Readings in Modernity in Africa

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Overview

Questions surrounding modernity and its meanings weigh heavily on students and scholars who study Africa. Becoming modern carries a lot of different meanings and puts concepts of culture, tradition, and nation into uneasy use. Readings in Modernity in Africa brings together classic essays, old and new, to help assess the issues and problems of modernity in an African context. Questions include: How can we discuss modernity without lapsing into a
Western-dominated view of history? How do we avoid losing sight of the diversity of local forms?
How is it that modernity has such a powerful impact on African lives? This wide-ranging volume provides new perspectives and suggests alternatives for how a better future might be implemented in
Africa and beyond.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of African Archaeology

"This is a fascinating and valuable book with a mix of reprinted contributions from well-known non-archaeological Africanist scholars such as, for instance, Allen Roberts and Mary Nooter Roberts, Peter Pels, and Marianne Ferme." —Journal of African Archaeology, Vol. 7, no. 2

Karin Barber

"Few other books zero in on central questions to do with what we mean by 'modernity,' its multiple and bewildering manifestations in contemporary Africa, and the scholarly debates around the application of the concept to the non—Western world." —Karin Barber, University of Birmingham

From the Publisher
"Few other books zero in on central questions to do with what we mean by 'modernity,'
its multiple and bewildering manifestations in contemporary Africa, and the scholarly debates around the application of the concept to the non—Western world." —Karin Barber, University of
Birmingham
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253219961
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2008
  • Series: Readings in African Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Geschiere is Professor of African Anthropology at the University of
Amsterdam.

Birgit Meyer is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the Free
University, Amsterdam.

Peter Pels is Professor of Social and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Leiden.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors
Sources and Acknowledgments
Introduction:
Genealogies of Modernity in Africa, by Peter Geschiere, Birgit Meyer, and Peter Pels
Part
1. Genealogies of "Modernity" in Africa
Introduction to Part 1
A. From
"Modernization" to "Modernity"
Introduction
"Global Disconnect: Abjection and the
Aftermath of Modernism," by James G. Ferguson
Excerpts from Modernization: Protest and
Change, by S. N. Eisenstadt
"Fanti National Constitution: Administrative Questions," by
John Mensah Sarbah
B. The Loss of Development's
Meta-Narrative
Introduction
The World Bank's Changing Discourse on
Development: From Reliance on the State and "Modernizing Elites" to "Bypassing the State," collage from World Bank texts, 1972-1989
Excerpts from Anthropology and Development:
Understanding Contemporary Social Change, by Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan
Excerpts from "Buying Futures": The Upsurge of Female Entrepreneurship—Crossing the Formal/Informal
Divide in Southwest Cameroon, by Margaret Niger-Thomas
C. The Modern Production of
Tradition
Introduction
"Report of the Expedition Sent by the Government of Natal to Instal Cetywayo as King of the Zulus," by Theophilus Shepstone
"Ujamaa: The Basis of
African Socialism," by Julius Kambarage Nyerere
"The African Renaissance, South Africa and the World," by Thabo Mbeki
"The Pidginization of Luguru Politics: Administrative
Ethnography and the Paradoxes of Indirect Rule," by Peter Pels
"The Resurgence of Chiefs:
Retribalism and Modernity in Post-1994 South Africa," by Lungisile Ntsebeza
"Chiefs!
Law, Power, and Culture in Contemporary South Africa," by Barbara Oomen
D. Identity and
Personhood in Africa
Introduction
"The African Road to Socialism," by Leopold
Sedar Senghor
"Society and Ideology," by Kwame Nkrumah
"African Identities," by
Kwame Anthony Appiah
"Missionary Fact and Politics of the Belly: A Foucaultian Reading," by
Jean-Francois Bayart
"Rheumatic Irony: Questions of Agency and Self-Deception as
Refracted through the Art of Living with Spirits," by Michael Lambek
Part 2. Ethnographies of the Modern in Africa
Introduction
A. Dynamics of Governmentality
"The
New Africans: Between Nativism and Cosmopolitanism," by Achille Mbembe
"Staging Politisi:
The Dialogics of Publicity and Secrecy in Sierra Leone," by Mariane Ferme
B. The
City
"Tales of the 'Invisible City' and the Second World," by Filip de Boeck
"On the Worlding of African Cities," by Abdoumaliq Simone
C. Technology
"Degraded
Images, Distorted Sounds: Nigerian Video and the Infrastructure of Piracy," by Brian
Larkin
"Kwaku's Car: The Struggles and Stories of a Ghanaian Long-Distance Taxi
Driver," by Jojada Verrips and Birgit Meyer
D. Modernity's
Enchantment
"Witch-Hunting and Political Legitimacy: Continuity and Change in Green
Valley, Lebowa, 1930-1991," by Isaac A. Niehaus
"The Convert: Act One Scene III and Act
Two Scene III," by Francis Nyamnjoh
"Introduction," by Allen F. Roberts and Mary Nooter
Roberts
E. New Figures of Success: Beyond the Modern?
Excerpts from Entre Paris et
Bacongo, by Justin-Daniel Gandoulou
"Evolues and Feymen: Old and New Figures of
Modernity in Cameroon," by Basile Ndjio
"A Successful Life in the Illegal Realm: Smugglers and Road Bandits in the Chad Basin," by Janet Roitman
Index

Indiana University Press

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