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African Books Collective

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Bakassi: Or the Politics of Exclusion and Occupation?

This is a complex volume that combines a good deal of survey data on Bakassi and its populations with more ethnographically based insights into the conditions of the Bakassi communities. The book is the outcome of research carried out by Fongot Kini between 2004 and 2009. The work is intended to serve as first hand exhaustive information on the live situation in the contested Bakassi Cameroon-Nigeria border region. The term Bakassi engenders multiple meanings loaded with many conflicting emotional, spiritual and material interests. Native inhabitants are systematically disinherited of their ancestral cultural heritage and socio-economic resources. They are bastardised, humiliated and scammed by unscrupulous opportunists who deliberately misidentify them with intentions of dispossessing them of their ancestral lands and natural resources. Overall the author is in sympathy with the Bakassi who he argues have been marginalised and neglected by the Cameroon state. In particular, the value of the indigenous communities in terms of local economies as well as securing this vital border area has not been recognised and various external groups have been either allowed or encouraged to settle there to both the detriment of local populations and to the security of the region.

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Bare and Breaking

Karin Schimke is a widely published journalist and columnist, and the Cape Times books editor. She also works as a writing tutor and mentor, an author of non-fiction ñ including the best-selling Fabulously Forty and Beyond, co-written with Margie Orford - of childrenís books and of short stories. She edited Open, an anthology of erotic short stories written by some of South Africaís best known women writers. Her poetry has appeared in South Africa Writing, New Contrast, New Coin and Carapace magazines. Bare & Breaking is her first collection of poems.

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The Barn

As a veteran playwright and actor, Kwo Victor Elame Musinga is more than just a pioneer in popular theatre. His simple but profound messages demonstrate a depth of understanding and insight into human nature and the nature of society. The texts he crafts are universal and timeless in their content and appeal, even as the themes and situations that inspire them are localized in specific places, experiences and histories. The Barn is a collection of three topical plays. Njema captures the predicament of love in a context where innocence and trust are preyed upon by deceit, dishonesty, promiscuity, waywardness, callous indifference to human life, the reckless abandon of parental authority and wisdom by youth in a hurry to celebrate sexuality, irresponsible manhood with or without the connivance of girls/women, and HIV/AIDS and its terror. Invitation to God addresses elitism and fair-weather friendship even among believers. In Moka, the theme of friendship is explored through the simple act of dishonesty and greed, especially to those with whom one should be nothing but virtuous, open, generous and kind. In these plays Kwo Victor Elame Musinga explores the virtues of being human, while addressing the dark side of humanity.

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A Basket of Flaming Ashes

Ashuntantang is an extraordinary weaver of words who showcases vivid pictures that compete with 3D simulation. Her greatest asset is her use of the beautiful traditional Cameroonian anchor that evokes folk tales with its moonlight romance and glory. You feel, laugh, weep, shiver, wonder, and hail the triumphant spirit of the persona as it navigates African postcolonial and global experiences with the melancholy of an exile who is purposeful, strategic, and a lot of fun.

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A Basket of Kola Nuts

Bold, original and stimulating in its inspirational insights, A Basket of Kola Nuts explores Cameroonís cultures as remarkable pivots of moral rectitude and such sickening vicious-circles as bribery and corruption. Ethnically grass-rooted and globalizing rather than alarmingly exotic and exclusive, this poetic diction of form-content aims at revitalizing its material contents to sever it from extinction and revamp cultural values that break the patience of silence to question deviation rather than the concrete interface of cultural identities and differences. Uprightly appealing, this poetry gathers kola seeds that fall apart in crisis to invite readers world-wide to taste its kolaly aroma.

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Battling over Human Rights

Twenty Essays on Law, Politics and Governance

J. Oloka-Onyango

This book brings together twenty think-pieces on contemporary Human Rights issues at the international, regional and national level by one of Africa's foremost scholars of International Human Rights and Constitutional Law, J. Oloka-Onyango. Ranging from the 'Arab Spring' to the Right to Education, the collection is both an in-depth analysis of discrete topics as well as a critical reflection on the state of human rights around the world today. Taking up issues such as the African reaction to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the question of truth and reconciliation before the outbreak of post-election violence in Kenya and the links between globalization and racism, the book is a tour de force of issues that are both unique as well as pertinent to human rights struggles around the world.

