Voices of the Poor in Africa
Title Details

297 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

5 b/w. 9 line. Illustrations

Series: Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora

Imprint: University of Rochester Press

Voices of the Poor in Africa

Moral Economy and the Popular Imagination

by Elizabeth Isichei

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
An ambitious new approach to African studies, utilizing indigenous sources to bring back the voices of the native Africans in their own words rather than that of colonizers and foreigners.
Elizabeth Isichei explores the Atlantic slave trade, as reflected in the poetics of rumour and the poetics of memory -- an approach different from the quantitative and demographic studies which have transformed the subject over the past twenty years. To this and to her study of popular consciousness in the colony and postcolony, she brings together a wide range of disciplines -- ethnography, art and art history, and contemporary literary theory among them -- to look at the intellectual history of Africa, from African rather than European premises. The result is a history of popular consciousness which shows the experiences of ordinary people, often in protest to an ongoing experience of exploitation.

Elizabeth Isichei is Professor of Religious Studies, Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand and author of over a dozen books on African history and religion. She holds an Oxford doctorate, and aD.Litt from the University of Canterbury, and is a fellow of the Royal Society [N.Z.]
Introduction: Truth from Below
An Overview
The Slave Traders
The Imported Commodities
Cowries
Transformations: Enslavement and the Middle Passage in African American Memory
An Overview
The Entrepreneur and the Zombie
Colonial Vampires: The Theft of Life and Resources
Changing Bodies, Changing Worlds
Symbolic Money
Dangerous Women in an Age of AIDS
Village Intellectuals and the Challenge of Poverty
Mami Wata: Icon of Ambiguity
Symbolic Appropriations of Modernity
Converging Worlds, Polarized Worlds: the Realm Beneath the Sea Revised
Eating the State: Ridicule and the Crisis of the Quotidian
Conclusion
"The book is an important contribution to our understanding of Africa. It may become one of those 'must read' books for all Africanists." H-AFRICA
"Elizabeth Isichei's Voices of the Poor is an eloquent and ambitious effort to reconstruct the popular consciousness of ordinary Africans through the myths, rumors, and memories that circulate in African societies. Voices of the Poor is ambitious in its aims and sweeping in its scope. It is eloquently written and copiously documented...Isichei's fine book points the way to further integration between anthopology and history, providing a rich example of the means by which scholars can investigate popular consciousness by taking seriously the world of symbolic meaning." INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORICAL STUDIES, Volume 36 Number 2 [2003]

Paperback

9781580461795

September 2004

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Title Details

297 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

5 b/w. 9 line. Illustrations

Series: Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora

Imprint: University of Rochester Press