515 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Africa about their New Books
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New Books in African Studies Marshall Poe

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 32 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of Africa about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/african-studies

    Janet I. Lewis, "How Insurgency Begins: Rebel Group Formation in Uganda and Beyond" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    Janet I. Lewis, "How Insurgency Begins: Rebel Group Formation in Uganda and Beyond" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    How and why do rebel groups initially form? Prevailing scholarship has attributed the emergence of armed rebellion to the explosion of pre-mobilized political or ethnic hostilities. However, this book finds both uncertainty and secrecy shrouding the start of insurgency in weak states.
    Examining why only some incipient armed rebellions succeed in becoming viable challengers to governments, How Insurgency Begins: Rebel Group Formation in Uganda and Beyond (Cambridge University Press, 2020) by Dr. Janet I. Lewis shows that rumors circulating in places where rebel groups form can influence civilians' perceptions of both rebels and the state. By revealing the connections between villagers' trusted network structures and local ethnic demography, Janet I. Lewis shows how ethnic networks facilitate the spread of pro-rebel rumors.
    This in-depth analysis of conflicts in Uganda and neighbouring states speaks to scholars and policymakers seeking to understand the motives and actions of those initiating armed rebellion, those witnessing the process in their community, and those trying to stop it.
    This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.
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    • 57 min
    Aomar Boum and Sarah Abrevaya Stein, "Wartime North Africa: A Documentary History, 1934-1950" (Stanford UP, 2022)

    Aomar Boum and Sarah Abrevaya Stein, "Wartime North Africa: A Documentary History, 1934-1950" (Stanford UP, 2022)

    Aomar Boum and Sarah Abrevaya Stein's book Wartime North Africa: A Documentary History, 1934-1950 (Stanford UP, 2022), the first-ever collection of primary documents on North African history and the Holocaust, gives voice to the diversity of those involved--Muslims, Christians, and Jews; women, men, and children; black, brown, and white; the unknown and the notable; locals, refugees, the displaced, and the interned; soldiers, officers, bureaucrats, volunteer fighters, and the forcibly recruited. At times their calls are lofty, full of spiritual lamentation and political outrage. At others, they are humble, yearning for medicine, a cigarette, or a pair of shoes.
    Translated from French, Arabic, North African Judeo-Arabic, Spanish, Hebrew, Moroccan Darija, Tamazight (Berber), Italian, and Yiddish, or transcribed from their original English, these writings shed light on how war, occupation, race laws, internment, and Vichy French, Italian fascist, and German Nazi rule were experienced day by day across North Africa. Though some selections are drawn from published books, including memoirs, diaries, and collections of poetry, most have never been published before, nor previously translated into English. These human experiences, combined, make up the history of wartime North Africa.
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    • 1 hr 4 min
    Ruti G. Teitel, "Transitional Justice" (Oxford UP, 2000)

    Ruti G. Teitel, "Transitional Justice" (Oxford UP, 2000)

    Societies that are throwing off the yoke of authoritarian rule and beginning to build democracies face a daunting question: should they punish the representatives of the ancien regime or let bygones be bygones? In her interview, Professor Ruti Teitel talks both about these choices and more broadly about transitional justice as a field. Her book, Transitional Justice, published in year 2000 with Oxford University Press, takes this question to a new level with an interdisciplinary approach that challenges the very terms of the contemporary debate. The book explores the recurring dilemma of how regimes should respond to evil rule, arguing against the prevailing view favoring punishment, yet contending that the law plays a profound role in periods of radical change. In her interview, Teitel also touches on the growth of transitional justice as a field, the challenges to redress the past faced by Latin America, South Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, as well as North America, the ways in which the International Criminal Court and other actors could prosecute perpetrators once the war in Ukraine is over, as well as her current and future research projects. The interview showcases her unparalleled knowledge of transitional justice scholarship and practice.
    Lavinia Stan is a professor of political science at St. Francis Xavier University in Canada.
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    • 59 min
    Burleigh Hendrickson, "Decolonizing 1968: Transnational Student Activism in Tunis, Paris, and Dakar" (Cornell UP, 2022)

    Burleigh Hendrickson, "Decolonizing 1968: Transnational Student Activism in Tunis, Paris, and Dakar" (Cornell UP, 2022)

