical or archaeological data) in the creation of both past and present identities. In this paper, through the examination of locally produced ceramics for a historically rich period on the East African coast, we examine the multiplicity of ways that identities were created and experienced in coastal society and the ways that these were played out at varying geographical and temporal scales. In particular, we believe that one's discipline determines, to a great extent, the level at which one conceptualizes and understands identity. Here, we examine how wide-scale regional identities can intersect with more local, individual, or gendered identities played out through the production and use of local ceramic types. By these means we hope to illustrate the ways in which historical data (documentary, oral, and linguistic sources) and archaeological data can work in conjunction to produce rich and complex interpretations of the past on the East African coast. In examining these themes, we discuss the record of locally produced ceramics from the nineteenth-century East African coast. During this period, numerous indigenous and colonial interactions occurred in different areas of the littoral and among different groups. Nevertheless, archaeological data from three widely separated regions-Kilwa, Zanzibar, and Mombasa (Fig. 1)-display striking elements of commonality. The implications of this are discussed herein. Identity Within all historical and archaeological interpretations of the past assumptions are made about identity; by delineating a people, society, or culture for study, we are effectively bringing that unit into existence.2 Such units are predicated upon the existence of a unifying identity at some level, and yet the definition of this is rarely made explicit. Those studies that have theorized identity have conceptualized and used the term in many different ways, across various disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, as our possibilities for understanding identity are created by the medium through which it is presented or interpreted. Different cultural fields of production create different possibilities of representation,3 thus history-whether using documentary or oral sources-can understand only the ways in which identity was presented by the authors of those sources.4 Archaeologists, in contrast, are constrained by very different sets of data. Their focus is upon the material world-both the natural landscape and that which is culturally constructed. One recent theoretical approach within archaeology views identity as an embodied process within this material world, created by our bodily practices and engagements.3 This presents two contrasting possibilities for understanding identity, and has inevitably resulted in different questions and directions for research in the disciplines of history and archaeology. …

Journal Article
TL;DR: Ouidah: The Social History of a West African Slaving "Port," 1727-1892 as mentioned in this paper is a history of the slave trade in Ouidah from 1727 to 1892.
Abstract: Ouidah: The Social History of a West African Slaving "Port," 1727-1892. By Robin Law. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2004. Pp. xi, 297; 5 maps. $49.95 cloth, $29.95 paper. Ouidah in French, Whydah in English, Fida in Dutch, and Ajuda in Portuguese originally was called Hueda, Peda, or Glehue depending on the local language. Robin Law has done careful local research integrating oral traditions and official archives from Benin, Britain, and France. Law's first chapter covers the origins of Ouidah until its conquest by the Kingdom of Dahomey in 1727. Facing competing local accounts of the founding of the town and without European documents to choose among them, Law proposes that religion may hold the key. Chapters 2 and 3 cover the Dahomian conquest. The Yovogan, "Chief of the Whites," was supposed to control and tax the European forts, the local merchants, and the population. As such, he was the point of contact between the Kingdom of Dahomey and European traders. Since Law is arguing that Ouidah was not a neutral port of trade as proposed by Karl Polanyi but rather a dependency of Dahomey, the degree of control by the Yovogan was crucial. Out of thirteen officials in the first four decades, most were executed or deposed. While these punishments show that kings were attempting to assert control of their Yovogan and merchants, the incentives for Ouidah to become a neutral port of trade were very strong. Chapter 4 discusses the operation of the Atlantic slave trade. African kings had enough influence to force European powers to respect the neutrality of Ouidah, even during their wars. Though Britain outlawed the slave trade to its colonies in 1808 and France did so in 1818, the slave trade between Portuguese colonies South of the Equator and Brazil legally continued until 1839, when it was finally outlawed in Britain's treaty with Portugal. Chapter 5 shows that Francisco de Souza used his Portuguese nationality to prolong the slave trade in Ouidah. In this he had cooperation of the Yovogan. Even after Portuguese slave trading became illegal, de Souza continued it through his agents in other ports. Chapters 6 and 7 discuss the transition from slave trading to palm oil after 1840. Law argues that the palm oil trade did not interfere with the slave trade, but rather became a cover under which banned trading could continue. Slaves could be bought for easily transportable silver coins, which could then be exchanged for British manufactured goods imported for the palm oil trade. …

Journal Article
TL;DR: Giblin this article presented a history of the excluded from their own perspectives, eschewing the chronologies and categories that are the concern of the professional historian, and which have little meaning for subalterns.
Abstract: A History of the Excluded: Making Family a Refuge from State in Twentieth-Century Tanzania. By James L. Giblin. Eastern African Studies. Athens: Ohio University Press and Oxford: James Currey, 2005. Pp. xii, 304, maps, tables, illustrations. $55.00 cloth, $26.95 paper. The "excluded" in this book's title are primarily the colonial generation of Njombe district of Tanzania-commoners who came of age under British rule and told their stories of the past in the 1990s. They were excluded from the political structures and economic systems created under colonialism and modified in the postcolonial state. Giblin's goal is to present a history of this "subaltern" generation from their own perspectives, eschewing the chronologies and categories that are the concern of the professional historian, and which have little meaning for subalterns. The task, then, is to decenter the state and uncover the "rich alternative history" created by the colonial generation through their own forms of storytelling, perceptions of time, and life concerns. The result is a bottom-up history of a region, and indeed a state, told through the lens of family. As much as possible the author seeks to allow this generation to speak for itself, and he therefore is not comfortable imposing the framework of the professional historian on their words. It is appropriate that "family" is the organizing category through which this history is told, since many of the storytellers were members of the author's own extended family through marriage. Their memories of the past were often elicited through family settings that lessened the strictures of formal interviewing. Guided by this perspective, this book gives us an overview of Njombe history from the late nineteenth century to the recent past. Late precolonial history and German and British rule are conflated into a period remembered as one of ongoing warfare and insecurity that first led people to carve out a private sphere as a refuge from violence. In this telling, the Maji Maji war was not a single proto-nationalist conflict, but part of an ongoing period of civil conflict and population dispersal that began in the decades preceding colonialism and lasted for a decade beyond Maji Maji. Chiefs were not unifiers in the face of colonial predations. Rather, they were colonial functionaries who made life precarious by ruling through henchmen known as avasiwoning'ale, plunderers who terrorized villages and inflicted violence. In light of ongoing insecurity that was the core memory of colonial rule, people carved out a refuge in the private sphere of family, a realm where subalterns could create parallel economies, institutions, and networks that enabled them to survive and sometimes to prosper. …

