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Women in African Colonial Histories

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How did African women negotiate the complex political, economic, and social forces of colonialism in their daily lives? How did they make meaningful lives for themselves in a world that challenged fundamental notions of work, sexuality, marriage, motherhood, and family? By considering the lives of ordinary African women — farmers, queen mothers, midwives, urban dwellers, migrants, and political leaders — in the context of particular colonial conditions at specific places and times, Women in African Colonial ...

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Overview

How did African women negotiate the complex political, economic, and social forces of colonialism in their daily lives? How did they make meaningful lives for themselves in a world that challenged fundamental notions of work, sexuality, marriage, motherhood, and family? By considering the lives of ordinary African women — farmers, queen mothers, midwives, urban dwellers, migrants, and political leaders — in the context of particular colonial conditions at specific places and times, Women in African Colonial Histories challenges the notion of a homogeneous "African women's experience." While recognizing the inherent violence and brutality of the colonial encounter, the essays in this lively volume show that African women were not simply the hapless victims of European political rule. Innovative use of primary sources, including life histories, oral narratives, court cases, newspapers, colonial archives, and physical evidence, attests that African women's experiences defy static representation. Readers at all levels will find this an important contribution to ongoing debates in African women's history and African colonial history.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253340474
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2002
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Jean Allman teaches African History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is author of The Quills of the Porcupine: Asante Nationalism in an Emergent Ghana and co-author (with Victoria Tashjian) of "I Will Not Eat Stone": A Women's History of Colonial Asante. Her research on gender, colonialism, and social change has appeared in numerous journals.

Susan Geiger is Professor Emeritus of Women's Studies at the University of Minnesota. She is author of TANU Women: Gender and Culture Change in the Making of Tanganyikan Nationalism, 1955-65. She has published over a dozen articles on African women's history and the uses of life history in historical research. She serves on the editorial board of SIGNS.

Nakanyike Musisi is Director of Makerere Institute of Social Research at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. She has authored many chapters and articles on Baganda women. Her research interests include state formation, customary law, education, and environmental issues.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Women in African Colonial Histories: An Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Encounters and Engagements
1 "What My Heart Wanted": Gendered Stories of Early Colonial Encounters in Southern Mozambique 19
2 Dynastic Daughters: Three Royal Kwena Women and E. L. Price of the London Missionary Society, 1853-1881 48
3 Colonial Midwives and Modernizing Childbirth in French West Africa 71
Pt. 2 Perceptions and Representations
4 The Politics of Perception or Perception as Politics? Colonial and Missionary Representations of Baganda Women, 1900-1945 95
5 "The Woman in Question": Marriage and Identity in the Colonial Courts of Northern Ghana, 1907-1954 116
6 Colonialism, Education, and Gender Relations in the Belgian Congo: The Evolue Case 144
7 Virgin Territory? Travel and Migration by African Women in Twentieth-Century Southern Africa 164
8 "When in the White Man's Town": Zimbabwean Women Remember Chibeura 191
Pt. 3 Power Reconfigured/Power Contested
9 Queen Mothers and Good Government in Buganda: The Loss of Women's Political Power in Nineteenth-Century East Africa 219
10 Marrying and Marriage on a Shifting Terrain: Reconfigurations of Power and Authority in Early Colonial Asante 237
11 "Vultures of the Marketplace": Southeastern Nigerian Women and Discourses of the Ogu Umunwaanyi (Women's War) of 1929 260
12 "Emancipate Your Husbands!" Women and Nationalism in Guinea, 1953-1958 282
13 Guerrilla Girls and Women in the Zimbabwean National Liberation Struggle 305
Contributors 327
Index 331
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