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Africa Reimagined is a passionately argued appeal for a rediscovery of our African identity. Going beyond the problems of a single country, Hlumelo Biko calls for a reorientation of values, on a continental scale, to suit the needs and priorities of Africans. Building on the premise that slavery, colonialism, imperialism and apartheid fundamentally unbalanced the values and indeed the very self-concept of Africans, he offers realistic steps to return to a more balanced Afro-centric identity.
Historically, African values were shaped by a sense of abundance, in material and mental terms, and by strong ties of community. The intrusion of religious, economic and legal systems imposed by conquerors, traders and missionaries upset this balance, and the African identity was subsumed by the values of the newcomers. Biko shows how a reimagining of Africa can restore the sense of abundance and possibility, and what a rebirth of the continent on Pan-African lines might look like. This is not about the churn of the news cycle or party politics – although he identifies the political party as one of the most pernicious legacies of colonialism. Instead, drawing on latest research, he offers a practical, pragmatic vision anchored in the here and now.
By looking beyond identities and values imposed from outside, and transcending the divisions and frontiers imposed under colonialism, it should be possible for Africans to develop fully their skills, values and ingenuity, to build institutions that reflect African values, and to create wealth for the benefit of the continent as a whole.
How is ‘race’ determined? Is it your DNA? The community that you were raised in? The way others see you or the way you see yourself? In Race Otherwise: Forging A New Humanism For South Africa, Zimitri Erasmus questions the notion that one can know ‘race’ with one’s eyes, or through racial categories and or genetic ancestry tests. She moves between the intimate probing of racial identities as we experience them individually, and analysis of the global historical forces that have created these identities and woven them into our thinking about what it means to be ‘human’.
Starting from her own family’s journeys through regions of the world and ascribed racial identities, she develops her argument about how it is possible to recognise the pervasiveness of race thinking without submitting to its power. Drawing on the theoretical work of Frantz Fanon, Sylvia Wynter and others, Erasmus argues for a new way of ‘coming to know otherwise’, of seeing the boundaries between racial identities as thresholds to be crossed, through politically charged acts of imagination and love.
This close media study considers how, squeezed in the moral vice of past and present, Afrikaners look in a mirror that reflects only a beautiful people.
It is an image of upstanding, hard-working citizens. To hold on to that image requires blinkers, sleights of hand and contortion. Above all, it requires an inversion of the liberation narrative in which the wretched of South Africa are the historical oppressors, besieged in their language, their homes, their jobs.
They are the new `grievables', an identity that requires intricate moral manoeuvres, and elision as much of the past as of transformation.
THE MILLION COPY BESTSELLER Fire gave us power. Farming made us hungry for more. Money gave us purpose. Science made us deadly. This is the thrilling account of our extraordinary history - from insignificant apes to rulers of the world. Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it: us. In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we're going. `I would recommend Sapiens to anyone who's interested in the history and future of our species' Bill Gates
A vibrant portrait of the “original affluent society”--the Bushmen of southern Africa--by the anthropologist who has spent much of the last twenty-five years documenting their encounter with modernity.
If the success of a civilization is measured by its endurance over time, then the Bushmen of the Kalahari are by far the most successful in human history. A hunting and gathering people who made a good living by working only as much as needed to exist in harmony with their hostile desert environment, the Bushmen have lived in southern Africa since the evolution of our species nearly two hundred thousand years ago.
In Affluence Without Abundance, anthropologist James Suzman vividly brings to life a proud and private people, introducing unforgettable members of their tribe, and telling the story of the collision between the modern global economy and the oldest hunting and gathering society on earth. In rendering an intimate picture of a people coping with radical change, it asks profound questions about how we now think about matters such as work, wealth, equality, contentment, and even time. Not since Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's The Harmless People in 1959 has anyone provided a more intimate or insightful account of the Bushmen or of what we might learn about ourselves from our shared history as hunter-gatherers.
How are we to explain the resurgence of customary chiefs in contemporary Africa? Rather than disappearing with the tide of modernity, as many expected, indigenous sovereigns are instead a rising force, often wielding substantial power and legitimacy despite major changes in the workings of the global political economy in the post–Cold War era—changes in which they are themselves deeply implicated.
