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Death, Belief and Politics in Central African History

In this set of essays Walima T. Kalusa and Megan Vaughan explore themes in the history of death in Zambia and Malawi from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Drawing on extensive archival and oral historical research they examine the impact of Christianity on spiritual beliefs, the racialised politics of death on the colonial Copperbelt, the transformation of burial practices, the histories of suicide and of maternal mortality, and the political life of the corpse.

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Domesticating a Religious Import

The Jesuits and the Inculturation of the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe, 1879-1980

Nicholas M. Creary

Catholic theologians have developed the relatively new term inculturationto discuss the old problem of adapting the church universal to specific local cultures. Europeans needed a thousand years to inculturate Christianity from its Judaic roots. Africans' efforts to make the church their own followed a similar process but in less than a century. Until now, there has been no book-length examination of the Catholic church's pastoral mission in Zimbabwe or of African Christians' efforts to inculturate the church.Ranging over the century after Jesuit missionaries first settled in what is now Zimbabwe, this enlightening book reveals two simultaneous and intersecting processes: the Africanization of the Catholic Church by African Christians and the discourse of inculturation promulgated by the Church. With great attention to detail, it places the history of African Christianity within the broader context of the history of religion in Africa. This illuminating work will contribute to current debates about the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe and throughout Africa.

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The Dust Rose Like Smoke

The Subjugation of the Zulu and the Sioux, Second Edition

James O. Gump

In 1876 Lakota and Cheyenne warriors annihilated Custer’s Seventh Cavalry at Little Bighorn. Three years later and half a world away, a British force was wiped out by Zulu warriors at Isandhlwana in South Africa. In both cases the total defeat of regular army troops by forces regarded as undisciplined barbarian tribesmen stunned an imperial nation.

Although the similarities between the two frontier encounters have long been noted, James O. Gump’s book The Dust Rose Like Smoke is the first to scrutinize them in a comparative context. “This study issues a challenge to American exceptionalism,” he writes. Viewing both episodes as part of a global pattern of intensified conflict in the latter 1800s resulting from Western domination over a vast portion of the globe, Gump’s comparative study persuasively traces the origins and aftermath of both episodes.

He examines the complicated ways in which Lakota and Zulu leadership sought to protect indigenous interests while Western leadership calculated their subjugation to imperial authority. 
The second edition includes a new preface from the author, revised and expanded chapters, and an interview with Leonard Little Finger (great-great-grandson of Ghost Dance leader Big Foot), whose story connects Wounded Knee and Nelson Mandela.

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Epidemics

The Story of South Africa's Five Most Lethal Human Diseases

Howard Phillips

This is the first history of epidemics in South Africa, lethal episodes that significantly shaped this society over three centuries. Focusing on five devastating diseases between 1713 and today—smallpox, bubonic plague, “Spanish influenza,” polio, and HIV/AIDS—the book probes their origins, their catastrophic courses, and their consequences in both the short and long terms. The impacts of these epidemics ranged from the demographic—the “Spanish flu,” for instance, claimed the lives of 6 percent of the country’s population in six weeks—to the political, the social, the economic, the spiritual, the psychological, and the cultural. Moreover, as each of these epidemics occurred at crucial moments in the country’s history—such as during the South African War and World War I—the book also examines how these processes affected and were affected by the five epidemics. To those who read this book, history will not look the same again.

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Erika Sutter: Seen with Other Eyes

Memories of a Swiss Eye Doctor in Rural South Africa

The Swiss ophthalmologist Erika Sutter was born in Basel in 1917. She spent 32 years working in Elim Hospital, founded by the Swiss Mission in an impoverished rural area in North-Eastern South Africa. Together with her African colleague and friend, Selina Maphorogo, she founded the Care Groups, village self-help groups working for better health in their communities. The movement is still active after more than 30 years, and now has around 2,000 members, mostly women, in over 200 villages. Erika Sutter has received numerous international honours and awards for her pioneering work, including the award ìWoman of the Yearî in 1984 from the South African newspaper ìThe Starî, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Basel. For the creation of this biography, Erika Sutter spent many hours with the author, her friend Gertrud Stiehle, telling the story of her long life ñ vividly, with a sharp eye for social issues, a hint of self-irony, and dry wit. Her account does not ignore events in the wider world. She experienced life on the Swiss-German border during the Second World War, and her years of working in South Africa were those when the apartheid policies of the South African Government were becoming more and more repressive, affecting many aspects of life in the country.

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Faku

Rulership and Colonialism in the Mpondo Kingdom (c. 1780-1867)

From roughly 1818 to 1867, Faku was ruler of the Mpondo Kingdom located in what is now the north-east section of the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Because of Faku’s legacy, the Mpondo Kingdom became the last African state in Southern Africa to fall under colonial rule.

