Research Africa News: December 28, 2021

Research Africa News: December 28, 2021

Black Love inspired me. Making these portraits renewed my spirit
Et Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, December 2, 2021

When the pandemic arrived stateside in early 2020 and our lives were unceremoniously ordered online; online became a lifeline in unimaginable ways. The robust activity in the digital space included dancing until daybreak in Club Quarantine, the ingenuity of the Don’t Rush challenge in all its everlasting iterations, learning how to be a billionaire on Clubhouse and our favorite singer-songwriter-rapper-producers battled it out in Versuz.
Read the research article here.

We must stop Ethiopia tearing itself apart
By NewAfrican, December 06, 20211

Africa cannot sit on its hands and let this great and ancient nation tear itself to pieces while we fiddle with protocols, says Anver Versi. Where are the continent’s Wise People when we need them to defuse the situation?

Two years ago at this time we were celebrating the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia; today, he is fully embroiled in what is developing into one of the nastiest and most brutal conflicts in Africa.
Read the research article here.

An Archivist’s Plea B. M. Watson | Jan 22, 2021

Various disciplinary “archival turns” over the course of the past few decades have resulted in a tendency towards the over-casual use of the word “archive” as a shorthand to refer to, well, just about anything. While historians are not the most egregious of offenders, this exasperating tendency has led to an increasing sense of frustration and alienation on the part of librarians, archivists, curators, and other cultural heritage workers, who are loath to see their professional terminology co-opted in imprecise ways.
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The 50 Best Books of Literary Journalism of the 21st Century From garbage recycling in a Mumbai settlement to shocking murders in France, these are incredible feats of reporting and storytelling.
By Daniel Riley, December 9, 2021

Books on books on books For the past couple decades, we’ve felt that the best books being published—the most riveting, the most richly rendered, the most likely to last—are the works of literary journalism. You know the books we mean: books built on robust reporting and impossible-to-invent characters; books featuring sweeping plots and cinematic scenes (but true); books drawn with the novelist’s eye for detail and incident (but real); books that tell stories that, despite the quickening pace of nearly everything in our lives, manage to fix us in place and to light up our brains. For the best books of this kind, writers slow down, look close and wide, and organize the diffuse and the chaotic into definitive narratives that help us better understand our present times, and those of the recent past. These stories arrange our world, inspire art (film, TV), and endure. Which is why this is the form that so many of our most gifted journalists turn to, to do their finest work.
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NEW BOOKS ‫كتب جديدة

Kwame Nkrumah and the Pan-African Ideal Debates and Contestations
[كوامي نكروما وجدليات البانأفريكانزم ]
Author: Sehlare Makgetlaneng

Kwame Nkrumah and the Pan-African Ideal draws on experiences in various decades on the ebbs and flows of African continental integration as a common African continental agenda. It attempts to contribute towards the grasp of critical theoretical position on international political economy and its application on the African socio-political, economic and ideological condition. This work critically engages with the works of Nkrumah, a leading African scholar on the African continental political unity in the political, economic and ideological fields of the struggle to achieve the continental socio-political, economic and ideological transformation in the strategic interests of Africa in its continental and international relations. As a means of demonstrating invaluable knowledge produced by Nkrumah for a critical engagement in the efforts to achieve African continental integration and transformation, this work provides a critical analysis of his position on the African continental integration and how the decisive majority of heads of state and government from the Organisation of African Unity to the African Union (AU) have waged the struggle against it.
Publisher:Institute for Preservation and Development, South Africa, 2021.

Leaving Iberia: Islamic Law and Christian Conquest in North West Africa
[مفارقة أيبيريا: الشريعة الإسلامية والفتح المسيحي في شمال غرب إفريقيا]
Author: Jocelyn Hendrickson

In her landmark new book Leaving Iberia: Islamic Law and Christian Conquest in North West Africa (Harvard UP, 2021), Jocelyn Hendrickson launches a searingly brilliant legal history centered on the question of how medieval and early modern Muslim jurists in Iberia and North Africa wrestled with various thorny questions of living under or migrating away from non-Muslim political sovereignty. This book combines meticulous social and political history with nimble and accessible readings of a vast range of sources from the Maliki School of law. What emerges from this exercise is a picture of the Maliki legal tradition in particular and Islamic law more broadly that is unavailable for predictable readings, enormously interesting, and deliciously complex. This lucid book should also be a delight to teach in various graduate and upper level under graduate courses..
Publisher: Harvard University Press, 2021.