Journal Article
TL;DR: Justesen et al. as mentioned in this paper present English translations and supporting commentary for 461 documents conserved in Danish archives and describing West Africans' increasing integration into the early modern Atlantic world.
Abstract: Danish Sources for the History of Ghana, 1657-1754. Edited by Ole Justesen; translated by James Manley. Fontes Historiae Africanae, Series Varia VIII. Copenhagen: Del Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab, 2005. 2 vols. Pp. xxxviii, 1058; 4 maps. DKK 600 [about $105]. These two volumes present English translations and supporting commentary for 461 documents conserved in Danish archives and describing West Africans' increasing integration into the early modern Atlantic world. The chronologically organized collection opens with a 1657 contract between Heinrich Carloff, a veteran employee of the Guinea trade for Dutch and Swedish companies, and Frederik III, the newly independent king of Denmark and Norway, to seize Swedish trading stations in West Africa. Documents for subsequent years include official reports that Africa-based officials sent to their European directors, correspondence between these officials and their colleagues stationed elsewhere on the African littoral, lists of debtors, fort diaries, and more. These are rich sources of historical information, particularly for the life histories of individual Africans usually obscured in published travelogues. Scholars might use these personal histories to draw larger patterns of change. Otherwise the documentation reinforces much of that already known about precolonial African politics, commerce, and Danish-African relations. The work concludes in 1754 with the dissolution of the Danish West India and Guinea Company and reorganization of the kingdom's trade through other entities-though Danes remained active and prolific authors of historical documentation through the mid-nineteenth century. The editor, Ole Justesen, and his project collaborators present a resource that scholars of diverse disciplinary backgrounds will find welcoming. Three indexes direct readers to places and peoples, named persons, and topics. Annotation clarifies issues left vague in the original texts, often by referencing further documents in this collection or other contemporary accounts. Because much of the source material concerns trade, the relevant weights, measures, and numismatics are explained in the introduction in order to avoid repetition in footnotes. Readers will likely not find the editor's interventions to be distracting. Four informative maps are also appended, which come as a pleasant surprise, not having been mentioned in the introduction or annotation. The authors of these records mostly wrote in Danish, but also composed a significant minority of the documents in German and Dutch (particularly for the early period covered in volume one) as well as in French and English. …

Journal Article
TL;DR: The Yoruba Diaspora in the Atlantic World Edited by Toyin Falola and Matt D. Childs as discussed by the authors is an important contribution to the study of the African diaspora and the Atlantic world with this new volume of essays.
Abstract: The Yoruba Diaspora in the Atlantic World Edited by Toyin Falola and Matt D. Childs. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004. Pp. xii, 455. $70.00 cloth, $27.00 paper. Editors Toyin Falola and Matt Childs make an important contribution to the study of the African diaspora and the Atlantic world with this new volume of essays. Falola, a scholar of African history, and Childs. a historian of the African diaspora in Cuba, frame this work as a case study that offers insights into the historical processes that shaped the larger diasporic population. They organize the book into four sections centered on the Yoruba in Africa, the diaspora in the Americas, the culture of the diaspora, and the return of Yoruba people to their homeland. By bringing together scholars from four continents and a range of disciplines to explore the history and culture of the Yoruba diaspora on both sides of the Atlantic, they have bridged the ocean in two important ways. In the first section of the book David Eltis, Paul Lovejoy, and Ann O'Hear create a portrait of the Yoruba people and the processes that created the diaspora. Eltis provides a focus on the scope and range of Yoruba enslavement and dispersal. Lovejoy takes up the question of the origin of Yoruba ethnicity and includes an important discussion of the role of Islam in shaping Yoruba identification. His work also compliments Eltis in examining the demographic trends of the trade in the region. O'Hear explicates the process of enslavement and the internal and external trade in Yorubaland to complete the section. Joao Jose Reis, Beatriz Gallotti Mamigonian, Michele Reid, Russell Lohse, Rosalyn Howard, and Kevin Roberts supply important discussions on the dispersal of the Yoruba throughout the Americas in the second section. Reis and Gallotti Mamigonian show the connections between Yoruba origins and the development of Nago and Mina identities in Brazil. They carefully demonstrate the religious and ethnic distinctions within the population and how tensions were pragmatically overcome. Reid offers a similar look at the Cuban Yoruba population and how they constructed Lucumi/Yoruba identity through religious associations and cultural replications. Lohse takes the reader into the unexpected territory of colonial Costa Rica, a place with few Yoruba, and shows that a careful reading of sources recovers traces of the Yoruba past. Howard and Roberts shift the focus to the English and French Caribbean comparing Yoruba presence and contributions to the lifeways and culture of diasporic populations in Trinidad, the Bahamas, and Haiti. …

