Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

Africa Week

berghahn-2017-african-studies

 

This week is Africa Week! Africa Week celebrates and showcases Africa’s continuous advancements and achievements with respect to social, economic, political and environmental development. Read more here

 

In honor of Africa Week, we would like to provide you with a special discount offer. Receive a 50% discount on all African Studies titles found on our website until November 17, 2017. At checkout, simply enter the discount code UNAF17. Browse our newly published online African Studies 2017 Catalog or use the subject searching features on our website­ for a complete listing of all published and forthcoming titles.


Here is a preview of some of our newest releases:

 

CHILDREN OF THE CAMP
The Lives of Somali Youth Raised in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya
Catherine-Lune Grayson

 

Chronic violence has characterized Somalia for over two decades, forcing nearly two million people to flee. A significant number have settled in camps in neighboring countries, where children were born and raised. Based on in-depth fieldwork, this book explores the experience of Somalis who grew up in Kakuma refugee camp, in Kenya, and are now young adults. This original study carefully considers how young people perceive their living environment and how growing up in exile structures their view of the past and their country of origin, and the future and its possibilities.

Read Introduction

 

New in Paperback

AT HOME IN THE OKAVANGO
White Batswana Narratives of Emplacement and Belonging
Catie Gressier

 

“This book is an important contribution to anthropological studies of belonging, minorities, settler populations, whiteness, identity, tourism, and autochthony. A thoroughly thought-provoking, intimate, and detailed ethnography that is worth reading to gain an insight into how a white community in a postcolonial nation construct their belonging as Africans.” · American Anthropologist

An ethnographic portrayal of the lives of white citizens of the Okavango Delta, Botswana, this book examines their relationships with the natural and social environments of the region. In response to the insecurity of their position as a European-descended minority in a postcolonial African state, Gressier argues that white Batswana have developed cultural values and practices that have allowed them to attain high levels of belonging. Adventure is common for this frontier community, and the book follows their safari lifestyles as they construct and perform localized identities in their interactions with dangerous wildlife, the broader African community, and the global elite via their work in the nature-tourism industry.

Read Introduction: Waiting for the Flood

 

PEACEFUL SELVES
Personhood, Nationhood, and the Post-Conflict Moment in Rwanda
Laura Eramian

 

This ethnography of personhood in post-genocide Rwanda investigates how residents of a small town grapple with what kinds of persons they ought to become in the wake of violence. Based on fieldwork carried out over the course of a decade, it uncovers how conflicting moral demands emerge from the 1994 genocide, from cultural contradictions around “good” personhood, and from both state and popular visions for the future. What emerges is a profound dissonance in town residents’ selfhood. While they strive to be agents of change who can catalyze a new era of modern Rwandan nationhood, they are also devastated by the genocide and struggle to recover a sense of selfhood and belonging in the absence of kin, friends, and neighbors. In drawing out the contradictions at the heart of self-making and social life in contemporary Rwanda, this book asserts a novel argument about the ordinary lives caught in global post-conflict imperatives to remember and to forget, to mourn and to prosper.

 

FOUCAULT’S ORIENT
The Conundrum of Cultural Difference, From Tunisia to Japan
Marnia Lazreg

 

Foucault lived in Tunisia for two years and travelled to Japan and Iran more than once. Yet throughout his critical scholarship, he insisted that the cultures of the “Orient” constitute the “limit” of Western rationality. Using archival research supplemented by interviews with key scholars in Tunisia, Japan and France, this book examines the philosophical sources, evolution as well as contradictions of Foucault’s experience with non-Western cultures. Beyond tracing Foucault’s journey into the world of otherness, the book reveals the personal, political as well as methodological effects of a radical conception of cultural difference that extolled the local over the cosmopolitan.

