The Power of African Cultures

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More About This Textbook

Overview

This book focuses on the modern cultures of Africa, from the consequences of the imposition of Western rule to the current struggles to define national identities in the context of neo-liberal economic policies and globalization. The book argues that it is against the backdrop of foreign influences that Africa has defined for itself notions of identity and development. African cultures have been evolving in response to change, and in other ways solidly rooted in a shared past. The book successfully deconstructs the last one hundred and fifty years of cultures that have been disrupted, replaced, and resurrected. The Power of African Cultures challenges many preconceived notions, such as male dominance and female submission, the supposed unity of ethnic groups, and contemporary Western stereotypes of Africans. It also shows the dynamism of African cultures to adapt to foreign imposition: even as colonial rule forced the adoption of foreign institutions and cultures, African cultures appropriated these elements. Traditions were reworked, symbols redefined, and the past situated in contemporary problems in order to accommodate the modern era. Toyin Falola is a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters and Fellow of the Historical Society of Nigeria. He is the recipient of the 2006 Cheikh Anta Diop Award for Exemplary Scholarship in African Studies, and the 2008 Quintessence Award by the Africa Writers Endowment. He holds an honorary doctorate from Monmouth University and he is University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin where he is also the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities. His books include Nationalism and African Intellectuals and Violence in Nigeria, both from the University of Rochester Press.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580462976
  • Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/15/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
2 Making Sense of the Western Encounter 20
3 Cultural Identity and Development 50
4 Political Economy and the Culture of Underdevelopment 71
5 The Culture of Politics 97
6 Ethnic Nationalism 128
7 Islam, Religious Identity, and Politics 166
8 Traditional Religions in Modern Africa 202
9 English or Englishes? The Politics of Language and the Language of Politics 224
10 Gender and Culture in Old and New Africa 250
11 Africa, the Homeland: Diasporic Cultures 274
Bibliography 306
Index 341
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