Journal Article
TL;DR: Tabitha Kanogo as mentioned in this paper traces changes in women's lives by focusing on a series of themes: the legal status of women and of marriage; sexuality; circumcision and ethnicity; maternity; and Christianity and education.
Abstract: African Womanhood in Colonial Kenya, 1900-1950. By Tabitha Kanogo. East Africa Series. Athens: Ohio University Press; Oxford: James Curry; Nairobi: EAEP, 2005. Pp. x, 268. $49.95 cloth, $24.95 paper. In this study, Kanogo tackles the history of the challenges faced by Kenyan women and their struggles to exploit new opportunities in the colonial epoch. New regulations imposed by missions, colonial officials, and African men limited women's choices, but women found that from the contradictions of colonialism emerged new arenas in which they could (attempt to) shape their own lives. As Kanogo summarizes: "By following the effects of the all-pervasive ideological shifts that colonialism produced in the lives of women, the study investigates the diverse ways in which a woman's personhood was enhanced, diminished, or placed in ambiguous predicaments by the consequences, intended and unintended, of colonial rule as administered by both the colonizers and the colonized" (p. 1 ). Of particular importance was the opening of frontiers-political, economic, cultural, social, and physical-previously closed to them. For example, greater freedom of movement: some women looked at Nairobi and mission stations as a means of breaking out of strictures on their lives. Kanogo traces changes in women's lives by focusing on a series of themes: the legal status of women and of marriage; sexuality; circumcision and ethnicity; maternity; and Christianity and education. Some of these topics have been well trod-the Gikuyu female circumcision crisis-but others had yet to have been broached, such as local traditions of rape as a cure for venereal disease. Despite Kanogo's extensive research, her footnotes do not always provide evidence enough to support her broader claims. For example: "By 1919, elders considered it necessary to introduce a bill" to control women (p. 26). The reader might take this to mean elders across the colony, but the footnote refers to one public meeting with 300 senior men at Ganzi, Coast Province, in 1919. She draws heavily on minutes of district-level Local Native Councils, but the (male) councilors were chiefs, tribunal members, and other elites, and did not necessarily speak for all men. Kanogo considers most of the main ethnic groups (Gikuyu/Embu/Meru, Luo, Kamba, Luhyia, Gusii, Kipsigis), but leaves out others or mentions them only in passing, e.g., other Kalenjin groups, Masai, Swahili, Kuria, and those of the colonial-era Northern Frontier Province. …

Journal Article
TL;DR: Abdullah et al. as discussed by the authors present Between Democracy and Terror: The Sierra Leone Civil War (1991-1999), a collection of books dealing comprehensively with the war, arguably one of the most complex and brutal in contemporary Africa.
Abstract: Between Democracy and Terror: The Sierra Leone Civil War. Edited by Ibrahim Abdullah. Dakar: CODESRlA, 2004. Distributed by Africa Books Collective, Oxford, UK. Pp. x, 263; 3 maps and 5 tables. $29.95 paper. As the search for a more durable peace continues in West Africa following the recent outburst of the subregion's volatility with Cote d'Ivoire becoming another arena for armed combat, the need for a better understanding of conflicts such as the Sierra Leone civil war (1991-1999) has become more imperative than ever before. Moreover, a cursory glance at the historiography of postcolonial Sierra Leone reveals a paucity of books dealing comprehensively with the war, arguably one of the most complex and brutal in the history of contemporary Africa. Indeed an intensely debatable conflict in both academic and non-academic discourses, the war in Sierra Leone became a laboratory for scholars to experiment with various theoretical paradigms, which may have worked elsewhere, to explain the peculiar circumstances under which the war evolved. This problematic has long been part of a larger issue about Africanist discourses and studies on Africa, which scholars have engaged in every so often. Given this historiographical backdrop, Between Democracy and Terror, edited by Sierra Leonean historian Ibrahim Abdullah, brings together a team of West African scholars and researchers in the fields of history, political science, and journalism, whose research interests converge on democratization, peace and conflict resolution, corruption and good governance, and youth culture in West Africa, among other matters. This timely compilation builds upon previous discussions on the Sierra Leone civil war, which began on the Internet in May 1996 and spilled over into subsequent scholarly publications that generated a lot of debate. By dialoguing with each other, most of the studies allowed scholars and researchers across the disciplines to discuss various approaches and theoretical frameworks employed in analyzing the war. In this connection, this volume reflects an interdisciplinary conversation focused on "the genesis of the crisis; the contradictory roles of different internal and external actors; civil society and the fourth estate; the regional intervention force; the demise of the second republic; and the numerous peace initiatives to end the war" (p. 1). The book's twelve chapters, following an introduction by the editor, fall into three parts. Part I, comprising five chapters, introduces the context of the war by examining the origin of the rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF), the role of students in the crisis, and the complicity of the state in prolonging the war and thus assisting in inflicting violence on the people of Sierra Leone. Part II consists of four chapters covering the resumption of parliamentary multiparty politics in 19% as well as the coup d'etat that brought the military junta, the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), to power, albeit briefly. …

