Research Africa: February 8, 2019

Research Africa: February 8, 2019

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News and Issues
Emerging Economies University Rankings 2019
The Times Higher Education Emerging Economies University Rankings for 2019 have been released. This list includes only institutions in countries classified as “advanced emerging”, “secondary emerging” or “frontier”. The rankings use the same 13 performance indicators as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings to judge institutions on their teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. They are recalibrated to reflect the development priorities of universities in emerging economies.

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Autobiography from 1831 provides rare, firsthand account of a Muslim slave in America
By Eliott C. McLaughlin, Jan 17, 2019
He was 37 when the army of “wicked men” invaded his West African village, murdering many and absconding with others who they put on a ship for the six-week journey to Charleston, South Carolina. “There, they sold me to a small, weak and wicked man called Johnson, a complete infidel who had no fear of God at all,” scholar and slave Omar ibn Said wrote decades later in 1831, when he was in his early 60s.

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Mahmood Mamdani on Marxist intellectual Samir Amin.
By Mahmoud Mamdani, Dec 23, 2018
Samir Amin’s life resembled that of Karl Marx’s: a man without a homeland, but one whose home was a chosen commitment to a historical project.
In June 2010, Mahmood Mamdani was appointed Director of the Makerere Institute for Social Research (MISR) in Kampala, Uganda, which he since developed into what is arguably the premier center for graduate education in the social sciences and the humanities on the continent.

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Senegal’s Museum of Black Civilizations Welcomes Some Treasures Home
By Dionne Searcey and Farah Nayeri, Jan 15, 2019
The 19th-century sword rests in a glass case alongside a frail Quran in a spacious gallery where scrolls hang from the wall and soft religious chanting is piped in. The saber’s etched copper handle is shaped like a swan’s beak, with a ring at the end. The sword belonged to Omar Saidou Tall, a prominent Muslim spiritual leader in the 1800s in what is now modern-day Senegal. His quest to conquer nearby territories put him in armed conflict with France, which had its own takeover ambitions. The French colonialists eventually won and seized not just large swaths of West Africa but also the region’s treasures, including the sword. Like most artifacts from France’s African colonies, it wound up in a French museum.

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NEW BOOKS ‫كتب جديدة

Community Resilience Under the Impact of Urbanisation and Climate Change: Cases and Experiences from Zimbabwe
‫(صمود المجتمع تحت تأثير التمدن وتغير المناخ: حالات دراسية من زيمبابوي)
Author (Editor): Innocent Chirisa, Christopher M. Mabeza

As the world today faces messy problems, what in some circles has been called global weirding, the term resilience has taken center stage. This is crunch time as we grapple with the negative effects of both climate change and urbanisation. Some commentators have compared the huge problems we face today to Oom Schalk’s proverbial leopard waiting for us in the withaak’s shade. Do we endlessly count Oom Schalk’s proverbial leopard’s spots? This is the question posed by a stellar cast of academics, researchers, and experts whose contributions in this text are a rallying cry for action to build resilience to the challenging impact of urbanisation and climate change. To that end, this volume gives hope about the potential for human agency. Our challenge, however, is to re-examine our values, to change our conservation, and return to a wiser, holistic understanding of ourselves and our place in the Universe. Perhaps then can the obituaries on our demise stay locked in the drawer.
Publisher: Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon, 2019

Unrequited Toil: A History of United States Slavery
‫(كدح بلا مقابل: تاريخ الاسترقاق في الولايات المتحدة)
Author: Calvin Schermerhorn
Unrequited Toil details how an institution that seemed to be disappearing at the end of the American Revolution rose to become the most contested and valuable economic interest in the nation by 1850. Calvin Schermerhorn charts changes in the family lives of enslaved Americans, exploring the broader processes of nation-building in the United States, growth and intensification of national and international markets, the institutionalization of chattel slavery, and the growing relevance of race in the politics and society of the republic. Schermerhorn argues that American economic development relied upon African Americans’ social reproduction while simultaneously destroying their intergenerational cultural continuity. He chronologically presents personal narratives of enslaved people and explores themes of politics, economics, labor, literature, and rebellion.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 2018

حلمي شعراوي: سيرة مصرية أفريقية
[Helmi Sharawi: An Egyptian African Biography]
Author: Helmy Sharawi:
This voluminous book is a memoir of Helmi Sharawi who is widely known in the Arab world asmwalimu (the teacher) and the dean of African affairs in Egypt. The book narrates his rich and engaging life, spanning more than 60 years. Beginning with his rise to public service during President Nasser’s years to his role in mediating Nasser’s liberation projects in Africa, his story reflects a vision and struggle to bring Africans together. This book is a must read for any Arab who is interested in Africa and would behoove those interested in President Nasser’s vision for Africa.
Publisher: Dar Al’Ayn Lilnashr, Cairo, Egypt, 2019

The Specter of Global China Politics, Labor, and Foreign Investment in Africa
(مخاطر سياسات الصين العالمية : الأيدي العاملة والاستثمار الأجنبي في أفريقيا)
Author: Ching Kwan Lee
This book is based on Lee’s field study in Africa where she investigated Chinese investments for 7 years in copper mines and construction sites in Zambia. The book is extremely interesting for its methodology and unconventional findings. The author prompts the audience to ponder whether or not Chinese capital is a different type of capital and shares her perspective on this question. Lee establishes a clear definition of Chinese state capital in comparison to global private capital by assessing business objectives, labor practices, managerial ethos and political engagement with Zambia. The policy implications and inter-disciplinary contributions of her book have wide-reaching impact to many fields.
Publisher: University of Chicago Press, 2018.

Author: Jacqueline Gondwe
Béléko is a small village in the West African state of Mali. In the book’s twenty-five chapters we meet Dutch development workers, French missionaries, Malian public service workers, health workers, and village women and their children. All of these characters strive to give meaning to their lives in the routine of daily life of Africa at the end of the 1980s. As each character tells his or her own story, we gain insight into their backgrounds, their passions, their struggles, and how they influence each other in decisive ways.
Publisher: Luviri Press, Malawi, 2018

Kenya, Bridging Ethnic Divides: A Commissioner’s Experience on Cohesion and Integration
(‫كينيا ، ترميم الفجوة في العلاقات الاثنية: تجربة المفوضية العليا في توحيد طبقات المجتمع)
Author: Alice Wairimu Nderitu
The book shows that positive policies and intra- and inter-ethnic spaces can be used to counter negative influences that lead to fear, exclusion, and violence. The diversity of Kenya’s ethnicities and races need not be a pretext for conflict, but a source of truly national identity. It proves that dialogue on understanding differences and commonalities leads to improved relationships and understanding of societal dynamics. This in turn contributes to preventing and transforming conflicts through appropriate inclusion policies and identification of entry points for change as well as opportunities to tackle the norms and behaviors that underpin structural disparities.
Publisher: Mdahalo Bridging Divides, Kenya, 2018

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Research Africa ( welcomes submissions of books, events, funding opportunities, and more to be included in the next edition.