This pathbreaking volume, edited by anthropologists John L. Comaroff and Jean Comaroff, explores the reasons behind the increasingly assertive politics of custom in many corners of Africa. Chiefs come in countless guises—from university professors through cosmopolitan businessmen to subsistence farmers–but, whatever else they do, they are a critical key to understanding the tenacious hold that “traditional” authority enjoys in the late modern world.
Together the contributors explore this counterintuitive chapter in Africa’s history and, in so doing, place it within the broader world-making processes of the twenty-first century.
From the phenomenal bestselling author of Sapiens and Homo Deus
How can we protect ourselves from nuclear war or ecological catastrophe?
What do we do about the epidemic of fake news or the threat of terrorism?
How should we prepare our children for the future?
21 Lessons is an exploration of what it means to be human in an age of bewilderment.
'Fascinating…Harari has teed up a crucial global conversation about how to take on the problems of the 21st century' Bill Gates, New York Times
`Roundly debunks racism's core lie - that inequality is to do with genetics, rather than political power' Reni Eddo-Lodge For millennia, dominant societies have had the habit of believing their own people to be the best, deep down: the more powerful they become, the more power begins to be framed as natural, as well as cultural. When you see how power has shaped the idea of race, then you can start to understand its meaning. In the twenty-first century, we like to believe that we have moved beyond scientific racism, that most people accept race as a social construct, not a biological one. But race science is experiencing a revival, fuelled by the misuse of science by certain political groups. Even well-intentioned scientists, through their use of racial categories in genetics and medicine, betray their suspicion that race has some basis in biology. In truth, it is no more real than it was hundreds of years ago, when our racial hierarchies were devised by those in power. In Superior, award-winning author Angela Saini explores the concept of race, from its origins to the present day. Engaging with geneticists, anthropologists, historians and social scientists from across the globe, Superior is a rigorous, much needed examination of the insidious and destructive nature of race science.
You may not believe it, but there is a link between our current political instability and your childhood attachment to teddy bears. There's also a reason why children in Asia are more likely to share than their Western counterparts and why the poor spend more of their income on luxury goods than the rich. Or why your mother is more likely to leave her money to you than your father. What connects these things? The answer is our need for ownership. Award-winning psychologist Bruce Hood draws on research from his own lab and others around the world to explain why this uniquely human preoccupation governs our behaviour from the cradle to the grave, even when it is often irrational and destructive. What motivates us to buy more than we need? Is it innate, or cultural? How does our urge to acquire control our behaviour, even the way we vote? And what can we do about it? Timely, engaging and persuasive, Possessed is the first book to explore how ownership has us enthralled in relentless pursuit of a false happiness, with damaging consequences for society and the planet - and how we can stop buying into it.
Elgar Research Agendas outline the future of research in a given area. Leading scholars are given the space to explore their subject in provocative ways, and map out the potential directions of travel. They are relevant but also visionary. Since the financial crisis of 2008, the anthropological study of economic activity has profoundly changed. A Research Agenda for Economic Anthropology poses new questions for anthropologists about the post-recession world, interrogating common social and political assumptions and stimulating innovative directions for research in economic anthropology. Employing a broad range of intellectual orientations, this comprehensive book tackles the most pressing developments in economic anthropology. The stimulating and thought-provoking chapters engage with the major features of modern economies, including inequality, debt, financialisation, neoliberalism and the ethics of economic practice, as well as with the effects of social mobilisation and activism. The contributors shed light on previously overlooked topics, reassess familiar subjects that need a fresh approach and share their own predilections concerning the modern economic world. With contributors ranging from senior academics to those early in their career, this work is critical reading for any anthropologist concerned with the economy and economic activity. Those searching for novel questions or for a sense of the direction of the discipline will particularly benefit from this book's broad, inquisitive approach. Economic sociologists and geographers will also gain from the comprehensive coverage of the many facets of modern economies.