Journal Article
TL;DR: Igoe and Kelsall as discussed by the authors present Between a Rock and a Hard Place: African NGOs, Donors and the State, a collection of essays that together provide a rich, multilayered, and thought provoking introduction to the dramatic growth of NGOs in Africa since 1990.
Abstract: Between a Rock and a Hard Place: African NGOs, Donors and the State. Edited by Jim Igoe and Tim Kelsall. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2005. Pp. 309. $40.00/£33.00 paper. Over the past decade I have noticed an increase in the number of students engaged in fieldwork on NGOs and civil society. A number of them spend fieldwork researching potential Norwegian donors and writing applications for funding. What has become apparent from the students' disappointments is that the "local world" of the NGOs they wanted to penetrate was treated as "trade secrets"; the competitive edge the NGO had over other organizations. As foreign researchers with intimate knowledge of one of the big donor countries, they were valuable for the NGOs. Yet the NGOs were reluctant to share freely of their own knowledge in the stiff competition for resources. As outsiders the researchers therefore experienced problems gaining access to the "back stage" they wanted to make the core of their dissertations. This book provides a number of similar tales, and would have been an invaluable resource for these students to develop different research strategies and generate a new set of promising questions. The volume consists of eleven chapters, which provide rich ethnographic studies covering the entire continent. The contributors are evenly divided between Europe and North America. In addition, three of the contributors currently hold non-academic jobs. This provides for a volume filled with different perspectives on the relations between NGOs, African states, and the international community. The tensions are well worked through and the chapters interact and engage with one another, creating an excellent collection of essays that together provides a rich, multilayered, and thought provoking introduction to the dramatic growth of NGOs in Africa since 1990. The constructive disagreements have resulted in an original conclusion, where the individual authors are given a few pages to reflect on their position in relation to the volume as a whole. In my view, this works well and would be of special interest to NGO workers struggling to find a balance between solid research and informed and respectful intervention. A number of the chapters engage with key publications by Ferguson. The volume can be read as a constructive, though at times critical, engagement with the valuable insights of the "post-development school," combined with an ethical impetus to continue to address and engage with inequality and suffering. …

Journal Article
TL;DR: The Body in Contact: Rethinking Colonial Encounters in World History is a collection of twenty-two articles that explore the centrality of bodies (whether physical, symbolic, or metaphorical) to colonial and imperial encounters as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: Bodies in Contact: Rethinking Colonial Encounters in World History. Edited by Tony Ballantyne and Antoinette Burton. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005. Pp. xii, 445. $89.95 cloth, $24.95 paper. Bodies in Contact is a provocative collection of twenty-two already published articles that explore the centrality of bodies (whether physical, symbolic, or metaphorical) to colonial and imperial encounters. Although only four of the chapters are specifically focused on Africa (Heidi Gengenbach's wonderful piece on women's tattoos in Mozambique; Jennifer Morgan on gender, race, and colonial travel writing in Africa; Julia Wells on gender relations in the Cape Colony; and Mary Ann Fay on women, property and power in Cairo), and Africa appears as a foil in several others (Elisa Camisciolli on ideologies of race in France; Melani McAlister on the role of Islam, Africa, and the Middle East in African-American liberation thought), Africanists will learn much from the editors' framing arguments and comparative case studies from Asia, Latin America, North America, and elsewhere. In their eloquent, engaging introduction and conclusion, Tony Ballantyne and Antoinette Burton describe the recent renewed interest in world history, with its focus on global contact, connections, and conflict. Despite world history's important contributions to understanding the long history of interconnections among peoples and places, Ballantyne and Burton argue that it has generally ignored insights from social history, anthropology, and feminist studies about how these interconnections shaped and were shaped by everyday meanings and practices in ordinary peoples' lives. One consequence of world history's focus on materiality rather than meaning, on the public rather than the so-called "private," has been to downplay the visibility of women and the significance of gender in the colonial encounter. In contrast, by locating and analyzing imperial history and world history through the "contact zones" (Mary Louise Pratt) of bodies, the articles in Bodies in Contact foreground women, gender, and (sometimes) sexuality to the making of history. Clearly, some Africanists have been working in this vein for years. And ideas of bodies-as-text; bodies as metaphors for nationhood and belonging; African bodies as sites of intense scrutiny and speculation; and embodied processes, experiences, and performances have permeated much recent scholarship on Africa. Nonetheless, I think the volume, both in terms of its intellectual framework and individual chapters, offers several important contributions to the study of African history. First, and perhaps foremost, is the vexing question of sources, especially for scholars of women and gender. How can we "see" gender and women in the early colonial (much less precolonial) period, when the written sources are almost entirely from the perspective of European missionaries, travelers, traders, and colonial administrators? Bodies in Contact underscores the value (and complexity) of oral history, the insights available from critical re-readings of classic texts, and the usefulness of alternative sources such as property deeds, letters, and journals. Mary Ann Fay, for example, uses waqfiyyat (religious endowment deeds) to examine the simultaneous economic autonomy and marital strictures on women in eighteenth-century Cairo. A few authors, like Heidi Gengenbach, go further, suggesting that bodies and body markings themselves can serve as historical sources for the study of gender and colonialism. Gengenbach argues that women in southern Mozambique have historically used tattoos (tinhlanga) to create bonds and networks with other women. Using oral histories and colonial narratives, she traces the shifting types, methods, and meanings of tattooing during colonial rule in the context of missionary and colonial efforts to "reform" and "improve" Africans in part through inculcating new norms of female beauty, dress, and bodily adornment. …

