New Books in African Studies podkast

Jocelyn Hendrickson, "Leaving Iberia: Islamic Law and Christian Conquest in North West Africa" (Harvard UP, 2020)

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In her landmark new book Leaving Iberia: Islamic Law and Christian Conquest in North West Africa (Harvard UP, 2020), Jocelyn Hendrickson launches a searingly brilliant legal history centered on the question of how medieval and early modern Muslim jurists in Iberia and North Africa wrestled with various thorny questions of living under or migrating away from non-Muslim political sovereignty. This book combines meticulous social and political history with nimble and accessible readings of a vast range of sources from the Maliki School of law. What emerges from this exercise is a picture of the Maliki legal tradition in particular and Islamic law more broadly that is unavailable for predictable readings, enormously interesting, and deliciously complex. This lucid book should also be a delight to teach in various graduate and upper level under graduate courses. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His book Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies 2020 Book Prize and was selected as a finalist for the 2021 American Academy of Religion Book Award. His other academic publications are available here. He can be reached at [email protected] Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/african-studies

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  • New Books in African Studies podkast

    Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl, "Quagmire in Civil War" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

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    In Quagmire in Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2020) Dr. Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl provides the first treatment of quagmire in civil war, moving beyond the notion that quagmire is intrinsic to certain countries or wars. In a rigorous but accessible analysis, he explains how quagmire can emerge from domestic-international interactions and strategic choices. To support the argument, Dr. Schulhofer-Wohl draws upon field research on Lebanon's sixteen-year civil war, structured comparisons with civil wars in Chad and Yemen, and rigorous statistical analyses of all civil wars worldwide fought between 1944 and 2006. Dr. Schulhofer-Wohl demonstrates that quagmire is made, not found. 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. Her qualitative work has examined the Angolan, Mozambican, and Lebanese civil wars, all of which fit Dr. Schulhofer-Wohl’s definitions of quagmire. Miranda Melcher (Ph.D., Defense Studies, Kings College, London) studies post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with deep analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/african-studies
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    Rebekah Lee, "Health, Healing and Illness in African History" (Bloomsbury, 2021)

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    In Health, Healing and Illness in African History (Bloomsbury, 2021), Rebekah Lee makes an overall assessment of the history and historiography and health, healing and illness in the African context. This unique text is divided in two parts. In the first half of the book, Lee presents a chronological survey and analysis of the ideas and literature that multiple disciplines have produced while studying the experience of health and illness, as well as medical and healing practices in Africa. This part of the book guides readers through seminal questions about African agency and sources that are central to our understanding of the historiography of Africa in general, and to the study of healing and illness in particular.  By starting her narrative in the precolonial past, Lee is not only trying to highlight the value of the research that has been done in this area, but also provide the reader with a wider intellectual and chronological context that can reframe our reading of the literature that exists for the colonial and postcolonial periods. In the second part of the book, Lee examines four case studies each focused on a particular health problem: HIV/Aids, mental illness, malaria and sleeping sickness, and occupational lung disease. In each of these individual studies, Lee offers both a historiographical review and a critical assessment of the ideas and questions that have shaped our views of these issues. She also offers examples of primary sources that illustrate the complex ways in which scholars, from many different disciplinary backgrounds, have used them to draw conclusions about how Africans have experienced health and illness, and engaged with a wide range of healing practices over time. Esperanza Brizuela-Garcia is an associate professor of history at Montclair State University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/african-studies
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  • New Books in African Studies podkast

    Julie Kleinman, "Adventure Capital: Migration and the Making of an African Hub in Paris" (U California Press, 2019)

    59:09

    Every day, hundreds of thousands of people move through the Gare du Nord train station in the 10th arrondissement of Paris, the largest train station in Europe. Julie Kleinman's Adventure Capital: Migration and the Making of an African Hub in Paris (University of California Press, 2019) delves into the contemporary life of the station, and especially the lives and social world of the West African migrants who congregate there daily. The project makes connections between twentieth and twenty-first-century stories and politics and the longer-term of the Gare du Nord as a transportation hub and a crossroads for French histories of urban infrastructure, labour and class, mobility, racial inequality, and identity (African and French primarily in this case). Drawing on a decade of archival and fieldwork that included the investigation of state and police archives, an internship at the Société nationale des chemins de fer français (SNCF-the French national railway company), as well as in-depth interviews and interactions with a group of (mostly male) West African migrants who spend time regularly at the station, the book is a fascinating exploration of the community and life strategies of migrants in and around this practical and social hub where issues of labour, employment, surveillance, violence, resistance, family, and friendship meet. Informed by a deep knowledge of the broader historical and contemporary culture and politics of France and empire, the book stays close to the perspectives, stories, and analyses of the West African "adventurers" at the heart of the project. In doing so, it also offers a compelling and illuminating view of the Gare du Nord and all that its busy spaces lead to and from within and beyond the borders of France. Roxanne Panchasi is an Associate Professor of History at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada who specializes in twentieth and twenty-first century France and its empire. If you have a recent title to suggest for the podcast, please send her an email ([email protected]). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/african-studies
  • New Books in African Studies podkast