Read Introduction

 

THE GOOD HOLIDAY
Development, Tourism and the Politics of Benevolence in Mozambique
João Afonso Baptista

Volume 30, EASA Series

 

Drawing on ethnographic research in the village of Canhane, which is host to the first community tourism project in Mozambique, The Good Holiday explores the confluence of two powerful industries: tourism and development, and explains when, how and why tourism becomes development and development, tourism. The volume further explores the social and material consequences of this merging, presenting the confluence of tourism and development as a major vehicle for the exercise of ethics, and non-state governance in contemporary life.

Read Introduction

 

Forthcoming

RETURNING LIFE
Language, Life-Force and History in Kilimanjaro
Knut Christian Myhre

Volume 32, Methodology & History in Anthropology

 

A group of Chagga-speaking men descend the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro to butcher animals and pour milk, beer, and blood on the ground, requesting rain for their continued existence. Returning Life explores how this event engages activities where life-force is transferred and transformed to afford and affect beings of different kinds. Historical sources demonstrate how the phenomenon of life-force encompasses coffee cash-cropping, Catholic Christianity, and colonial and post-colonial rule, and features in cognate languages from throughout the area. As this vivid ethnography explores how life projects through beings of different kinds, it brings to life concepts and practices that extend through time and space, transcending established analytics.

 

Forthcoming

SEEKERS AND THINGS
Spiritual Movements and Aesthetic Difference in Kinshasa
Peter Lambertz

 

Focusing on the intricate presence of a Japanese new religion (Sekai Kyûseikyô) in the densely populated and primarily Christian environment of Kinshasa (DR Congo), this ethnographic study offers a practitioner-orientated perspective to create a localised picture of religious globalization. Guided by an aesthetic approach to religion, the study moves beyond a focus limited to text and offers insights into the role of religious objects, spiritual technologies and aesthetic repertoires in the production and politics of difference. The boundaries between non-Christian religious minorities and the largely Christian public sphere involve fears and suspicion of ‘magic’ and ‘occult sciences’.

 

Paperback Original 

The Decolonial Mandela
Peace, Justice and the Politics of Life
Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni

 

“This is a completely original contribution to our understanding of Mandela. It provides a long overdue decolonial perspective that situates Mandela’s life and thought within current academic debates and the political and ethical challenges facing global humanity. It will be essential reading across multiple disciplines.” · Ramon Grosfoguel, University of California, Berkeley –

A significant contribution to the emerging literature on decolonial studies, this concise and forcefully argued volume lays out a groundbreaking interpretation of the “Mandela phenomenon.” Contrary to a neoliberal social model that privileges adversarial criminal justice and a rationalistic approach to war making, Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni identifies transformative political justice and a reimagined social order as key features of Nelson Mandela’s legacy. Mandela is understood here as an exemplar of decolonial humanism, one who embodied the idea of survivor’s justice and held up reconciliation and racial harmony as essential for transcending colonial modes of thought.

Read Introduction: Mandela Phenomenon as Decolonial Humanism

 

LIFE AS A HUNT
Thresholds of Identities and Illusions on an African Landscape
Stuart A. Marks

 

“This is a superb book. It brings together Stuart Marks’ detailed long-term work on hunting and other issues among the Bisa of the Manyamadzi Corridor of Zambia since the 1960s.” · Robert K. Hitchcock, Michigan State University

The “extensive wilderness” of Zambia’s central Luangwa Valley is the homeland of the Valley Bisa whose cultural practices have enriched this environment for centuries. Beginning with the intrusions of warlords and later British colonials, successive generations have experienced the callousness and challenges of colonialism. Their homeland, a slender corridor surrounded by three national parks and an escarpment, is a microcosm of the political, economic and cultural battlefields surrounding most African protected areas today. The story of the Valley Bisa diverges from the myths that conservationists, administrators, and philanthropists, tell about Africa’s environmental and wildlife crises.