Journal Article
TL;DR: Parsons as discussed by the authors argues that Africans embraced the Boy Scout Movement because it challenged colonial rulers to treat African scouts as equal to settler scouts (the "Forth Scout Law"), and because scouting lent "respectability and legitimacy" to African boys.
Abstract: Race, Resistance, and the Boy Scout Movement in British Colonial Africa. By Timothy H. Parsons. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2004. Pp. xviii, 318; illustrations. $59.95 cloth. $26.95 paper. Timothy Parsons' book is both too ambitious and not ambitious enough. Situating the Boy Scout Movement within the contradictions of colonial rule in British east and southern Africa, Parsons argues that Africans embraced the Boy Scout Movement because it challenged colonial rulers to treat African scouts as equal to settler scouts (the "Forth Scout Law"), and because scouting lent "respectability and legitimacy" to African boys. Parsons goes so far as to suggest that the Boy Scout Movement offers a window into African conceptions of masculinity, generational tensions, colonial control, and the "grammar of citizenship" (p. 13). This is a tall order, and though Parsons provides glimpses of how African scouts challenged colonial authority, ultimately his evidence base is too shallow to sustain his broader conclusions. Read another way, Parson's book is an excellent introduction to colonial anxieties. Parsons' first problem is convincing the reader that the few African Scouts in east and southern Africa are a significant group in the colonial world. By 1950 there were only 100, 000 in all of British east and southern Africa; South Africa had the most scouts at slightly less than 2 percent of the school-going population. Parsons balances this number in two ways. First, he notes that many prominent leaders were once scouts and secondly, he asserts that there were many more "informal" or "rogue scouts" beyond colonial control. Parsons' second problem is sources. He acknowledges that finding African men who were scouts, formal or not, is difficult and that colonial sources are inadequate. As a result, Parsons has to stretch his evidence. For example. Parsons speculates that because police found scouting literature in his car, Samuel Muindi, an anti-destocking campaigner in Kamba reserve, might have been a scout or at least posed as one to gain community support. Parsons is on firmer ground when he notes that African scouts occasionally enjoyed more rights or at least fewer restrictions in the colonial world. On the whole, however, his evidence base is thin, and while his "vertical" approach outlines the racial contradictions of colonialism well, his bolder thesis that the scouts highlight ideas of masculinity, generational conflict, and citizenship falls a bit short. Yet Parsons' results are tantalizing enough that one hopes that another historian will pursue an in-depth study that locates scouting within the cultural world of a particular African community. …

Journal Article
TL;DR: Negotiating Power and Privilege: Igbo Career Women in Contemporary Nigeria as discussed by the authors explores the link between Igbo women's access to schooling and paid employment, and their avenues for social mobility and empowerment.
Abstract: Negotiating Power and Privilege: Igbo Career Women in Contemporary Nigeria By Philomina E Okeke-Ihejirika Athens: Ohio University Press, 2004 Pp xiv, 230 $2600 paper Negotiating Power and Privilege explores the link between Igbo women's access to schooling and paid employment, and their avenues for social mobility and empowerment The book consists of seven substantive chapters plus an introduction and a conclusion, and is based primarily on interviews with twelve civil servants (including secondary school teachers and private sector employees) carried out at the eastern Nigerian city of Enugu between August 1991 and March 1992, with follow-ups between 1997 and 1999 The author highlights the patriarchal continuities and contradictions that have continued to shape their experiences since the late colonial period As Okeke-Ihejirika argues, the lives of Igbo career women must be understood within the historical context that engendered patriarchal continuities and contradictions in Igbo society The fusion of African and Western patriarchal characteristics in defining the gender relations in the Igbo region has produced what the author refers to as a "hybridized social order" that privileges males Western education and laws, for instance, have been blended into indigenous practices such as polygamy, centrality of marriage and family, procreation, and son preference to create patriarchal continuities and contradictions The uncertainties engendered by these forces are reinforced by social expectations on wives to adequately manage problems emanating from their spouses' extended family ties and extramarital relationships, referred to in the book as "men's polygamous incursions" (p 35) Western education created opportunities for Igbo housewives to become career women However, the dysfunctional nature of the education offered to them, the social perceptions and expectations of appropriate jobs, and their roles as wives and mothers have placed Igbo career women in a disadvantaged position while privileging their male counterparts For these reasons, the author argues that gender, more than class, has remained a major force in determining women's access to formal education and paid employment Using the personal profiles of some of the women she interviewed, the author painstakingly demonstrates how marriage, procreation and son preference, polygamy and its incursions, extended family ties, as well as men's prerogative to choose careers for their daughters and wives have helped to undermine women's career pursuits In almost all the cases, the women only received support and approval from their father or husband when they chose education and careers that would not impinge on their domestic responsibilities as wives and mothers Domestic demands on career women's time are cited as the major constraint to their professional advancement This is due to the lack of childcare facilities and household labor-saving devices, irregular electricity supplies, and inefficient commercial alternatives It also stems from the domestic arrangement in their households that excludes men and relegates domestic work to the women and their house-help Igbo career women have accommodated this arrangement by increasing their workload in order to save their marriages Another area of tension is the financial contributions of both the working-class wife and her husband for the upkeep of their household As the author reveals in a number of cases, working-class housewives may contribute more than their husbands to the family purse even when the latter earn more In addition to investing in their children's education and upkeep (regarded as their social security at old age), as well as in some capital investments, they also extend their incomes in support of their natal families …

