Research Africa News: June 25th, 2021

Research Africa News: June 25th, 2021

”The Dialectics of Maguphilia and Maguphobia”
By Issa Shivji Professor Emeritus, University of Dar Es Salaam
Codesria Bulletin online, N°13, June 2021

CODESRIA has been keen to analyse emerging trends in Africa and beyond. We have previously shared reflections on Mali and provided analyses of elections in Uganda and Ghana, to name but these few. In this CODESRIA Bulletin Online, we share with you Prof. Issa Shivji’s engaging study on “The Dialectics of Maguphilia and Maguphobia.” Terming Magufuli as a political phenomenon, he documents how its ‘messianic Bonaparte’ character emerged out of the history of party politics in Tanzania and concludes with a stark lesson for the working people – they are on their own and cannot wait for a messiah to deliver them..
Read the rest of the article here.

Why has Europe’s Past Become Africa’s Postcolonial Present? Reflections on Mahmood Mamdani’s Ideas on Decolonising the Political Community
By Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni Chair, Epistemologies of the Global South, University of Bayreuth, Germany

The leading Ugandan intellectual, Mahmood Mamdani, has since the publication of his seminal book Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism (1996) been making cutting-edge interventions in understanding how Europe ruled Africa, how colonialists dealt with what they called the ‘native question’, how colonial governmentality interpellated African nationalism and shaped African political consciousness, how colonialism manufactured problematic, antagonistic and racially hierarchised political identities, how the legacy of late colonialism lives on in postcolonial Africa long after the dismantlement of the physical empire, and indeed how to make sense of conflicts and violence including genocides.
Read the rest of the article at CODESRIA.

Newly discovered cathedral in Dongola – Polish research in Sudan Archaeologists working in Old Dongola (Sudan) found the remains of what may be the largest church known from medieval Nubia.
BY J. Chyla 31 MAY 2021

Newly discovered cathedral could have been the seat of an archbishop governing the church hierarchy over a 1000 km-long stretch along the Nile, between the 1st and 5th cataracts. The archbishop of Dongola oversaw the bishop of Faras, whose cathedral with its famous wall paintings was discovered by Prof. Kazimierz Michałowski 60 years ago.
Read the article here.

The Black Body As A Moving Ancestral Archive
By Wanelisa Xaba, MAY 20, 2021.

My thoughts about the body as a moving ancestral archive were prompted by the fire at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Or rather, by my disappointment at Black people’s response to the fire that destroyed indigenous archives at the African Studies Library. As I waded through the collective Black middle class (?) despair on my social media timeline, I was overwhelmed with anger..
Read the research article here.

Sudan’s ‘forgotten’ pyramids risk being buried by shifting sand dunes June
The Conversation, 14, 2021

The word “pyramid” is synonymous with Egypt, but it is actually neighbouring Sudan that is home to the world’s largest collection of these spectacular ancient structures.
Beginning around 2500BC, Sudan’s ancient Nubian civilisation left behind more than 200 pyramids that rise out of the desert across three archaeological sites: El Kurru, Jebel Barkal and Meroe, in addition to temples, tombs and royal burial chambers.
Read the rest of the story here.

River Nile dam: Egypt new African allies
By Jennifer Aldric, June 24, 2021.

Armed forces of Egypt and Sudan complete a joint military exercise in southern Kardavan province, Sudan on May 31, 2021 Egypt is trying to strengthen its diplomatic and military clout in Africa amid an escalating dispute with Ethiopia over the building of a huge dam on a tributary of the River Nile, writes Egypt analyst Magdi Abdelhadi. The Egyptian Geographic Society, established in 1875, houses some valuable manuscripts that reflect Egypt’s long-standing interest in sub-Saharan Africa.
Read the rest of the story here.

NEW BOOKS ‫كتب جديدة

From #Rhodesmustfall Movements to #Humansmustfall Movements: African Liberation Movements in the Age of the Transhumanist Geographies of Death
[من مقاومة الى أخري: حركات التحرير الأفريقية في عصر جغرافيات الموت وعهد ما بعد الإنسانية]
Author: (editors) Bornway Mwanyara Chiripanhura, Artwell Nhemachena, and Jairos Kangira

Might it be possible that the world is being migrated into an era where the imperial periphery will be increasingly governed through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics designed to replace human beings? Celebrated as efficient, strong, unfailing, tireless, precise and beyond corruption, AI and robots are set to replace African leaders who are imperially deemed to be and consistently condemned as corrupt, failed, weak and inefficient. But, if these AI and robots are neo-imperial tools and machinations, the million-dollar question is whether empire is not returning to recolonise the [supposedly inefficient] Africans via the new technologies and machinism? Where Africans once celebrated their liberation war movements, empire has emplaced what it calls liberation technologies designed to supposedly liberate African youths from their own states and governments led by liberation movements. Where Africans once celebrated their liberation war movements, empire has placed its own NGOs/CSOs spewing liberal ideologies designed to ostensibly liberate African youths from their own supposedly failed and corrupt states and government leaders. With African youths/citizens allying not with their liberation movements but with the liberation technologies and liberal NGOs/CSOs, it is not surprising why African citizens oppose their states-led Fast-Track Land Redistribution Programmes while ironically they happily celebrate Fast-Tracked COVID-19 Vaccines.
Publisher: Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon, 2021.