Routledge Handbook of Islam in Africa
[دليل دار نشر روتليدج حول الإسلام في إفريقيا]
Author: (Ed.) Terje Østebø

Bringing together cutting-edge research from a range of disciplines, this handbook argues that despite often being overlooked or treated as marginal, the study of Islam from an African context is integral to the broader Muslim world. Challenging the portrayal of African Muslims as passive recipients of religious impetuses arriving from the outside, this book shows how the continent has been a site for the development of rich Islamic scholarship and religious discourses. Over the course of the book, the contributors reflect on: The history and infrastructure of Islam in Africa; Politics and Islamic reform; Gender, youth, and everyday life for African Muslims; New technologies, media, and popular culture.
Publisher: Routledge, 2022

Self-devouring Growth: a Planetary Parable as Told from Southern Africa
[النمو الاقتصادي المضر بالنفس: نموذج من جنوب أفريقيا]
Author: Julie Livingston

Under capitalism, economic growth is seen as the key to collective well-being. In Self-Devouring Growth Julie Livingston upends this notion, showing that while consumption-driven growth may seem to benefit a particular locale, it produces a number of unacknowledged, negative consequences that ripple throughout the wider world. Structuring the book as a parable in which the example of Botswana has lessons for the rest of the globe, Livingston shows how fundamental needs for water, food, and transportation become harnessed to what she calls self-devouring growth: an unchecked and unsustainable global pursuit of economic growth that threatens catastrophic environmental destruction. As Livingston notes, improved technology alone cannot stave off such destruction; what is required is a greater accounting of the web of relationships between humans, nonhuman beings, plants, and minerals that growth entails. Livingston contends that by failing to understand these relationships and the consequences of self-devouring growth, we may be unknowingly consuming our future..
Publisher: Duke University Press, 2021

Otherness and Pathology: The Fragmented Self and Madness in Contemporary African Fiction
[تمييز الآخر وعلم الأمراض: الذات المجزأة والجنون في الخيال الأفريقي المعاصر]
Author: Murimi Gaita, Wanjohi wa Makokha, Andrew Nyongesa

Scholars have problematized otherness and madness in diverse ways. There are those who hold that otherness is madness in itself of which leading voices are Michel Foucault and Gregory Reid. Other scholars contradict these voices and single out madness as a clinical condition that arises from strands of othering such as political, gender, class, age and racial. Frantz Fanon is the leading voice of this school of thought that demonstrates how othering destroys the psyche of the marginalised groups. This book extends Fanon’s thesis with regard to madness in selected works of African fiction. Whereas Fanon stops at conceptualisation of the nexus between othering and madness, in this book, the authors incorporate the fragmented self, which is equally disabling.
Publisher: Mwanaka Media and Publishing, Zimbabwe, 2021.

Apartheid’s Black Soldiers: Unnational Wars and Militaries in Southern Africa
[ جنود نظام أبارتايد من السود: الحروب والجيوش غير الرسمية في جنوب إفريقيا]
Author: Lennart Bolliger

New oral histories from Black Namibian and Angolan troops who fought in apartheid South Africa’s security forces reveal their involvement, and its impact on their lives, to be far more complicated than most historical scholarship has acknowledged. In anticolonial struggles across the African continent, tens of thousands of African soldiers served in the militaries of colonial and settler states. In southern Africa, they often made up the bulk of these militaries and, in some contexts, far outnumbered those who fought in the liberation movements’ armed wings. Despite these soldiers’ significant impact on the region’s military and political history, this dimension of southern Africa’s anticolonial struggles has been almost entirely ignored in previous scholarship. Focusing on three case studies of predominantly Black units commanded by White officers, Bolliger investigates how and why these soldiers participated in South Africa’s security forces and considers the legacies of that involvement. In tackling these questions, he rejects the common tendency to categorize the soldiers as “collaborators” and “traitors” and reveals the un-national facets of anticolonial struggles.
Publisher: Ohio University Press, 2021.

Wisdom of The Tumbuka People
[ حكم ومزايا شعب تومبوكا]
Author: William Mumba

Proverbs in Africa are capsules of the wisdom of the people. Luviri Press is happy to present another collection of such proverbs this time focussing on the Tumbuka people who live in Northern Malawi and Eastern Zambia. The people of Central Africa are a mixed people with mixed cultures due to a mixed history. Citumbuka, the language as it is known today, is a result of a complex process of interactions of the different languages of ethnic groups knitted together by historical events. A study of the Tumbuka proverbs and expressions reveal this cultural interaction. Publisher:Luviri Press, Malawi, 2022.

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