Readings in Modernity in Africa

Readings in Modernity in Africa

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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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 213.36 x 233.68 x 15.24mm | 498.95g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253219965
  • 9780253219961
  • 1,313,287

Review quote

"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 "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. 2show more

About Peter Geschiere

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.show more

Table of contents

Notes on ContributorsSources and AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Genealogies of Modernity in Africa, by Peter Geschiere, Birgit Meyer, and Peter PelsPart 1. Genealogies of "Modernity" in AfricaIntroduction to Part 1A. From "Modernization" to "Modernity"Introduction"Global Disconnect: Abjection and the Aftermath of Modernism," by James G. FergusonExcerpts from Modernization: Protest and Change, by S. N. Eisenstadt"Fanti National Constitution: Administrative Questions," by John Mensah SarbahB. The Loss of Development's Meta-NarrativeIntroductionThe World Bank's Changing Discourse on Development: From Reliance on the State and "Modernizing Elites" to "Bypassing the State," collage from World Bank texts, 1972-1989Excerpts from Anthropology and Development: Understanding Contemporary Social Change, by Jean-Pierre Olivier de SardanExcerpts from "Buying Futures": The Upsurge of Female Entrepreneurship-Crossing the Formal/Informal Divide in Southwest Cameroon, by Margaret Niger-ThomasC. The Modern Production of TraditionIntroduction"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 OomenD. Identity and Personhood in AfricaIntroduction"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"Rheshow more

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