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Becoming Zimbabwe. A History from the Pre-colonial Period to 2008

A History from the Pre-colonial Period to 2008

Becoming Zimbabwe is the first comprehensive history of Zimbabwe, spanning the years from 850 to 2008. In 1997, the then Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Morgan Tsvangirai, expressed the need for a 'more open and critical process of writing history in Zimbabwe. ...The history of a nation-in-the-making should not be reduced to a selective heroic tradition, but should be a tolerant and continuing process of questioning and re-examination.' Becoming Zimbabwe tracks the idea of national belonging and citizenship and explores the nature of state rule, the changing contours of the political economy, and the regional and international dimensions of the country's history. In their Introduction, Brian Raftopoulos and Alois Mlambo enlarge on these themes, and Gerald Mazarire's opening chapter sets the pre-colonial background. Sabelo Ndlovu tracks the history up to WW11, and Alois Mlambo reviews developments in the settler economy and the emergence of nationalism leading to UDI in 1965. The politics and economics of the UDI period, and the subsequent war of liberation, are covered by Joesph Mtisi, Munyaradzi Nyakudya and Teresa Barnes. After independence in 1980, Zimbabwe enjoyed a period of buoyancy and hope. James Muzondidya's chapter details the transition 'from buoyancy to crisis', and Brian Raftopoulos concludes the book with an analysis of the decade-long crisis and the global political agreement which followed.

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The Bed Book of Short Stories

The bed, dressed in hand sewn quilt or threadbare blanket, may in and of itself be memorable, but it is what happens in the bed ñ the sex and lovemaking, the dreams, the reading, the nightmares, the rest, giving birth and dying ñ which give ëbedí special meaning. Whether a bed is shared with a book, a child, a pet or a partner, whether lovers lie in ecstasy or indifference, whether ëbedí relates to intimacy or betrayal, it is memories and recollections of ëbedí, in whatever form, which have triggered the writing of these thirty stories by women from southern Africa. Well known writers Joanne Fedler, Sarah Lotz, Arja Salafranca, Rosemund Handler and Liesl Jobson will delight, but you will discover here new writers from Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia and Zambia, each with a unique voice as they cast light on the intimate lives of women living in this part of the world and the possibilities that are both available to and denied them. The BED BOOK of short stories ñ some quirky and tender, others traumatic or macabre ñ is the perfect companion to take to bed with you, to keep you reading long into the night.

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Before the Rainbow

Emmanuel Fru Doh, a native of Cameroon, holds a Ph.D. from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. He taught at the University of Yaounde (E.N.S. Bambili) for almost a decade-the 90s-before leaving for the US. He then had a brief stint as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota before settling into the Department of English at Century, a College within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) System. Poet, novelist, social and literary critic, Emmanuel Fru Doh is the author of Nomads: The Memoir of a Southern Cameroonian.

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Being Available and Reachable

New Media and Cameroonian Transnational Sociality

The book investigates what have become of Cameroonian transnational family and friendship ties in the age of the mobile phone and the internet that make people readily available and reachable. Most theoretical literature states that these tools of sociality cement transnational social relationships through instantaneous interaction. To capture the different experiences and impressions on the significance of these media in easing communication for migrants and non-migrants, Tazanu draws on ethnographic accounts based on his fieldwork in Freiburg (Germany) and Buea (Cameroon). He argues that it is mainly the migrants who maintain or are expected to maintain ties with non-migrants back in Cameroon through calls and material support. The main finding of the study is that cell phones and the internet have facilitated discontents, grudges, insults, fights, avoidance, arguments and estrangement of relationships much more than they have contributed to binding friends or families through direct mediation. Underlying these aspects of distanciation are the high expectations and sometimes contradictory motives for instant virtual interaction. Non-migrantsí accounts suggest that direct availability and reachability should lead to uninterrupted transnational interaction and also that the cultural practices of remittances from migrants are easily requested and coordinated. Such motives are generally contrary to migrantsí wishes, willingness or ability to support friends and families in Cameroon. These unexpected outcomes arising from rapid speed of interaction questions the advantages that are often associated with instant sociality across space and time. The finding is a call for the cultural background and life-world experiences of media users to be taken into consideration when theorising the significance of information technology in the debate on media globalisation.

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