Perspectives on Africa: A Reader in Culture, History and Representation / Edition 2

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The second edition of Perspectives on Africa: A Reader in Culture, History, and Representation is both an introduction to the cultures of Africa and a history of the interpretations of those cultures. Key essays explore the major issues and debates through a combination of classic articles and the newest research in the field.

  • Explores the dynamic processes by and through which scholars have described and understood African history and culture
  • Includes selections from anthropologists, historians, philosophers, and critics who collectively reveal the interpenetration of ideas and concepts within and across disciplines, regions, and historical periods
  • Offers a combined focus on ethnography and theory, giving students the means to link theory with data and perspective with practice
  • Newly revised and updated edition of this popular text with 14 brand new chapters and two new sections: Conflict and Violent Transformations; and Development, Governance and Globalization
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Here is an excellent anthology that illustrates magnificentlyprocesses of Africa's invention, the complexity of her cultures,the paradoxes and predicament of discourses that claim to renderher being." V. Y. Mudimbe Stanford University.

"A volume for all students and teachers seriously interested inunderstanding the unity and diversity of African cultures, andengaging in a dialogue with African Studies literary ancestors andtheir creative and critical successors. Grinker and Steiner haveoffered a doorway for those who dare to embrace the masters of thefield and join new academic worlds in the making." Sulayman S.Nyang, Professor, Howard University and Director of the AfricanVoices Project, Smithsonian Institute.

"Perspectives on Africa is a much needed addition toAfrican studies and literature. They attempt, quite successfully,to place each article within, not only an historical time frame,but also within a theoretical progression. Its bibliographiescontain a useful starting point and reference on all the majortrends and subjects." Sean Pratt, Department of SocialAnthropology, University of Cambridge.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781444335224
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/24/2010
  • Series: Global Perspectives Series , #4
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 708
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Roy Richard Grinker, Ph.D. is Professor of Anthropology andInternational Affairs at George Washington University, Director ofthe GW Institute for Ethnographic Research, and Editor-in-Chief ofAnthropological Quarterly.  He is author of four other books,including In the Arms of Africa: The Life of Colin M.Turnbull, Houses in the Rainforest:  Ethnicity andInequality Among Farmers and Foragers in Central Africa, andUnstrange Minds:  Remapping the World of Autism.

Christopher B. Steiner is the Lucy C. McDannel ’22Professor of Art History and Director of Museum Studies atConnecticut College.  He is the author of the award-winningbook African Art in Transit, and co-editor (with RuthPhillips) of Unpacking Culture:  Art and Commodity inColonial and Postcolonial Worlds

Stephen Lubkemann is Associate Professor of Anthropologyand International Affairs at George Washington University.  Heis author of Culture in Chaos: An Anthropology of the SocialCondition in War and is associate editor for AnthropologicalQuarterly and a co-founder of GWU’s Diaspora ResearchProgram.

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Table of Contents

I. Representation and Discourse

1. Jean and John Comaroff. 1991. “Africa Observed:Discourses of the Imperial Imagination

2. Cheikh Anta Diop. 1974. “The Meaning of OurWork,”

3. Kwame Anthony Appiah. 1993. “Europe Upside Down:Fallacies of the New Afrocentrism

4. V.Y. Mudimbe. 1988. “Discourse of Power and Knowledgeof Otherness,”

II. From Tribe to Ethnicity: Kinship and SocialOrganization

5. Evans-Pritchard, E.E. The Nuer: Time and Space

6. Southall, Aidan W. The Illusion of Tribe

7. Vail, Leroy. Ethnicity in Southern African History

III. Economics as a Cultural System

8. Douglas, M. Lele Economy Compared with the Bushong

9. Coquery-Vidrovitch, C. Research on an African  Mode ofProduction

10. Hutchinson, S. The Cattle of Money and the Cattle of Girlsamong the Nuer, cf. Smith

IV. Hunter-Gatherers in Africa

11. Turnbull, C. M. The Lesson of the Pygmies

12. Grinker, R.R. Houses in the Rainforest

13. Wilmsen, E. Land Filled with Flies

14. Solway, J. S. and R. B. Lee. Foragers, Genuine orSpurious?

V. Witchcraft, Science and Rationality

15. Livingstone, D. Conversations on Rain-making

16. Evans-Pritchard, E.E. The Notion of Witchcraft ExplainsUnfortunate Events

17. Winch, P. Understanding a Primitive Society

18. Austen, Ralph A. 1993. “The Moral Economy ofWitchcraft.”

VI. Ancestors, Gods, and the Philosophy of Religion

19. Griaule, M. Conversations with Ogotommeli

20. Houtondji, P. J. African Philosophy, Myth and Reality

21. Kopytoff, I. ancestors as Elders in Africa, cf.Lubkemann, West

VII. Arts, Aesthetics, and Heritage

22. Simon Ottenberg. 1972. “Humorous Masks and SeriousPolitics among the Afikpo Igbo,”

23. Olu Oguibe. 1999. “Art, Identity, Boundaries:Postmodernism and Contemporary African Art,”

24. Kelly M. Askew.  As Plato Duly Warned: Music, Politicsand Social Change in Costal East Africa

25. Bayo Hosley. “In Place of Slavery: Fashioning CoastalIdentity.”

VIII.Sex and Gender Studies in Africa

26. Boserup, E. The Economics of Polygamy

27. Van Allen, J. “Sitting on a Man”

28. LeClerc, S. Virginity Testing: Managing Sexuality in aMaturing HIV/AIDS Epidemic

IX. Europe in Africa: Colonization

29. Lugard, F.D. The Dual Mandate

30.Rodney, W. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

31. Ranger, T. The Invention of Tradition in Colonial Africa

32. Ngugi, W. T. Detained: A Writer’s Prison Diary

X. Nations and Nationalism

33.Senghor, L. S. Negritude: A Humanism of the TwentiethCentury

34. Fanon, F. On National Culture

35. Berman, B. Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Modernity: TheParadox of Mau Mau  

36. Steiner, C.B. The Invisible Face: Masks, Ethnicity, and theState in Cote d’Ivoire

XI. Violent Transformations: Conflict andDisplacement

37. Gluckman, Max. Order and Rebellion in Tribal Africa

38. Richards, P. "Fighting for the Rainforest"

39. Taylor, C. Sacrifice as Terror: The Rwandan Genocide of1994

40. Lubkemann, S. Where to be an Ancestor

XII. Development, Governance and Globalization

41. Ferguson, J. “Expectations of Modernity”

42. Uvin, P. Development Aid and Structural Violence: The caseof Rwanda

43. Daniel J. Smith. “Culture of Corruption”

44. J.Francois-Bayart. “The Politics of theBelly.”

45. West, H. “ ‘Govern Yourselves’, Democracyand Carnage in Northern Mozambique”

46. Shandy, D. “Nuer-American Passages”

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