West African Challenge to Empire
Title Details

440 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

4 b/w, 14 line illus.

Series: Western African Studies

Imprint: James Currey

West African Challenge to Empire

Culture and History in the Volta-Bani Anticolonial War

by Mahir Saul and Patrick Royer

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Contributes to the anthropology of colonialism, the military history of indigenous Africa, and to theoretical debates on structure and agency.
Winner of the 2001 Amaury Talbot Prize for African Anthropology

The anti-colonial war in the Volta and Bani region of West Africa in 1915-16 was one of the largest armed oppositions to colonialism anywhere in Africa, yet it is largely unknown in the English-speaking world. This book combines cultural and sociological analysis to explore the origins of the movement, its strategy, the reasons for its initial success, and its legacy for the region after its defeat.

North America: Ohio U Press
Introduction
1 The West Volta in the Nineteenth Century
2 The Muslim Houses of the Volta and the Beginnings of French Occupation
3 An Incomplete Colonial Occupation
4 Before the Storm
5 The Call to Arms
6 The First Victories of the Anticolonial Party
7 Terror as Strategy: The War in the Cercle of Dedougou
8 The War in the Cercle of Bobo-Dioulasso
9 The Pilgrim and the Shrines: The War in Koutiala, San, and Bandiagara
10 East of the Volta: The War in the Cercle of Ouagadougou
Conclusion
Appendix: Letters Used as Evidence in the Muslim Conspiracy Trials

Mahir Şaul is a professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is co-author of West African Challenge to Empire: Culture and History in the Volta-Bani Anticolonial War.

Patrick Royer is Adjunct Professor, Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institut. He is co-author of West African Challenge to Empire, which was awarded the Amaury Talbot Prize of the Royal Anthropological Society, and author of La guerre en miroir, conquête et pacification au Soudan Occidental [War, Conquest, and Pacification in Western Sudan] (2019), which received the Robert Cornevin Prize from the Académie des sciences d'outre-mer in Paris.

"This highly recommended work will recast the history of colonial West Africa for years to come. All levels and collections. -" C. L. Goucher, CHOICE
"Saul and Royer have written an excellent book that reveals the significance of a neglected event in the early French colonial period in West Africa. Their anthropological analysis of the local pre-colonial context offers an important critique of earlier work and a fresh perspective on the societies of the region. Their reconstruction focuses upon both sides of the conflict, with special emphasis on the sophistication of the anti-colonial movement. Others may use the findings of this book to launch research projects into the implications of the war for specific communities. -" John H. Hanson, BULLETIN OF THE ROYAL INSTITUTE FOR INTER-FAITH STUDIES
"Les auteurs presentent ce livre comme une etude de microhistoire anthropologique. La modestie de l'expression met en valeur l'originalite d'un travail qui exploite des sources nombreuses, dispersees dans plusiers specialites par la nomenclature scientifique. -" Marie-Claude Dupre, AFRIQUE
"...they demonstrate just how much of that African voice can be recovered by a careful reading of the colonial archive record, especially when it is combined with extensive fieldwork. One of their objectives in writing the book was to strengthen the growing ties between anthropology and history by encouraging the combining of the work methods of the two disciplines. In that task, they have succeeded most impressively. This is only one of many historical studies written by anthropologists in recent years, but it is surely one of the best. -" A.S. Kenya-Forstner, INTERNATIONAL HISTORICAL REVIEW
"This book is a must-read for any scholar interested in the military and social history of colonial rule in Africa. -" Leslie C. Gray, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORICAL STUDIES

Paperback

9780852554791

March 2002

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Title Details

440 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

4 b/w, 14 line illus.

Series: Western African Studies

Imprint: James Currey