    Decolonizing 1968: Transnational Student Activism in Tunis, Paris, and Dakar (Cornell UP, 2022) explores how activists in 1968 transformed university campuses across Europe and North Africa into sites of contestation where students, administrators, and state officials collided over definitions of modernity and nationhood after empire. 
    Burleigh Hendrickson details protesters' versions of events to counterbalance more visible narratives that emerged from state-controlled media centers and ultimately describes how the very education systems put in place to serve the French state during the colonial period ended up functioning as the crucible of postcolonial revolt. Hendrickson not only unearths complex connections among activists and their transnational networks across Tunis, Paris, and Dakar but also weaves together their overlapping stories and participation in France's May '68.
    Using global protest to demonstrate the enduring links between France and its former colonies, Decolonizing 1968 traces the historical relationships between colonialism and 1968 activism, examining transnational networks that emerged and new human and immigrants' rights initiatives that directly followed. As a result, Hendrickson reveals that 1968 is not merely a flashpoint in the history of left-wing protest but a key turning point in the history of decolonization.
    Thanks to generous funding from Penn State and its participation in TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem), the ebook editions of this book are available as Open Access volumes from Cornell Open (cornellopen.org) and other repositories.
    Elisa Prosperetti is an Assistant Professor in International History at the National Institute of Education in Singapore. Her research focuses on the connected histories of education and development in postcolonial West Africa. Contact her at here.
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    • 55 min
    Henni Alava, "Christianity, Politics and the Afterlives of War in Uganda: There is Confusion" (Bloomsbury, 2022)

    Henni Alava, "Christianity, Politics and the Afterlives of War in Uganda: There is Confusion" (Bloomsbury, 2022)

    Today I had the pleasure of talking to Dr. Henni Alava, postdoctoral researcher at Tampere University, on her fascinating new book published by Bloomsbury as part of the New Directions in Anthropology of Christianity book series: Christianity, Politics and the Afterlives of War in Uganda: There is Confusion (Bloomsbury, 2022).
    Alava's work sheds critical light on the complex and unstable relationship between Christianity and politics, and peace and war. Drawing on long-running ethnographic fieldwork in Uganda's largest religious communities, Henni Alava maps the tensions and ironies found in the Catholic and Anglican Churches in the wake of war between the Lord's Resistance Army and the Government of Uganda. The book describes how churches' responses to the war have been enabled by their embeddedness in local communities. Yet it is also in the churches' embeddedness in structures of historical violence that religious faith nurtures peace liable to compound conflict.
    At the heart of the book is the Acholi concept of anyobanyoba, translate as 'confusion', which depicts an experienced sense of both ambivalence and uncertainty, a state of mixed-up affairs within community and an essential aspect of politics in a country characterized by the threat of state violence. Foregrounding vulnerability, the book advocates 'confusion' as an epistemological and ethical device, and employs it to meditate on how religious believers, as well as researchers, can cultivate hope amid memories of suffering and on-going violence.
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    • 1 hr 34 min
    Florian Köhler, "Space, Place and Identity: Wodaabe of Niger in the 21st Century" (Berhahn Book, 2020)

    Florian Köhler, "Space, Place and Identity: Wodaabe of Niger in the 21st Century" (Berhahn Book, 2020)

    Known as highly mobile cattle nomads, the Wodaabe in Niger are today increasingly engaged in a transformation process towards a more diversified livelihood based primarily on agro-pastoralism and urban work migration. Space, Place and Identity: The Wodaabe of Niger in the 21st Century (Berghahn Books, 2020) by Florian Köhler examines recent transformations in spatial patterns among the Wodaabe, notably in the context of urban migration and in processes of sedentarization in rural proto-villages. “Space, Place and Identity” analyses the consequences that these recent changes entail for social group formation and collective identification, and how these also impact the integration of the Wodaabe into wider society among the structures of the modern nation state.
    Maggie Freeman is a PhD student in the School of Architecture at MIT. She researches uses of architecture by nomadic peoples and historical interactions of nomads and empires, with a focus on the modern Middle East.
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    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

T Drinker ,

Max Siollun’s book interview!

Max Siollun carried the interview, he was both enthusiastic and current. I can’t wait to read his latest book “What Britain did to Nigeria.”

JasonByrne film ,

Excellent podcast

This is an excellent podcast. Always interesting book topics and insightful q

Kioriki ,

Great ideas!

Great podcast that delves deep into contemporary and historic Africa!

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