Africana Studies & Research Center Faculty Books

Entre Nous - Between the World Cup and Me

In Entre Nous Grant Farred examines the careers of international football stars Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, along with his own experience playing for an amateur township team in apartheid South Africa, to theorize the relationship between sports and the intertwined experiences of relation, separation, and belonging. Drawing on Jean-Luc Nancy's concept of relation and Heideggerian ontology, Farred outlines how various relationships—the significantly different relationships Messi has with his club team FC Barcelona and the Argentine national team; Farred's shifting modes of relation as he moved between his South African team and his Princeton graduate student team; and Suarez's deep bond with Uruguay's national team coach Oscar Tabarez—demonstrate the ways the politics of relation both exist within and transcend sports. Farred demonstrates that approaching sports philosophically offers particularly insightful means of understanding the nature of being in the world, thereby opening new paths for exploring how the self is constituted in its relation to the other.

Book Cover Entre Nous - Between the World Cup and Me

Ibrahim El-Salahi: Prison Notebook

Sudanese artist, writer, critic, cultural diplomat Ibrahim El-Salahi (born 1930) is one of the critical figures of African and Arabic modernism. While serving as Sudan’s Undersecretary of Culture in 1975, El-Salahi was imprisoned without trial and endured six months of deprivation in the notorious Cooper (now Kober) Prison. During a period of house arrest that followed, he exorcised his experience in the Prison Notebook, an intensely personal work that is both a major historical document and a masterpiece of drawing, its pages filled with remarkable pen-and-ink drawings that demonstrate the artist’s graphic mastery. This bilingual English-Arabic volume, published by The Museum of Modern Art and the Sharjah Art Foundation, comprises a facsimile of the Prison Notebook (recently acquired by MoMA); an English translation of its prose; a contextualizing essay by art historian Salah Hassan that addresses the social and political milieu in which it was produced; and contemporary commentary by the artist, captured in a recent interview.

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The Burden of Over-representation: Race, Sport, and Philosophy

The Burden of Over-representation artfully explores three curious racial moments in sport: Jackie Robinson's expletive at a Dodgers spring training game; the transformation of a formality into an event at the end of the 1995 rugby World Cup in South Africa; and a spectral moment at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Grant Farred examines the connotations at play in these moments through the lenses of race, politics, memory, inheritance and conciliation, deploying a surprising cast of figures in Western thought, ranging from Jacques Derrida and Friedrich Nietzsche to Judith Butler, William Shakespeare, and Jesus-the-Christ. Farred makes connection and creates meaning through the forces at play and the representational burdens of team, country and race.

Farred considers Robinson's profane comments at black Dodgers fans, a post-match exchange of "thank yous" on the rugby pitch between white South African captain François Pienaar and Nelson Mandela, and being "haunted" by the ghost of Derrida on the occasion of the first FIFA World Cup on African soil. In doing so, The Burden of Over-representation provides a passionate, insightful analysis of the social, political, racial, and cultural consequences of conciliation at key sporting events.

The Burden of Over-representation Book Cover

Re-Visioning Education in Africa: Ubuntu-Inspired Education for Humanity

This book presents the case for a conceptual and pragmatic revolution of Africa’s formal educational systems. Using the context of Ubuntu-inspired education, the authors explore innovative ways to tackle the challenges faced by governments from the local and national level and beyond. Along the way, the editors and their contributors examine important policy questions to encourage fresh thinking on ways to improve the educational system and, in turn, to buoy the development of the region as a whole.

Re-Visioning Education in Africa: Ubuntu-Inspired Education for Humanity Book Cover

Walking

In this sweet coming-of-age tale, Carole Boyce Davies captures the legend of a man on a secret mission to speed walk around his majestic Caribbean island. But is this rapid moving rebel a madman or are we the crazy ones for standing still while life passes by? Is our speed walker a man ahead of his time? Get ready, get set to go on a high speed tour of your favorite Caribbean island, seen through the eyes of a Caribbean girl.

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Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Retrospect: Africa's Development Beyond 2015

This volume examines the impact of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on Africa’s development post-2015. It assesses the current state of the MDGs in Africa by outlining the successes, gaps and failures of the state goals, including lessons learned. A unique feature of the book is the exposition on post-MDG’s agenda for Africa’s development.

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Retrospect Book Cover

Africa and World War II

This volume considers the military, economic, and political significance of Africa during World War II. The essays feature new research and innovative approaches to the historiography of Africa and bring to the fore issues of race, gender, and labor during the war, topics that have not yet received much critical attention. It explores the experiences of male and female combatants, peasant producers, women traders, missionaries, and sex workers.

