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The Colonial Order and the Creation of Knowledge
The Demographics of Empire is a collection of essays examining the multifaceted nature of the colonial science of demography in the last two centuries. The contributing scholars of Africa and the British and French empires focus on three questions: How have historians, demographers, and other social scientists understood colonial populations? What were the demographic realities of African societies and how did they affect colonial systems of power? Finally, how did demographic theories developed in Europe shape policies and administrative structures in the colonies? The essays approach the subject as either broad analyses of major demographic questions in Africa’s history or focused case studies that demonstrate how particular historical circumstances in individual African societies contributed to differing levels of fertility, mortality, and migration. Together, the contributors to The Demographics of Empire question demographic orthodoxy, and in particular the assumption that African societies in the past exhibited a single demographic regime characterized by high fertility and high mortality.
The Civil War Letters of William McKnight, Seventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry
Dog Eat Dog is a remarkable record of being young in a nation undergoing
tremendous turmoil, and provides a glimpse into South Africa’s
pivotal kwaito (South African hip-hop) generation and life in Soweto.
Set in 1994, just as South Africa is making its postapartheid transition,
Dog Eat Dog captures the hopes—and crushing disappointments—
that characterize such moments in a nation’s history.
Raucous and darkly humorous, Dog Eat Dog is narrated by Dingamanzi
Makhedama Njomane, a college student in South Africa who
spends his days partying, skipping class, and picking up girls. But
Dingz, as he is known to his friends, is living in charged times, and
his discouraging college life plays out against the backdrop of South
Africa’s first democratic elections, the spread of AIDS, and financial
difficulties that threaten to force him out of school.
Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Race and Law
Angola and Its Neighbors
The dark years of European fascism left their indelible mark on Africa. As late as the 1970s, Angola was still ruled by white autocrats, whose dictatorship was eventually overthrown by black nationalists who had never experienced either the rule of law or participatory democracy. Empire in Africa takes the long view of history and asks whether the colonizing ventures of the Portuguese can bear comparison with those of the Mediterranean Ottomans or those experienced by Angola’s neighbors in the Belgian Congo, French Equatorial Africa, or the Dutch colonies at the Cape of Good Hope and in the Transvaal. David Birmingham takes the reader through Angola’s troubled past, which included endemic warfare for the first twenty-five years of independence, and examines the fact that in the absence of a viable neocolonial referee such as Britain or France, the warring parties turned to Cold War superpowers for a supply of guns. For a decade Angola replaced Vietnam as a field in which an international war by proxy was conducted. Empire in Africa explains how this African nation went from colony to independence, how in the 1990s the Cold War legacy turned to civil war, and how peace finally dawned in 2002.
Literary and Environmental Studies in Africa
Environment at the Margins brings literary and environmental studies into a robust interdisciplinary dialogue, challenging dominant ideas about nature, conservation, and development in Africa and exploring alternative narratives offered by writers and environmental thinkers. The essays examine how geographers, anthropologists, and historians make use of literature and how they apply theories and ideas drawn from their respective fields in the study of both African and colonial literatures. Contributors analyze the writing of Nadine Gordimer and J. M. Coetzee and the intersections between literary and policy devices in the works of Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Zakes Mda, Mia Couto, Ben Okri, and Wangari Maathai. These postcolonial ecocritical discussions focus on dialogue among disciplines and among different visions of African environments. Through its cross-disciplinary approach, Environment at the Margins moves African ecocriticism beyond the marginalized visions of the imaginary Africa.
The landscapes of the Middle East have captured our imaginations throughout history. Images of endless golden dunes, camel caravans, isolated desert oases, and rivers lined with palm trees have often framed written and visual representations of the region. Embedded in these portrayals is the common belief that the environment, in most places, has been deforested and desertified by centuries of misuse. It is precisely such orientalist environmental imaginaries, increasingly undermined by contemporary ecological data, that the eleven authors in this volume question. This is the first volume to critically examine culturally constructed views of the environmental history of the Middle East and suggest that they have often benefitted elites at the expense of the ecologies and the peoples of the region. The contributors expose many of the questionable policies and practices born of these environmental imaginaries and related histories that have been utilized in the region since the colonial period. They further reveal how power, in the form of development programs, notions of nationalism, and hydrological maps, for instance, relates to environmental knowledge production.