Read Introduction: On Poaching an Elephant: Calling the Shots and Following the Ricochets

 

DOING CONCEPTUAL HISTORY IN AFRICA
Edited by Axel Fleisch and Rhiannon Stephens

Volume 25, Making Sense of History

 

“This pioneering volume is the first to apply the methods of conceptual history to the languages and cultures of sub-Saharan Africa, and as such will be welcomed by a wide variety of scholars. It is a major achievement.” · Willibald Steinmetz, Bielefeld University

Employing an innovative methodological toolkit, Doing Conceptual History in Africa provides a refreshingly broad and interdisciplinary approach to African historical studies. The studies assembled here focus on the complex role of language in Africa’s historical development, with a particular emphasis on pragmatics and semantics. From precolonial dynamics of wealth and poverty to the conceptual foundations of nationalist movements, each contribution strikes a balance between the local and the global, engaging with a distinctively African intellectual tradition while analyzing the regional and global contexts in which categories like “work,” “marriage,” and “land” take shape.

Read Introduction: Theories and Methods of African Conceptual History

 

THE FOREST PEOPLE WITHOUT A FOREST
Development Paradoxes, Belonging and Participation of the Baka in East Cameroon
Glory M. Lueong

 

Development interventions often generate contradictions around questions of who benefits from development and which communities are targeted for intervention. This book examines how the Baka, who live in Eastern Cameroon, assert forms of belonging in order to participate in development interventions, and how community life is shaped and reshaped through these interventions. Often referred to as ‘forest people’, the Baka have witnessed many recent development interventions that include competing and contradictory policies such as ‘civilize’, assimilate and integrate the Baka into ‘full citizenship’, conserve the forest and wildlife resources, and preserve indigenous cultures at the verge of extinction.

Read Introduction

 

BREAKING ROCKS
Music, Ideology and Economic Collapse, from Paris to Kinshasa
Joe Trapido

Volume 19, Dislocations

 

“This is a highly impressive, utterly original, often brilliant book on both the empirical and theoretical levels… A wonderful ethnography of music production, performance, spectacle, and deceit.” · Nancy Rose Hunt, University of Michigan

Based on fieldwork in Kinshasa and Paris, Breaking Rocks examines patronage payments within Congolese popular music, where a love song dedication can cost 6,000 dollars and a simple name check can trade for 500 or 600 dollars. Tracing this system of prestige through networks of musicians and patrons – who include gangsters based in Europe, kleptocratic politicians in Congo, and lawless diamond dealers in northern Angola – this book offers insights into ideologies of power and value in central Africa’s troubled post-colonial political economy, as well as a glimpse into the economic flows that make up the hidden side of the globalization.

Read Introduction

 

New in Paperback

WITCHCRAFT, WITCHES, AND VIOLENCE IN GHANA
Mensah Adinkrah

“By attending to witch hunts in all its facets in Ghanaian society, [the author] offers the most in-depth examination of witchcraft to date… Although the author focuses on Ghana, the work draws attention to the fact that witchcraft-related violence is not unique to the country, but very much a part of global history, past and present. The wide variety of sources it pulls together and the human face it gives to witchcraft related violence are the biggest strengths of Witchcraft, Witches, and Violence. This is a valuable book for both undergraduate and graduate students in anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, and African studies.“ · International Journal of African Historical Studies (IJAHS)

This book provides a detailed account of Ghanaian witchcraft beliefs and practices and their role in fueling violent attacks on alleged witches by aggrieved individuals and vigilante groups.

Read Introduction: Witchcraft Violence in Comparative Perspective

 

New in Paperback

MASKS AND STAFFS
Identity Politics in the Cameroon Grassfields
Michaela Pelican

Volume 11, Integration and Conflict Studies

 

The Cameroon Grassfields, home to three ethnic groups – Grassfields societies, Mbororo, and Hausa – provide a valuable case study for the anthropological examination of identity politics and interethnic relations. In the midst of the political liberalization of Cameroon in the late 1990s and 2000s, local responses to political and legal changes took the form of a series of performative and discursive expressions of ethnicity. Confrontational encounters stimulated by economic and political rivalry, as well as socially integrative processes, transformed collective self-understanding in Cameroon in conjunction with recent global discourses on human, minority, and indigenous rights. The book provides a vital contribution to the study of ethnicity, conflict, and social change in the anthropology of Africa.

