To save this undefined to your undefined account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your undefined account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This piece considers the subfields of African gender and sexuality history, from the perspective of an unusual career path that has moved between higher education and activist work in Canada and Uganda, and included policy and public service work in the latter. Over the past few decades, African women's history has shifted from the margins of African historiography to the mainstream; scholars have subjected a wide range of topics to insightful gender analysis; and increasingly sophisticated studies of sexuality have emerged. This piece surveys these important developments and how they have played out in the classroom in relation to students’ shifting political and social sensibilities. It argues that, moving forward, scholars should devote more attention to the precolonial history of sexuality and develop creative methodologies for reconstructing that history, especially through engaging historical demography.
The idea that homosexuality is ‘un-African’ is widely regarded, at least among Western scholars, as a myth concocted during the colonial era. The evidence adduced to support this consensus is largely convincing, but it does not account for all the features of contemporary African leaders’ homophobic discourses. In particular, it does not account for differences between Christian and Muslim rhetorics with respect to a putative ‘African sexuality’. Historical, ethnographic, and literary evidence suggests these differences can be traced in part to the trans-Saharan slave trade, which gave rise to racialized sexual tropes of blacks and Arabs that circulated and continue to circulate on both sides of the Sahara. In Nigeria and perhaps elsewhere, it seems that sexual stereotypes of Arabs and black Africans derived from both the trans-Saharan trade and European colonial rule have been respectively, if unevenly, mapped onto Muslims and Christians, in a way that hinders national integration. This is so even when the leaders of both groups seem to be in agreement, as when they join forces to condemn homosexuality. To ignore such religious, racial, and sexual contradictions is to ignore some of the major cultural faultlines within contemporary African nation-states and the continent overall.
The integration of gender as a vibrant stream within African historical writing suggests a remarkable success story with many prominent historians and fresh thematics involved. Alongside an interest in subjectivities has emerged vigorous attention to the affective, emotions, and the senses. Why affect has emerged now matters. At the same time, new kinds of intellectual histories are burgeoning in the African field, frequently forwarding an unacknowledged masculinity. With the affective and the intellectual seemingly at odds with each other, it is crucial to seek ways to cross and combine them, while remaining alert to methodological perils and innovative forms.
This article uses the extensive documentation of Africans liberated from slave vessels to explore issues of identity and freedom in the nineteenth-century Atlantic world. It tracks the size, origin, and movement of the Liberated African diaspora, offers a preliminary analysis of the ‘disposal’ of African recaptives in societies on both sides of the Atlantic, and assesses the opportunities Liberated Africans had in shaping their post-disembarkation experiences. While nearly all Liberated Africans were pulled at least partly into the Atlantic wage economy, the article concludes that recaptive communities in Freetown and its hinterland most closely met the aspirations of the Liberated Africans themselves while the fate of recaptives settled in the Americas paralleled those who were enslaved.
The historical and social science literature is divided about the importance of metropolitan blueprints of colonial rule for the development of colonial states. We exploit historical records of colonial state finances to explore the importance of metropolitan identity on the comparative development of fiscal institutions in British and French Africa. Taxes constituted the financial backbone of the colonial state and were vital to the state building efforts of colonial governments. A quantitative comparative perspective shows that pragmatic responses to varying local conditions can easily be mistaken for specific metropolitan blueprints of colonial governance and that under comparable local circumstances the French and British operated in remarkably similar ways.
The rhetoric of development served as a language for Sotho politicians from 1960–70 to debate the meanings of political participation. The relative paucity of aid in this period gave outsized importance to small projects run in rural villages, and stood in stark contrast to the period from the mid-1970s onwards when aid became an ‘anti-politics machine’ that worked to undermine national sovereignty. Examination of the democratic period in Lesotho from 1966–70 helps explain the process by which newly independent states gave up some of their recently won sovereignty, and how a turn to authoritarianism helped contribute to this process.
This article examines the use of tradition by minority groups whose territorial incorporation into British Northern Togoland under UN trusteeship was marked by political exclusion. This contrasts with the more typical pattern of productive and inclusive relations developing between chiefs and the administering authority within the boundaries of what was to become Ghana. In East Gonja, marginalized groups produced their own chiefs while simultaneously appealing to the UN Trusteeship Council to protect their native rights. The article contributes to studies on the limits of the ‘invention of tradition’ by showing the influence of external structures on African agency and organization. As the minority groups sought UN support on the basis of their native status, the colonial power affirmed alternative versions of tradition that were perceived locally as illegitimate and thereby rendered ineffective.
The formative influence of colonial art education on modern art movements in Africa has not attracted a great deal of scholarly attention. Yet, European art teachers in the Gold Coast challenged colonial prejudice that Africans were incapable of mastering European aesthetic forms. This article analyses the art education provided at the Teacher Training College at Achimota School where pupils learned both to revalue African art forms and to draw and paint in European, representational art styles. Modern artists built on and reshaped what they had learned at Achimota in order to respond to changing social and political conditions. The last section of this article explores the impact of colonial art education on the work of two of the earliest modern artists in Ghana: Kofi Antubam and Vincent Kofi.
‘High apartheid’ in the 1960s was marked by intensified efforts to redraw urban areas along racial lines and quash black South Africans' schooling and employment ambitions. The 1953 Bantu Education Act became infamous for limiting African educational opportunities. Yet this article shows how women in Umlazi Township, outside of Durban, schooled their children – despite and indeed because of apartheid's oppressive educational and urban policies. Drawing on oral histories and archival records, it explores the ‘bond of education’, the gendered material-emotional family connections that enabled schooling and resulted from schooling. In the face of increasingly insecure intimate relations, a booming economy, and expanded basic education, mothers' attention to their children's and grandchildren's education grew in importance and scale: education required sacrifices but promised children's eventual support.