The radio in Africa has shaped culture by allowing listeners to negotiate modern identities and sometimes fast-changing lifestyles. Through the medium of voice and mediated sound, listeners on the station – known as Radio Bantu, then Radio Zulu, and finally Ukhozi FM – shaped new understandings of the self, family and social roles.
Through particular genres such as radio drama, fuelled by the skills of radio actors and listeners, an array of debates, choices and mistakes were unpacked daily for decades. This was the unseen literature of the auditory, the drama of the airwaves, which at its height shaped the lives of millions of listeners in urban and rural places in South Africa. Radio became a conduit for many talents squeezed aside by apartheid repression. Besides Winnie Mahlangu and K.E. Masinga and a host of other talents opened by radio, the exiles Lewis Nkosi and Bloke Modisane made a niche and a network of identities and conversations which stretched from the heart of Harlem to the American South. Nkosi and Modisane were working respectively in BBC Radio drama and a short-lived radio transcription centre based in London which drew together the threads of activism and creativity from both Black America and the African continent at a critical moment of the late empire.
Radio Soundings is a fascinating study that shows how, throughout its history, Zulu radio has made a major impact on community, everyday life and South African popular culture, voicing a range of subjectivities which gave its listeners a place in the modern world.
In this ambitious new history of the antiapartheid struggle, Jon Soske places India and the Indian diaspora at the center of the African National Congress's development of an inclusive philosophy of nationalism. Even as Indian independence provided black South African intellectuals with new models of conceptualizing sovereignty, debates over the place of the Indian diaspora in Africa forced a reconsideration of South Africa's internal and external boundaries, not least by the ANC thinkers-led by Albert Luthuli- centered in Durban. There, they developed a new philosophy of nationhood that affirmed South Africa's simultaneously heterogeneous and fundamentally African character. In describing this process, Soske makes a major contribution to postcolonial and Indian Ocean studies and charts new ways of writing about African nationalism.
The revolutionary and psychiatrist Frantz Fanon was a foundational figure in postcolonial and decolonial thought and practice, yet his psychiatric work still has only been studied peripherally. That is in part because most of his psychiatric writings have remained untranslated. With a focus on Fanon's key psychiatry texts, Frantz Fanon, Psychiatry and Politics considers Fanon's psychiatric writings as materials anticipating as well as accompanying Fanon's better known works, written between 1952 and 1961 (Black Skin, White Masks; A Dying Colonialism, Toward the African Revolution, The Wretched of the Earth). Both clinical and political, they draw on another notion of psychiatry that intersects history, ethnology, philosophy, and psychoanalysis. The authors argue that Fanon's work inaugurates a critical ethnopsychiatry based on a new concept of culture (anchored to historical events, particular situations, and lived experience) and on the relationship between the psychological and the cultural. Thus, Gibson and Beneduce contend that Fanon's psychiatric writings also express Fanon's wish, as he puts it in The Wretched of the Earth, to "develop a new way of thinking, not only for us but for humanity."
In this book, renowned anthropologists Jean and John L. Comaroff make a startling but absolutely convincing claim about our modern era: it is not by our arts, our politics, or our science that we understand ourselves-it is by our crimes. Surveying an astonishing range of forms of crime and policing-from petty thefts to the multibilliondollar scams of toobigtofail financial institutions to the collateral damage of war-they take readers into the disorder of the late modern world. Looking at recent transformations in the triangulation of capital, the state, and governance that have led to an era where crime and policing are ever more complicit, they offer a powerful meditation on the new forms of sovereignty, citizenship, class, race, law, and political economy of representation that have arisen. To do so, the Comaroffs draw on their vast knowledge of South Africa, especially, and its struggle to build a democracy founded on the rule of law out of the wreckage of long years of violence and oppression. There they explore everything from the fascination with the supernatural in policing to the extreme measures people take to prevent home invasion, drawing illuminating comparisons to the United States and United Kingdom. Going beyond South Africa, they offer a global criminal anthropology that attests to criminality as the constitutive fact of contemporary life, the vernacular by which politics are conducted, moral panics voiced, and populations ruled. The result is a disturbing but necessary portrait of the modern era, one that asks critical new questions about how we see ourselves, how we think about morality, and how we are going to proceed as a global society.