When his father died, Faku inherited his power. In a period of intense raiding, migration and state formation, he transformed the Mpondo polity from a loosely organized constellation of tributary groups to a centralized and populous state with effective military capabilities and a prosperous agricultural foundation. In 1830, Faku allowed Wesleyan missionaries to establish a station within his kingdom and they became his main channel of communication with the Cape Colony, and later Natal. Ironically, he never showed any serious inclination to convert to Christianity.

From the 1840s to early 1850s, this Mpondo king played a central, yet often understated, role in the British colonization of South Africa. While over the years his territory and power declined, Faku remained quite astute in diplomatic negotiations with colonial officials and used his missionary connections to optimum advantage.

Timothy J. Stapleton’s narrative and use of oral history paint a clear and remarkable portrait of Faku and how he was able to manipulate missionaries, neighbours, colonists and circumstances to achieve his objectives. As a result, Faku: Rulership and Colonialism in the Mpondo Kingdom (c.1780-1867) helps illuminate the history of the entire Cape region.

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From Foreign Natives to Native Foreigners. Explaining Xenophobia in Post-apartheid South Africa

Explaining Xenophobia in Post-apartheid South Africa

The events of May 2008 in which 62 people were killed simply for being ëforeigní and thousands were turned overnight into refugees shook the South African nation. This book is the first to attempt a comprehensive and rigorous explanation for those horrific events. It argues that xenophobia should be understood as a political discourse and practice. As such its historical development as well as the conditions of its existence must be elucidated in terms of the practices and prescriptions which structure the field of politics. In South Africa, the history of xenophobia is intimately connected to the manner in which citizenship has been conceived and fought over during the past fifty years at least. Migrant labour was de-nationalised by the apartheid state, while African nationalism saw the same migrant labour as the foundation of that oppressive system. Only those who could show a family connection with the colonial and apartheid formation of South Africa could claim citizenship at liberation. Others were excluded and seen as unjustified claimants to national resources. Xenophobiaís conditions of existence, the book argues, are to be found in the politics of post-apartheid nationalism where state prescriptions founded on indigeneity have been allowed to dominate uncontested in conditions of an overwhelmingly passive conception of citizenship. The de-politicisation of an urban population, which had been able to assert its agency during the 1980s through a discourse of human rights in particular, contributed to this passivity. Such state liberal politics have remained largely unchallenged. As in other cases of post-colonial transition in Africa, the hegemony of xenophobic discourse, the book contends, is to be sought in the specific character of the state consensus.

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From Northern Rhodesia to Zambia. Recollections of a DO/DC 1962-73

Recollections of a DO/DC 1962-73

The birth of a new nation is an exciting time. Mick Bond spent the years 1962-73 as a District Officer and a District Commissioner, actively participating in the demise of the colonial regime and then as a civil servant in independent Zambia. This detailed account of his life and work includes the daily routine of a colonial officer, his personal experiences of the 1964 Lumpa conflict and his involvement in the elections of 1962, 1964, and 1968.

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Govan Mbeki

Colin Bundy

Govan Mbeki (1910–2001) was a core leader of the African National Congress, the Communist Party, and the armed wing of the ANC during the struggle against apartheid. Known as a hard-liner, Mbeki was a prolific writer and combined in a rare way the attributes of intellectual and activist, political theorist and practitioner. Sentenced to life in prison in 1964 along with Nelson Mandela and others, he was sent to the notorious Robben Island prison, where he continued to write even as tension grew between himself, Mandela, and other leaders over the future of the national liberation movement. As one of the greatest leaders of the antiapartheid movement, and the father of Thabo Mbeki, president of South Africa from 1999 to 2008, the elder Mbeki holds a unique position in South African politics and history.

This biography by noted historian Colin Bundy goes beyond the narrative details of his long life: it analyzes his thinking, expressed in his writings over fifty years. Bundy helps establish what is distinctive about Mbeki: as African nationalist and as committed Marxist — and more than any other leader of the liberation movement — he sought to link theory and practice, ideas and action.

Drawing on exclusive interviews Bundy did with Mbeki, careful analysis of his writings, and the range of scholarship about his life, this biography is personal, reflective, thoroughly researched, and eminently readable.

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Grounds of Engagement

Apartheid-Era African American and South African Writing

Stéphane Robolin

Part literary history, part cultural study, Grounds of Engagement examines the relationships and exchanges between black South African and African American writers who sought to create common ground throughout the antiapartheid era. Stéphane Robolin argues that the authors' geographic imaginations crucially defined their individual interactions and, ultimately, the literary traditions on both sides of the Atlantic. Subject to the tyranny of segregation, authors such as Richard Wright, Bessie Head, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Keorapetse Kgositsile, Michelle Cliff, and Richard Rive charted their racialized landscapes and invented freer alternative geographies. They crafted rich representations of place to challenge the stark social and spatial arrangements that framed their lives. Those representations, Robolin contends, also articulated their desires for black transnational belonging and political solidarity. The first book to examine U.S. and South African literary exchanges in spatial terms, Grounds of Engagement identifies key moments in this understudied history of black cross-cultural exchange, exposing how geography serves as an indispensable means of shaping and reshaping modern racial meaning.

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