Read Introduction

 

New in Paperback

BEYOND THE LENS OF CONSERVATION
Malagasy and Swiss Imaginations of One Another
Eva Keller

Volume 20, Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

 

“This book will make a great addition to undergraduate courses on Anthropology of the Environment and/or Development or Political Ecology. Keller’s highly readable style, in turn, will satisfy both those new to the subject and scholars already familiar with the topics of conservation practice in Madagascar. It could even become an important resource for those conservation experts who are trying – and (as the study shows) failing – to establish connections between distant places and people.” · Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute

The study investigates how the Malagasy farmers living at the edge of the park perceive the conservation enterprise and what people in Switzerland see when looking towards Madagascar through the lens of the zoo exhibit. It crystallizes that the stories told in either place have almost nothing in common: one focuses on power and history, the other on morality and progress. Thus, instead of building a bridge, Nature conservation widens the gap between people in the North and the South.

Read Introduction

 

New in Paperback

IMPERIAL PROJECTIONS
Screening the German Colonies
Wolfgang Fuhrmann

Volume 17, Film Europa

 

“Woldgang Fuhrmann succeeds with this impressive overview of German colonial film, largely neglected in the scholarly literature, to present convincingly the interaction of individual protagonists with various institutions. The bibliography conveys the depth of his research that can be considered exemplary. This also applies to the filmography that will inspire future research. The few illustrations are well selected and expressive.” · Filmblatt

By promoting business and establishing a new genre within the fast growing film industry, films of the colonies were welcomed by organizations such as the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (German Colonial Society). The films triggered patriotic feelings but also addressed the audience as travelers, explorers, wildlife protectionists, and participants in unique cultural events. This book is the first in-depth analysis of colonial filmmaking in the Wilhelmine Era.

Read Introduction

 

New in Paperback

EVIDENCE, ETHOS AND EXPERIMENT
The Anthropology and History of Medical Research in Africa
Edited by P. Wenzel Geissler and Catherine Molyneux

 

“Each of the chapters is noteworthy. Together, they offer a promising opportunity to broaden the field of postcolonial science studies in ways that remind us how ethicality is at the heart of these encounters of science… the volume will be useful to medical anthropologists, science studies scholars, and generalist scholars of Africa and global health. Individual chapters, as well as whole sections of the book, will be particularly useful for teaching at the upper-division undergraduate or graduate levels.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly

Global debates about the politics and ethics of this research are growing and local concerns are prompting calls for social studies of the “trial communities” produced by this scientific work. Drawing on rich, ethnographic and historiographic ­­­material, this volume represents the emergent field of anthropological inquiry that links Africanist ethnography to recent concerns with science, the state, and the culture of late capitalism in Africa.

Read Introduction: Studying trial communities: anthropological and historical inquiries into ethos, politics and economy of medical research in Africa


Of Related Interest from Berghahn Journals:

democratic theoryDemocratic Theory
An Interdisciplinary Journal

Democratic Theory is a peer-reviewed journal published and distributed by Berghahn. It encourages philosophical and interdisciplinary contributions that critically explore democratic theory-in all its forms.

Current Issue:
Volume 3, Issue 2

 

regions and cohesionRegions and Cohesion
Regiones y Cohesión / Régions et Cohésion

Regions and Cohesion is a needed platform for academics and practitioners alike to disseminate both empirical research and normative analysis of topics related to human and environmental security, social cohesion, and governance.

Current Issue:
Volume 6, Issue 3

 

religion and societyReligion and Society
Advances in Research

Religion and Society: Advances in Research responds to the need for a rigorous, in-depth review of current work in the expanding sub-discipline of the anthropology of religion.

Current Issue:
Volume 7, Issue 1

 

theoriaTheoria
A Journal of Social and Political Theory

Theoria is an engaged, multidisciplinary and peer-reviewed journal of social and political theory.

Current Issue:
Volume 63, Issue 148