    Charles Melson, "Fighting for Time: Rhodesia's Military and Zimbabwe’s Independence" (Casemate Academic, 2021)

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    From the 1960s through 1970s there were a series of conflicts in Africa involving Rhodesia, South Africa, and Portugal in conflict with the so-called Frontline States. There was an international element with the Cold War and saw American interest at the diplomatic, economic, and social level. In the post-Vietnam period there was participation by individual American soldiers and politicians. Most of what has been published to date about this conflict has been fashionable journalism, narrow unit histories, or personal accounts that lack balance or insights beyond the level of experience. In part, this is because Rhodesian senior leaders did not leave memoirs or analysis and because there was a belief that the Rhodesian diplomatic and political situation was too unique to learn from. Fighting for Time: Rhodesia's Military and Zimbabwe’s Independence (Casemate Academic, 2021), drawing on a wealth of primary sources, examines the transition of the Rhodesian armed services from a general-purpose force to a special operations force conducting intelligence-driven operations, and identifies the lessons that can be learned from the study of this low-intensity conflict at the level of ''tactics, techniques, and procedures." Charles Melson offers a detailed examination of the military response to the emerging revolutionary threat, and the evolution of general and special-purpose units. He addresses the critical use of airpower as a force multiplier supporting civil, police, and army efforts ranging from internal security and border control to internal and external combat operations; the requirement for innovative units and full-time joint command structures; and the escalation of cross-border attacks and unconventional responses as the conflict evolved. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/african-studies
  • New Books in African Studies podkast

    Aro Velmet, "Pasteur's Empire: Bacteriology and Politics in France, Its Colonies, and the World" (Oxford UP, 2020)

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    Aro Velmet's Pasteur's Empire: Bacteriology in France, Its Colonies, and the World (Oxford UP, 2020) is a complex history of the Pasteur Institutes, a network of scientific laboratories established in France and throughout the French empire, beginning in the last decade of the nineteenth century. The book examines the crucial roles Pastorians and Pasteurization played in the imperial project in and between different locations, particularly in Southeast Asia and Africa. Participating in the "civilizing mission," helping to establish and maintain industrial monopolies, and the control of colonial bodies through public health regulation and disease management, the institutes had a tremendous political impact.   Attentive to the experiences and perspectives of the Vietnamese and African peoples in the sites the book focuses on, Pasteur's Empire examines a range of scientific responses and measures, from the study and containment of infectious and epidemic disease to the microbiological aspects of industry. The book's chapters move from "Indochina" to North and West Africa, tracing the way that Pastorians and Pasteurization worked with(in) and sometimes pushed against colonial structures and assumptions. French modernity and the "civilizing mission" had profound and practical biological dimensions. A history that pursues ideas about modernity and the meanings of scientific and other forms of mobility, Pasteur's Empire moves from the local to the global while bringing together science, medicine, and politics. Enjoy the episode! Roxanne Panchasi is an Associate Professor of History at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada who specializes in twentieth and twenty-first century France and its empire. If you have a recent title to suggest for the podcast, please send her an email ([email protected]). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/african-studies
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    Isaac A. Kamola, "Making the World Global: U.S. Universities and the Production of the Global Imaginary" (Duke UP, 2019)

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    Following World War II the American government and philanthropic foundations fundamentally remade American universities into sites for producing knowledge about the world as a collection of distinct nation-states. As neoliberal reforms took hold in the 1980s, visions of the world made popular within area studies and international studies found themselves challenged by ideas and educational policies that originated in business schools and international financial institutions. Academics within these institutions reimagined the world instead as a single global market and higher education as a commodity to be bought and sold. By the 1990s, American universities embraced this language of globalization, and globalization eventually became the organizing logic of higher education.  In Making the World Global: U.S. Universities and the Production of the Global Imaginary (Duke UP, 2019), Isaac A. Kamola examines how the relationships among universities, the American state, philanthropic organizations, and international financial institutions created the conditions that made it possible to imagine the world as global. Examining the Center for International Studies, Harvard Business School, the World Bank, the Social Science Research Council, and NYU, Kamola demonstrates that how we imagine the world is always symptomatic of the material relations within which knowledge is produced. Dr. Kamola is currently an Associate Professor of Political Science and President of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) chapter at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Sara Katz is a postdoctoral associate in the history department at Duke University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/african-studies
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    Mesfin Tadesse and Ianet Bastyan, "Lucy's People: An Ethiopian Memoir" (Yerada Lij, 2021)

