Readings in Modernity in Africa

Readings in Modernity in Africa

Birgit Meyer, Peter Pels

Edited by Peter Geschiere

Paperback
$29.95

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James Currey

Overview

Overview

A student guide to the variety of scholarly work on the issue of modernity in Africa.
This book provides students of Africa with a guide to the bewildering variety of scholarly work on the issue of modernity in Africa, and to offer some tools for dealing with its intellectual paradoxes. Part One contains both analytical and historical examples of the genealogies of modernity in the African continent and the fragmentation over time of its unilinear meta-narrative. Part Two provides a set of rich ethnographic sketches of its current manifestations in politics, urban space, technology and the realm of the invisible. What emerges as critically important in this challenging collage of texts, are the varying ways in which modernity actually produces its other - that is, 'tradition'.

Contributions include writings and extracts from: JAMES G. FERGUSON, S.N. EISENSTADT, JOHN MENSAH SARBAH, J-P. OLIVIER DE SARDAN, MARGARET NIGER-THOMAS, JULIUS NYERERE, THABO MBEKI, LEOPOLD SEDAR SENGHOR, BARBARA OOMEN, PETER PELS, BIRGIT MEYER, JEAN-FRANCOIS BAYART, KWAME NKRUMAH, ACHILLE MBEMBE, MARIAN FERME, BRIAN LARKIN, FRANCIS NYAMNJOH, ALLEN F. ROBERTS & MARY NOOTER ROBERTS, BASILE NDIJO.

Published in association with the International African Institute
North America: Indiana University Press; South Africa: Unisa Press

Details

October 2008
30 black and white, 6 line illustrations
240 pages
23.4x21.6 cm
Readings in...
ISBN: 9780852558980
Format: Paperback
James Currey
BIC GTB, 1H, 2AB
BISAC LCO001000
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Table of Contents

Introduction by the editors
I GENEALOGIES OF MODERNITY IN AFRICA
From 'modernization' to 'modernity'
The loss of development's meta-narrative
The modern production of tradition
Chiefs in present day South Africa
Identity & personhood in Africa
II ETHNOGRAPHIES OF THE MODERN IN AFRICA
Dynamics of governmentality
The city
Technology
Modernity's enchantment
New figures of success: beyond the modern?

Reviews

A fascinating and valuable book. JOURNAL OF AFRICAN ARCHAEOLOGY
This reader is a bold attempt to rescue the heuristic value of modernity in African scholarship that takes cognizance of the disjunctures between academic discourses and lived African realities. By bringing together a wide array of multidisciplinary papers - published and unpublished - it makes a convincing argument for a historicized approach to Africa's engagement with modernity that gives Africa agency as coeval while recognizing the inequities that have framed Africa's relationship with the West. The stimulating introduction and essays in this volume underscore why modernity remains a factious yet highly significant concept for Africans and thus for scholars of Africa. - Emmanuel Akyeampong, Professor of History, Harvard University
The editors of this vibrant volume refuse to impose premature clarity or closure on the meaning of 'modernity', in Africa or elsewhere. But they also insist on treating its inescapable, if illusive effects with the utmost intellectual seriousness and rigor. - Professor Jean Comaroff

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