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Martin Heidegger Saved My Life

In Martin Heidegger Saved My Life, Grant Farred combines autobiography with philosophical rumination to offer this unusual meditation on American racism. Farred grapples with why it is that Heidegger resonates so deeply with him instead of other, more predictable figures such as Malcolm X, W. E. B. DuBois, or Frantz Fanon.

Martin Heidegger Saved My Life Book Cover

African Voices on Slavery and the Slave Trade: Vol. 2

This volume explores diverse sources such as oral testimonies, possession rituals, Arabic language sources, European missionary, administrative and court records and African intellectual writings to discover what they can tell us about slavery and the slave trade in Africa. This book will be invaluable for students and researchers interested in the history of slavery, the slave trade and post-slavery in Africa.

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Mrs. Shaw: A Novel

In the East African Kwatee Republic of the 1990s, the dictatorship is about to fall, and the nation’s exiles are preparing to return. One of these exiles, a young man named Kalumba, is a graduate student in the United States, where he encounters Mrs. Shaw, a professor emerita and former British settler who fled Kwatee’s postcolonial political and social turmoil.

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We Are an African People: Independent Education, Black Power, and the Radical Imagination

This book presents an intellectual history of subaltern education, a critical analysis of the fate of Black Power ideologies in the post-segregation era, and a portrait of African-American self-activity at the neighborhood level. Rickford puts forth a groundbreaking explanation of Black Power's preoccupation with forging a new people.

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Measuring and Analyzing Informal Learning in the Digital Age

Investigating some of the primary technologies being used in educational settings and how a less structured and more open learning environment can effectively motivate students and non-traditional learners, this premier reference is a crucial source of information for educators, administrators, theorists, and other professionals in the field of education.

Africa Must Be Modern: A Manifesto

In a forthright and uncompromising manner, Olúfémi Táíwò explores Africa’s hostility toward modernity and how that hostility has impeded economic development and social and political transformation. What has to change for Africa to be able to respond to the challenges of modernity and globalization? Táíwò insists that Africa can renew itself only by fully engaging with democracy and capitalism and by mining its untapped intellectual resources.

Measuring and Analyzing Informal Learning in the Digital Age Book Cover

Problems, Promises, and Paradoxes of Aid: Africa’s Experience

This book is an anthology of essays contributing new scholarship to the contemporary discourse on the concept of aid. It provides an interdisciplinary investigation of the role of aid in African development, compiling the work of historians, political scientists, legal scholars, and economists to examine where aid has failed and to offer new perspectives on how aid can be made more effective.

Problems, Promises, and Paradoxes of Aid: Africa’s Experience Book Cover

Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education

Public schools are among America’s greatest achievements in modern history, yet from the earliest days of tax-supported education—today a sector with an estimated budget of over half a billion dollars—there have been intractable tensions tied to race and poverty. Now, in an era characterized by levels of school segregation the country has not seen since the mid-twentieth century, cultural critic and American studies professor Noliwe Rooks provides a trenchant analysis of our separate and unequal schools and argues that profiting from our nation’s failure to provide a high-quality education to all children has become a very big business.

Cutting School Book Cover

Freedom from Liberation: Slavery, Sentiment, and Literature in Cuba

By exploring the complexities of enslavement in the autobiography of Cuban slave-poet Juan Francisco Manzano (1797–1854), Gerard Aching complicates the universally recognized assumption that a slave's foremost desire is to be freed from bondage. As the only slave narrative in Spanish that has surfaced to date, Manzano's autobiography details the daily grind of the vast majority of slaves who sought relief from the burden of living under slavery.

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Governance in the Extractive Industries: Power, Cultural Politics and Regulation (Routledge Studies of the Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development)

Greater understanding of the forms and consequences of investment and disinvestment in the extractive industries is required as a result of capitalist expansion, recent declines in global commodity prices, and claims that extractive sector projects, especially in the global south, are poverty reduction projects. This book explores emergent forms of governance in mining and extractive industry projects around the world. 

Chapters examine efforts to govern extractive activities across multiple political scales, through intermediaries, instruments, technologies, discourses, and infrastructures. The contributions analyse how multiple micro-processes of rule reverberate through societies to shape the material conditions of everyday life but also politics, social relations, and subjectivities in extractive economies. Detailed case studies are included from Africa (Chad, Nigeria, Rwanda, and São Tomé and Príncipe), Latin America (Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru), and the UN Climate Conference.