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    Lucy's People: An Ethiopian Memoir (Yerada Lij,2021) is the inspiring story of a country and a life. Young engineer Mesfin grows up under Emperor Haile Selassie I in Ethiopia. She is mother to all her people. Under her sun and moon, women walk tall. Many are warriors, including his mother and grandmother. The boy comprehends the burden placed upon ethical military such as his colonel father. He defends Ethiopian borders and the socially marginalised. Like him, Mesfin defies those who thrive on brutality and treachery. With the 1974 communist revolution, how do the humane thrive? At the warfront, the conscripted teenager must never compromise his love for motherland and the children of Lucy. The humanoid fossil has survived almost intact for 3.2 million years in the Rift Valley. At what cost to her people does Ethiopia endure? In and out of prison, Mesfin nevertheless qualifies as a construction and civil engineer. An ancient Abyssinian role model is Saba (Queen Sheba), the engineering queen of Lake Tana. Her people pioneered agricultural water use. He specialises in water development and works all over the country. Fresh disaster comes in 1991. Youth must choose: stay or flee? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/african-studies
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    Nicole Fox, "After Genocide: Memory and Reconciliation in Rwanda" (U Wisconsin Press, 2021)

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    In the wake of unthinkable atrocities, it is reasonable to ask how any population can move on from the experience of genocide. Simply remembering the past can, in the shadow of mass death, be retraumatizing. So how can such momentous events be memorialized in a way that is productive and even healing for survivors? Genocide memorials tell a story about the past, preserve evidence of the violence that occurred, and provide emotional support to survivors. But the goal of amplifying survivors' voices can fade amid larger narratives entrenched in political motivations. In After Genocide: Memory and Reconciliation in Rwanda (U Wisconsin Press, 2021), Nicole Fox investigates the ways memorials can shape the experiences of survivors decades after mass violence has ended. She examines how memorializations can both heal and hurt, especially when they fail to represent all genders, ethnicities, and classes of those afflicted. Drawing on extensive interviews with Rwandans, Fox reveals their relationships to these spaces and uncovers those voices silenced by the dominant narrative--arguing that the erasure of such stories is an act of violence itself. The book probes the ongoing question of how to fit survivors in to the dominant narrative of healing and importantly demonstrates how memorials can shape possibilities for growth, national cohesion, reconciliation, and hope for the future. Kelly McFall is Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program at Newman University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/african-studies
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    Lennart Bolliger, "Apartheid's Black Soldiers: Unnational Wars and Militaries in Southern Africa" (Ohio UP, 2021)

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    New oral histories from Black Namibian and Angolan troops who fought in apartheid South Africa’s security forces reveal their involvement, and its impact on their lives, to be far more complicated than most historical scholarship has acknowledged. In anticolonial struggles across the African continent, tens of thousands of African soldiers served in the militaries of colonial and settler states. In southern Africa, they often made up the bulk of these militaries and, in some contexts, far outnumbered those who fought in the liberation movements’ armed wings. Despite these soldiers' significant impact on the region’s military and political history, this dimension of southern Africa’s anticolonial struggles has been almost entirely ignored in previous scholarship. Black troops from Namibia and Angola spearheaded apartheid South Africa’s military intervention in their countries’ respective anticolonial war and postindependence civil war. In Apartheid's Black Soldiers: Unnational Wars and Militaries in Southern Africa (Ohio UP, 2021), Lennart Bolliger challenges the common framing of these wars as struggles of national liberation fought by and for Africans against White colonial and settler-state armies. Focusing on three case studies of predominantly Black units commanded by White officers, Bolliger investigates how and why these soldiers participated in South Africa’s security forces and considers the legacies of that involvement. In tackling these questions, he rejects the common tendency to categorize the soldiers as “collaborators” and “traitors” and reveals the un-national facets of anticolonial struggles. Finally, the book’s unique analysis of apartheid military culture shows how South Africa’s military units were far from monolithic and instead developed distinctive institutional practices, mythologies, and concepts of militarized masculinity. Lennart Bolliger is a lecturer in international history at Utrecht University. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Asian and African Studies of the Humboldt University of Berlin and a visiting researcher at the History Workshop of the University of the Witwatersrand. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/african-studies
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    Gill Grose: A Volunteer Librarian Changing Lives in South Africa

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    Gill has been s a volunteer librarian at Claremont Primary School in Cape Town South Africa since 2010. Through her initiative she has been able to give several hundred children aged 6-14 from largely disadvantaged backgrounds access to books and advice about reading. She believes that this has been life changing for a significant number of her readers – as well as giving her life profound value. Gill is a great example of a social entrepreneur. Richard nominated her to speak at TEDxCapeTown, Watch her talk here For the love of books | Gill Grose | TEDxCapeTown  Claremont Primary School Couchsurfing [email protected] <-- Gill will be glad to answer e-mails from those wanting more information About your host Richard Lucas Richard is a business and social entrepreneur who founded, led and/or invested in more than 30 businesses, Richard has been a TEDx event organiser, supports the pro-entrepreneurship ecosystem, and leads entrepreneurship workshops at all levels: from pre-schools to leading business schools. Richard was born in Oxford and moved to Poland in 1991. Read more here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/african-studies

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