Journal Article
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors argue that the kanga symbolizes the power and independence of elite Manyema women in Zanzibar and the desirability of their independence and power.
Abstract: "The Manyuema are far more beautiful than either the bond or free of Zanzibar. I overhear the remark often, 'If we had Manyuema wives what beautiful children we should beget.'"1 Introduction Conceptions of the desirability of elite Manyema women probably differed greatly among men and women of different statuses and ethnicities in the late nineteenth century. In this article I argue that to Swahili women on the coast, the clothing associated with the fashion repertoire of elite Manyema women also symbolized the desirability of their independence and power, and that elite Manyema women's public presentations of themselves signified a power and independence that both men and women found attractive, albeit for very different reasons. Among Swahili women in the Swahili entrepots of the hinterland, and on the Swahili Coast and in Zanzibar, Manyema women and their fashions became intricately tied to, and invested in, what began as an elaborately patterned rectangular piece of cloth and eventually developed into the iconic cloth we now know as the kanga. This article builds on the work of Fair, Byfield, and Allman and examines the advent of the kanga in an entirely new light.2 Drawing from Swahili texts and the accounts of explorers, travelers, and missionaries, I argue that the kanga came to symbolize the power of an African community with origins in Central Africa and embody notions of Manyema ethnicity. The creation of the kanga is intricately tied to the negotiation of a new ethnicity: an ethnicity that emerged after Zanzibari traders expanded their frontier into the Central African area northwest of Ujiji, destroying existing communities in the process. As the Zanzibar! established their authority with guns and other weapons, they murdered many adult men and enslaved women and children. Despite the devastation of their communities, elements of the indigenous groups moved east across Lake Tanganyika where they forged a new identity as Manyema. Most historical writing on the central route of the East African ivory and slave trade mentions the use of cloth in bargaining for passage through different communities along the caravan path and in the markets of Ujiji, Uvira, and other towns with large market exchanges. However, little attention has been paid to the intersection of the ivory and slave trade caravans and the ramifications of the introduction of these new types of cloths into the Zanzibari entrepots and neighboring African communities. The central route of the East African slave trade connected the peoples of Central Africa to the Swahili Coast and Zanzibar, and forever altered fashion and notions of female sexuality and behavior in Zanzibar and East Africa. While Fair has demonstrated the ways that women by the turn of the twentieth century had made Zanzibar "the Paris of East Africa," we do not know exactly what sparked local entrepreneurs' interest in making kangas or why Swahili women almost immediately coveted and desired to procure kangas.3 What was the impetus that led to this great interest? In this article I present yet another layer to the story of the emergence of the kanga at the time of the abolition of the slave trade in Zanzibar. Indian merchants successfully marketed the kanga to a newly emerging clientele of former slaves who, as free women and men, were able to purchase items that could help them claim a new, free identity. But why was it the kanga that became the object of desire, and not some other item of clothing or jewelry? What did the kanga promise or provide that other things did not? I argue here that the kanga emerged in the context of the ivory and slave trade: it emerged from Manyema women's participation in the caravans and their performance of what it meant to be an elite Manyema woman as they traveled from the area northeast of Lake Tanganyika, across the central route of the East African slave route, into Zanzibar and back again. Connections: Central Africa, Ujiji, Zanzibar In 1857, Zanzibari women favored red and blue kisitu: a length of stained cotton cloth wrapped tightly around the breast that extended to the feet. …

Journal Article
TL;DR: The United National Independence Party (UNIP) as discussed by the authors was one of the first political parties to be banned by the one-party state in Zambia, and its leaders were subsequently imprisoned.
Abstract: Introduction Studies of political parties that came to power in newly independent African states have frequently assumed that they, to a large degree, reflected a consensual nationalist popular consciousness, and a relative lack of social differentiation, in the countries which they governed. In this regard, it has generally been accepted that the ruling United National Independence Party (UNIP) represented the progressive aspirations and expectations held by Zambiens, at least in the years immediately after independence. While Gertzel, Baylies, and Szeftel identified important foci of opposition to and within UNIP, their contemporaneous research did not describe the extent and range of such opposition, in particular the degree to which UNIP was preoccupied about such challenges.1 My research has uncovered evidence of significant and ongoing discontent within, and opposition to, the United National Independence Party and its policies and practices.2 This weakness in the existing literature reflects a tendency amongst political scientists to take official declarations by the state and ruling party at face value, and to take the political temperature of the country at an institutional level, for example in the analysis of voting patterns during elections.3 Developmentalist literature, generally assuming that the failure of newly independent African governments to meet popular demands resulted primarily from the incapacity of postcolonial states, tends accordingly to place such popular demands outside the realm of political legitimacy and analysis.4 This disregards the centrality of such expectations in anticolonial movements, in particular the promises of nationalist politicians seeking to mobilize popular opposition to colonial rule. This is not to argue that all the aspirations of the peoples of postcolonial Zambia (or indeed elsewhere), could have been met by UNIP or any of its political opponents. However, the impact of these failures was not simply the result of a technical incapacity, but rather the result of political decisions that were contested within and outside UNIP. Such expectations were implicitly predicated on the significant redistribution of wealth, both nationally and internationally. While the feasibility of such a radical approach is of course doubtful, the failure of UNIP to seek any such change to its position in the international economic order had profound political consequences. Historical analysis therefore requires an assessment of the impact of such decisions on Africans whose support for nationalist movements was predicated on promises of radical postcolonial political and economic change. Evidence from the recently opened UNIP archives demonstrates that the ruling party was by no means hegemonic in Zambian political life, before and after the declaration of the one-party state in December 1972. The United Progressive Party (UPP) presented the most effective challenge to UNIP hegemony, during its brief period of legal existence in 1971-72; it was banned with the introduction of the one-party state, and its leaders detained. The UNIP archives, and interviews with thirty-five former UPP leaders and activists, demonstrates that UPP activists continued to organize secretly throughout the 1970s within and outside UNIP, presenting periodic challenges to the ruling party, and partially expressing widespread opposition to it amongst significant sections of the Zambian population. The archives provide clear evidence of the extent of the resultant damage to UNIP in its core areas of pre-Independence support. This support rested on popular expectations of significant social and economic development, based on the promises made by UNIP leaders before and after independence. Despite significant developmental achievements in the 1960s, these expectations never came close to being met. Growing discontent expressed itself in a complex combination of regional and social forms, and culminated in the establishment of the UPP. …

