The Gun in Central Africa: A History of Technology and Politics

The Gun in Central Africa: A History of Technology and Politics

by Giacomo Macola

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Why did some central African peoples embrace gun technology in the nineteenth century, and others turn their backs on it? In answering this question, The Gun in Central Africa offers a thorough reassessment of the history of firearms in central Africa. Marrying the insights of Africanist historiography with those of consumption and science and technology studies, Giacomo Macola approaches the subject from a culturally sensitive perspective that encompasses both the practical and the symbolic attributes of firearms.

Informed by the view that the power of objects extends beyond their immediate service functions, The Gun in Central Africa presents Africans as agents of technological re-innovation who understood guns in terms of their changing social structures and political interests. By placing firearms at the heart of the analysis, this volume casts new light on processes of state formation and military revolution in the era of the long-distance trade, the workings of central African gender identities and honor cultures, and the politics of the colonial encounter.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780821445556
Publisher: Ohio University Press
Publication date: 04/25/2016
Series: New African Histories
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Giacomo Macola is associate professor in African history at Sapienza Università di Roma and research fellow in the Centre for Africa Studies of the University of the Free State. The author of Liberal Nationalism in Central Africa: A Biography of Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula, he has also coedited (with Derek Peterson) Recasting the Past: History Writing and Political Work in Modern Africa.

Table of Contents

Contents Illustrations Acknowledgments A Note on Hereditary Titles Introduction: Firearms and the History of Technology in Africa Part I: Contexts 1: Power and International Trade in the Savanna Part II: Guns and Society on the Upper Zambezi and in Katanga 2: The Domestication of the Musket on the Upper Zambezi 3: The Warlord’s Muskets 4: Gun Societies Undone? Part III: Resisting Guns in Eastern Zambia and Malawi 5: “They Disdain Firearms” 6: Of “Martial Races” and Guns Conclusion: Gun Domestication in Historical Perspective Notes Bibliography Index

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