THE MILLION COPY BESTSELLER Sapiens shows us where we came from. Homo Deus shows us where we're going. Yuval Noah Harari envisions a near future in which we face a new set of challenges. Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century and beyond - from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: how can we protect this fragile world from our own destructive power? And what does our future hold? 'Homo Deus will shock you. It will entertain you. It will make you think in ways you had not thought before' Daniel Kahneman
For too long, scientists have focused on the dark side of our biological heritage: our capacity for aggression, cruelty, prejudice, and self-interest. But natural selection has given us a suite of beneficial social features, including our capacity for love, friendship, cooperation, and learning. Beneath all our inventions -- our tools, farms, machines, cities, nations -- we carry with us innate proclivities to make a good society. In Blueprint, Nicholas A. Christakis introduces the compelling idea that our genes affect not only our bodies and behaviors, but also the ways in which we make societies, ones that are surprisingly similar worldwide. With many vivid examples -- including diverse historical and contemporary cultures, communities formed in the wake of shipwrecks, commune dwellers seeking utopia, online groups thrown together by design or involving artificially intelligent bots, and even the tender and complex social arrangements of elephants and dolphins that so resemble our own -- Christakis shows that, despite a human history replete with violence, we cannot escape our social blueprint for goodness. In a world of increasing political and economic polarization, it's tempting to ignore the positive role of our evolutionary past. But by exploring the ancient roots of goodness in civilization, Blueprint shows that our genes have shaped societies for our welfare and that, in a feedback loop stretching back many thousands of years, societies have shaped, and are still shaping, our genes today.
In 1856 and 1857, in response to a prophet's command, the Xhosa people of southern Africa killed their cattle and ceased planting crops; the resulting famine cost tens of thousands of lives. Much like other millenarian, anticolonial movements - such as the Ghost Dance in North America and the Birsa Munda uprising in India - these actions were meant to transform the world and liberate the Xhosa from oppression. Despite the movement's momentous failure to achieve that goal, the event has continued to exert a powerful pull on the South African imagination ever since. It is these afterlives of the prophecy that Jennifer Wenzel explores in Bulletproof. Wenzel examines literary and historical texts to show how writers have manipulated images and ideas associated with the cattle killing-harvest, sacrifice, rebirth, devastation - to speak to their contemporary predicaments. Widening her lens, Wenzel also looks at how past failure can both inspire and constrain movements for justice in the present, and her brilliant insights into the cultural implications of prophecy will fascinate readers across a wide variety of disciplines.
How to be Human is the only manual you need to help you upgrade your mind as much as you've upgraded your iphone. 'With this marvellous book, Ruby Wax has confirmed her position as one of the most readable, inspirational and engaging writers in the field of human mental health, happiness and fulfilment.' Stephen Fry "It took us 4 billion years to evolve to where we are now - completely brilliant and yet, some might say, emotionally dwarfed. The question is: can our more empathetic side catch up in time to save us and the world? I've got nothing against smarts, but it's smarts without emotional awareness that got us into this position of being able to nuke each other into oblivion and rape the earth for oil." With a little help from a monk (who tells us how our mind works) and a neuroscientist (who tells us how our brain works), Ruby Wax answers every question you've ever had about: evolution, thoughts, emotions, the body, addictions, relationships, sex, kids, the future and compassion. Filled with witty anecdotes from Ruby's own life, and backed up by smart science and practical mindfulness exercises, How to be Human is the only manual you need to help you upgrade your mind as much as you've upgraded your iphone. 'Ruby has beautifully fused neurology and spirituality and given us a means to cope with operating both a mind and a brain. If this mental upgrade works then all other books will become defunct as we repose in bliss.' Russell Brand 'How to Be Human is, without exaggeration, a lifeline; wise, practical and funny, it is a handbook for those in despair. It is actually for everyone alive, for the curious, or disillusioned or muddled or just plain happy.' Joanna Lumley