Journal Article
TL;DR: In the context of the AIDS pandemic, Vilakazi's etymologies confirm that words describing catastrophic death had already been enfolded into the Zulu language as discussed by the authors and the similarities between AIDS and rinderpest extend beyond linguistics.
Abstract: UNokufa Whenever I tried to visualize you, Death, . . . I thought I saw you lurking in the darkness, . . . Then you appeared, and families were scattered And many alas, were lost to us forever! . . . Again I cry, alas! For have I not seen The children of Sihlonono Dying in their prime? Have I not watched, behind a screen of shrubs, The daughters of our scattered tribes Abandon the struggle to keep their maidenhood And quench the lust of youths who were their kindred. -Benedict Wallet Vilakazi (1935)1 It has become a sad truism that black youths comprise one of the most vulnerable "risk groups" in South Africa. Their rising rate of HIV infection is ascribed, in part, to chronic unemployment, which afflicts post-apartheid society and frustrates their "pursuit of modernity." In this milieu transactional sex becomes a vital source of income and commodities.2 Such quests, in turn, stoke rumors that fertile women with multiple partners spread fatal bodily pollution, umnyama, in provinces hit hard by AIDS like KwaZulu-Natal. This charge of promiscuity embodies a prominent concept in Zulu cosmology-dread of misfortune that can be transferred through intimacy. It also evokes a colonial idea that African sexuality is debased and menacing. The latter accusation triggers conspiracy theories that blame whites for hatching AIDS.3 Some observers of the pandemic have asserted that these attributions reflect novel responses to a scourge defying local explanation.4 B. W. Vilakazi's 193S poem, mourning those "dying in their prime" and "the lust of youths," begins to tell a different story. A revered Zulu intellectual, Vilakazi grew up in colonial Natal learning the dramaturgies of "Africa of old." A decade before his birth in 1906, his parents lived through the rinderpest epizootic. By 1897, this virulent virus had left the "veil strewn in carcasses and the cattle kraals emptied of every ox, cow, or calf their owner possessed."5 Four decades later, Vilakazi compiled a comprehensive lexicon for a massive Zulu-English dictionary. The term for death, ukufa, precedes definitions alluding to epidemic, indecent appetite, diseased cattle, and "one vicious person [who] will infect a whole community." One key noun for rinderpest explains how livestock perished "like flies," an apocalyptic vision summarized in ukufa idiom, zabulawa ngukufa iathi qimu: 'They were destroyed by epidemic, collapsing everywhere."6 Vilakazi's etymologies confirm that words describing catastrophic death had already been enfolded into the Zulu language. The similarities between AIDS and rinderpest extend beyond linguistics. Both outbreaks progressed from localized epidemics to transcontinental pandemics, generating alarm within the Western medical establishment.7 They also highlighted the unrelenting social and physical stresses on African families and attendant restlessness of their youths. The epizootic first infiltrated the Horn in the 1880s after invading Italian forces shipped rinderpest-infected cattle from India (where the virus was endemic) to Somalia.8 Rinderpest then advanced inexorably to South Africa by 18%. Along the way, it eradicated entire herds, destroying the bridewealth cattle (known in Zulu as ilobolo) that upheld traditional African customs regulating fertility. In the absence of ilobolo, which sealed nuptial negotiations sanctioning reproduction, Zulu-speaking youths at the turn of the twentieth century increasingly engaged in premarital intercourse, accelerating a trend that gained momentum with mounting labor migrancy. Such transgressions worried elders who tried to safeguard sexual norms and buoy their sinking world of domestic patriarchy. After the British conquest of Zululand in 1879, white authorities imposed heavier taxes on homesteads and appropriated more land from chiefdoms. Shrinking "native reserves" yielded fewer crops, which propelled youths to seek wages in the colonial economy. …