Sites of Contestation: Encounters with the Ernst and Ruth Dammann Collection in the Archives of the Basler Afrika Bibliographien
[ساحات الاحتكاك: دروس من أرشيفات مجموعة إرنست وروث داممان]
Author: Julia Rensing, Lorena Rizzo, Wanda Rutishauser

This book is a collection of essays written by emerging scholars at the University of Basel on the basis of their subjective encounters with a specific archival collection housed in the Basler Afrika Bibliographien in Basel. The Ernst and Ruth Dammann collection consists of around 8100 images, 750 audio recordings and numerous manuscripts, diaries and notes. The German couple conducted research on Namibian oral literatures and languages as they were spoken and performed across the country in the early 1950s. Based on in-depth engagement with the textual, visual and audio records assembled in this intricate collection, the authors of this book critically interrogated the implications of opening a colonial archive, exploring alternative ways of reading and understanding the historical material. As unique examples of close reading and listening, the essays propose creative ways of attending to the politics of race, gender, famine, ethnography, biography and fiction in colonial knowledge production.
Publisher: Basler Afrika Bibliographien, Namibia, 2021.

Quranic Schools in Northern Nigeria: Everyday Experiences of Youth, Faith, and Poverty
[عن المدارس القرآنية في شمال نيجريا]
Author: Hannah Hoechner

This book offers an alternative perspective on youth, faith, and poverty. Mobilizing insights from scholarship on education, poverty research and childhood and youth studies, Hannah Hoechner, lecturer at the School of International Development, University of East Anglia, describes how religious discourses can moderate feelings of inadequacy triggered by experiences of exclusion, and how Qur’anic school enrollment offers a way forward in constrained circumstances, even though it likely reproduces poverty in the long run. In our conversation we discuss the rural economy of Northern Nigeria, educational options for young boys, the activities of the Qur’anic school, how boys support themselves through domestic service, youth masculinity, poverty and economic instability, politics of respectability, the “prayer economy” and spiritual services, and participatory research and video production.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 2018.

The Invention of the Maghreb
[اختراع المغرب العربي ]
Author: Abdelmajid Hannoum

Under French colonial rule, the region of the Maghreb emerged as distinct from two other geographical entities that, too, are colonial inventions: the Middle East and Africa. In this book, Abdelmajid Hannoum demonstrates how the invention of the Maghreb started long before the conquest of Algiers and lasted until the time of independence, and beyond, to our present. Through an interdisciplinary study of French colonial modernity, Hannoum examines how colonialism made extensive use of translations of Greek, Roman, and Arabic texts and harnessed high technologies of power to reconfigure the region and invent it. In the process, he analyzes a variety of forms of colonial knowledge including historiography, anthropology, cartography, literary work, archaeology, linguistics, and racial theories. He shows how local engagement with colonial politics and its modes of knowledge were instrumental in the modern making of the region, including in its postcolonial era, as a single unit divorced from Africa and from the Middle East. Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 2021.

The Outside: Migration As Life in Morocco
[من النوادر: الهجرة كطريقة للحياة في المغرب]
Author: Alice Elliot

The Outside: Migration as Life in Morocco (Indiana UP, 2021) traces how migration has come to occupy a striking place in the lives of many Moroccans. A full 10 percent of the population now lives outside the country, affecting individual and collective life in countless unanticipated ways. In this intimate ethnography of rural Morocco, Alice Elliot considers the experience of migration from the point of view of the families and people, mostly women, who have not (yet) left. Elliot shows how the specter of migration has permeated life, from kinship relations to intimacy between spouses and to the imagination of the future. The Outside seeks to answer the question, what is migration when it becomes the very foundation on which forms of social and individual life are built? New understandings of migration emerge through its intimate textures as Elliot shows how it has become, in some parts of the world, a distinctive condition of everyday life..
Publisher: Indiana University Press, 2021.

Charles de Foucauld’s Reconnaissance au Maroc, 1883–1884: A Critical Edition in English [ استطلاعات شارل دي فوكو في المغرب ، 1883-1884]
Author: Rosemary A. Peters-Hill

This book seeks to turn that model on its head. Rosemary Peters-Hill provides an in-depth examination of the year Foucauld spent exploring Morocco in 1883–1884, after he had resigned his army commission and taught himself Arabic and Hebrew. This book is more than merely a translation: it is a meticulously researched and documented critical edition that addresses the history of nineteenth-century French colonial endeavors and Moroccan resistance to them; cultural traditions and spaces within the closed country where Foucauld sojourned; the intersections of language, politics, and economics with religion; the praxis of Arabic and Berber interactions and the ways in which official cartographies neglect local knowledge of tribal and seasonal rituals; and the failures of Empire when it comes to defining or delimiting national identity.
Publisher: Anthem Press; Critical edition, 2021.

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