In analyzing the obstacles to democratization in post- independence Africa, Mahmood Mamdani offers a bold, insightful account of colonialism's legacy-a bifurcated power that mediated racial domination through tribally organized local authorities, reproducing racial identity in citizens and ethnic identity in subjects. Many writers have understood colonial rule as either "direct" (French) or "indirect" (British), with a third variant-apartheid-as exceptional. This benign terminology, Mamdani shows, masks the fact that these were actually variants of a despotism. While direct rule denied rights to subjects on racial grounds, indirect rule incorporated them into a "customary" mode of rule, with state-appointed Native Authorities defining custom. By tapping authoritarian possibilities in culture, and by giving culture an authoritarian bent, indirect rule (decentralized despotism) set the pace for Africa; the French followed suit by changing from direct to indirect administration, while apartheid emerged relatively later. Apartheid, Mamdani shows, was actually the generic form of the colonial state in Africa. Through case studies of rural (Uganda) and urban (South Africa) resistance movements, we learn how these institutional features fragment resistance and how states tend to play off reform in one sector against repression in the other. Reforming a power that institutionally enforces tension between town and country, and between ethnicities, is the key challenge for anyone interested in democratic reform in Africa.
Of all species that have ever existed on earth, only one has reached human levels of intelligence and social organisation: us. Why? In Genesis, celebrated biologist Edward O. Wilson traces the great transitions of evolution, from the origin of life to the invention of sexual reproduction to the development of language itself. The only way for us to fully understand human behaviour, Wilson argues, is to study the evolutionary histories of nonhuman species. Of these, he demonstrates that at least seventeen - from the African naked mole rat and the sponge-dwelling shrimp to one of the oldest species on earth, the termite - have been found to have advanced societies based on altruism, cooperation and the division of labour. These rare eusocial species form the prehistory to our human social patterns, even, according to Wilson, suggesting the possible biological benefits of homosexuality and elderly grandmothers. Whether writing about midges who dance about like acrobats, schools of anchovies who protectively huddle to appear like a gigantic fish or well-organised flocks becoming potentially immortal, Genesis is a pathbreaking work of evolutionary theory filled with lyrical observations. It will make us rethink how we became who we are.work of evolutionary theory filled with lyrical observations. It will make us rethink how we became who we are.
Across Africa the narrative of "Africa rising" has taken root in a burgeoning middle class. Ambitious and increasingly affluent, this group symbolizes the values and hopes of the new Africa, and they are regarded as important agents of both economic development and democratic change. This narrative, however, obscures the complex and often ambiguous role that this group actually plays in African societies.
The Rise Of Africa's Middle Class brings together a diverse range of economists, political scientists, and development experts to provide a much needed corrective, overturning the received wisdom within development circles and providing a fresh new perspective on social transformations in contemporary Africa. Featuring a wide array of case studies from across sub-Saharan Africa and covering highly topical issues, including black middle-class support for the ANC in South Africa and anti-government activism in Nigeria, this collection of essays is a timely, on-the-ground look at the realities behind the idea of Africa rising.
A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER! Waterstones nonfiction Book of the Month (June)! A Time Magazine Top 10 Nonfiction Book of 2016! SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE! `The political book of the year' - Sunday Times! `You will not read a more important book about America this year' Economist!
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis - that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.
The Vance family story begins hopefully in post-war America. J. D.'s grandparents were "dirt poor and in love," and moved north from Kentucky's Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance's grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.
A deeply moving memoir with its share of humour and vividly colourful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
This compelling narrative explains how Native Americans found themselves time and again betrayed by the ever-expanding white nation of the East, fighting for lands on the edge of the shrinking frontier. Long considered a classic, this edition features an introduction by Dee Brown, author of" Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee."
"A vivid, swiftly paced account of the dispossession of the Plains Indians during the half century after 1840--"The New York Times Book Review,"
Brief and accessible, this reader features articles and excerpts from works that have proved pivotal in the field of cultural anthropology. Topics include culture, language and communication, ecology and economics, issues of culture change, and many others.
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