Journal Article
TL;DR: Nnaemeka et al. as discussed by the authors examined the place of the practices of female circumcision in feminist/imperialist discourses to show that imperialism is a will to dominate that haunts us even today and pointed out the falsity in portraying female circumcision as illustrating "absolute and total cultural conflict between the rights of the individual to bodily integrity on the one hand, and her need to be satisfactorily integrated into a community on the other" (p. 102).
Abstract: Female Circumcisions and the Politics of Knowledge. Edited by Obioma Nnaemeka. Westport, Conn, and London: Praeger, 2005. Pp. 288. $84.95/ £48.99 cloth, $29.95/ £16.99 paper. This edited volume is not about the facts of female circumcision, social, historical, or medical, but rather an examination of the place of the practices in feminist/ imperialist discourses, "to show that imperialism is a will to dominate that haunts us even today" (p. 7). Employing the politics of location, prominent African feminist Obioma Nnaemeka as editor argues in the introduction that western discourses on female circumcision, mostly feminist in position, and including non-white western women such as Alice Walker and Pratibha Parmar (who have built careers on critiquing white feminism and white western society) reveal and perform inequalities and power relations that place African women as inferior, "barbaric," silenced, and in need of saving. As Chima Korieh argues in his chapter, the images of female circumcision in western feminist accounts are "embedded in a Salvationist and liberationist message, [and] describe female circumcision as emblematic of a backward and uncivilized society" (p. 111). Indeed, Western discourses must always be suspect, as Egyptian feminist N awal El Saadawi reminds us in her chapter: "imperialist power, did not come to emancipate us ... Imperialist scholars could write about us Africans as barbaric, uncivilized, morally, mentally, and sexually debased people while ignoring their barbaric, uncivilized aggression against our men and women" (p. 24). None of the twelve writers in this collection, who are mostly women and men of African origins (with a few westerners included), condone or support the practice, "whether culturally sanctioned, aesthetically inspired, or politically motivated," and have all "worked vigorously to end it" (p. 3). However, the book focuses not on activisms to end the practices, either western or African, but on the contours and foundations of the western debates and discourses, which are "[s]ustained by bipolar logic ... fuelled by Enlightenment universalism on the one hand and cultural relativism on the other" (p. 7). For example, a chapter on the legal debates on circumcision in France by Francoise Lionnet reveals the poverty of this "bipolar logic," pointing out the falsity in portraying female circumcision as illustrating "absolute and total cultural conflict between the rights of the individual to bodily integrity on the one hand, and her need to be satisfactorily integrated into a community on the other" (p. 102). The well-known history of female excision practiced by western doctors since the seventeenth to the early twentieth century to curb women's sexual appetites, as well as ongoing general practices of male circumcision, tonsillectomy and other "ritual surgeries" in western culture clearly challenge a so-called universal attachment to bodily integrity in the west, and reveal the appeal to such integrity to end female circumcision as suspect. …

Journal Article
TL;DR: The role of heshima or "honor" was discussed in the context of the emancipation of slaves on the island of Pemba in the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar.
Abstract: When emancipation occurred on the Indian Ocean island of Pemba, most slaves' movements were constrained by colonial policies. While many certainly moved from their former master's land, many more remained.1 The responses of former slaves on Pemba to emancipation mirrored similar patterns found on other small island communities such as St. Louis and Goree in Senegal, and the Caribbean islands of Barbados, Antigua, and Montserrat among others.2 In all of these islands government policies and limited access to land for purchase forced ex-slaves to remain as squatters on the land they had previously worked and used as their provision gardens. For ex-slaves around the world, freedom rarely meant citizenship.3 Thus, former slaves had to find ways to incorporate themselves into the larger society in which they lived. As in the Senegalese colonies, former slaves on the island of Pemba worked to integrate themselves into the local community. In day-to-day life on Pemba, community mattered in how a person negotiated their status in society. A variety of factors counted in creating status, but one that has been overlooked is the role of heshima or "honor." There was no single way to earn heshima and no single person who bestowed it on others. Rather, it was a social status that a person earned from their community over time and through their behavior. While economics and heritage were certainly reflected in one's heshima, they were not the only factors in deciding who had heshima and who did not. Only the members of a community could impart this status, which was constantly renegotiated as people moved, married, and progressed through life. For the majority of the Pemban population-who had legally been slaves until the final abolition in 1909-the development of heshima was one way in which members could redefine their identity.4 As Ann Twinam's work in colonial Latin America suggests, honor was communally negotiated-not something that was simply assumed. "Embedded in a simple hello could be underlying codes that precisely located an individual's rank within the social hierarchy."5 While this suggests a top-down approach to who could confer heshima on an individual, it is more likely that this negotiation took place from both the top and the bottom. Trevor Getz notes that in colonial Senegal, "Wherever possible, these individuals [former slaves] sought to assert a higher status by reworking their family trees or suing their antagonists, who were usually their former masters or their masters' relatives, with whom they were economically forced to remain in contact."6 Social status was something in flux and contested, on all levels of society. Heshima was significant for the less-affluent classes on Pemba: the former slaves, migrant workers, peasants, and especially women. For these groups, heshima allowed them status in the community, permitting them access to land and credit during the non-harvest seasons, and status in local disputes through the court system. Having heshima became as vital for some people as their ethnicity, and for former slaves having heshima was an important factor in giving them community acceptance in the post-emancipation period. As later examples will show, people's status, their heshima, was negotiated regularly and denoted their place in the communities in which they lived. Background Omani Arabs began a concerted effort to colonize the East African coast in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By the 1840s, the Omani Sultan moved his capital to Zanzibar Town on Unguja Island, the largest of the Zanzibari isles. While Unguja was the home of the Arab elite, the majority of the agricultural produce exported from the islands came from the second-largest island, Pemba. Slave labor was used throughout the Sultanate to produce cloves and coconuts for export. In 1890, ostensibly to end slavery, the British declared a protectorate over the Omani domains. Within seven years the British had forced the initial abolition of slavery and ushered in a period of shifting identity as former slaves and masters negotiated the difficult terrain of maintaining a social hierarchy in a "free" state. …