The Scarcity Slot: Excavating Histories of Food Security in Ghana

The Scarcity Slot: Excavating Histories of Food Security in Ghana

by Amanda L. Logan

Paperback(First Edition)

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The Scarcity Slot is the first book to critically examine food security in Africa's deep past. Amanda L. Logan argues that African foodways have been viewed through the lens of "the scarcity slot," a kind of Othering based on presumed differences in resources. Weaving together archaeological, historical, and environmental data with food ethnography, she advances a new approach to building long-term histories of food security on the continent in order to combat these stereotypes. Focusing on a case study in Banda, Ghana that spans the past six centuries, The Scarcity Slot reveals that people thrived during a severe, centuries-long drought just as Europeans arrived on the coast, with a major decline in food security emerging only recently. This narrative radically challenges how we think about African foodways in the past with major implications for the future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520343757
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 12/08/2020
Series: California Studies in Food and Culture , #75
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 244
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Amanda L. Logan is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Northwestern University.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Prologue and Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

1 Excavating Longue Durée Histories of Food Security in Africa 19

2 Choosing Local over Global during the Columbian Exchange 39

3 Tasting Privilege and Privation during Asante Rule and the Atlantic Slave Trade 61

4 Creating Chronic Food Insecurity in the Gold Coast Colony 95

5 Consuming a Remotely Global Modernity in Recent Times 129

6 Eating and Remembering Past Cultural Achievements 158

Appendix A Methodology 169

Appendix B Archaeohotanical Data 177

Appendix C Wild Leaves Used by Modern Villages 183

Notes 187

References 197

Index 217

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