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Gender/Class Intersections and African Women's Rights

African women's rights, in its early expressions, was linked to the critique of particular economic/class systems which disempowered the majority of women in contemporary Africa. However, the discourse was subsequently dominated by a move towards feminist politics as cultural politics. The way gender and class intersect in an African context continues to be an ongoing critical lever of analysis, despite some recent turns in the study of African gender systems that have evaded class as a critical variable.
Gender/Class Intersections and African Women's Rights

Meridians, Vol.13, No. 1 (2015), pp. 1-25

Gender/Class Intersections and African Women's Rights Book Cover

Intricate Entanglement: The ICC and the Pursuit of Peace, Reconciliation and Justice in Libya, Guinea, and Mali

Abstract International justice is not merely a function of legislation and adjudication. It depends on the extent to which it is viewed as legitimate by litigants and others based on perceptions of the relationships of the operations of existing regimes of dispensation of justice. This is a reflection of the operations of the institutions of justice and those of the international order: including but not limited to the actions of judicial authorities and other judicial auxiliaries and intermediaries who give effect to justice through their interpretation and application of the law. From this perspective, justice extends beyond the ability of courts to specify the legal, material and moral dimensions of an offence. International justice has social ends that are easily undermined by self-interested attempts to delegitimize judicial institutions – a charge often levelled at the African Union – but also by the desire of others to preserve, as a matter of political inherency, their own sovereign spaces. Above all, the social ends of social justice, which is the end of international justice, is undermined by elevating judicial or punitive justice over larger social goals – as the examples in this article suggest.

Africa Development, Vol. 40, No. 2 (2015), pp. 99-122

 

Intricate Entanglement Book Cover

Violence in/and the Great Lakes: The Thought of V-Y Mudimbe and Beyond

This collection is, in the best sense of the term, a homage to Valentin Mudimbe. The festschrift's essays honor the intellectual legacy of Mudimbe - for decades now, one of Africa and the diaspora's most significant minds - by taking up the challenges his work poses, be they ethical, political, philosophical, literary, sociological, anthropological, or psychological challenges. The book gathers a group of US- and Africa-based scholars, many of whom are long-time Mudimbe collaborators and colleagues, who use the questions posed, the critiques and insights offered, and the paradigms constructed by Valentin Mudimbe's oeuvre to understand the implication - and, in some instances, the application - of Mudimbe's work in our moment. In this way, the project is true to Mudimbe's deepest commitment, because the collection, for all the range of its contributions, for all the variegated and often dissonant - yet resonant - ways in which the authors take up Mudimbe's thinking, never strays too far from the historic question of violence and the effects of that violence in the Great Lakes region of Africa, and, indeed, of violence in Africa itself. This is, in every important way, the founding inquiry of Mudimbe's work, and it is sustained in this book. Also, his thoughts are given important new life, new philosophical shape, and new political impetus. Questions continue to haunt his writing and, of course, the continent itself. In so honoring Valentin Mudimbe, the book is grounded in a key contribution by Mudimbe himself. Mudimbe is thus, as has long been his wont, reflecting upon his work in the company of those scholars whose work he has influenced and whom, it is clear, have been important interlocutors for Valentin Mudimbe. (Series: Thinking Africa) [Subject: African Studies, Philosophy, Sociology, Cultural Studies]

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Africa Must Be Modern: A Manifesto

Africa must be modern. Let me say it again: Africa must be modern. And it must be modern NOW; not tomorrow; not in the near future; not in the far future.... Put simply, Africa must embrace individualism as a principle of social ordering; make reason central in its relation to, activity upon, understanding of, and production of knowledge about the world, both physical and social, that it inhabits; and adopt progress as its motto in all things. The position just stated is rarely encountered in discourse about, in and on the continent or its Diaspora. On the contrary, no thanks to the militancy and stridency of the nativists, those who wish to celebrate African genius at adapting the wisdom of others and, by so doing, domesticate modernity for the benefit of Africa, Africans, and their life and thought, are practically shouted to silence or, at best, limited to furtive expressions of their preference.From the introduction

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In Motion, At Rest: The Event of the Athletic Body

In Motion, At Rest takes up the event as a philosophical problem from a novel perspective. Grant Farred examines three infamous events in sport, arguing that theorizing the event through sport makes possible an entirely original way of thinking about it.

In the first event, Ron Artest committed a flagrant foul in a National Basketball Association game, which provoked fans to hurl both invectives and beer cups. Artest and some teammates then attacked the fans. Drawing from Alain Badiou, Farred suggests that this event extends far beyond Artest and into the actions of many others, including those of Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, and Emmett Till. In the second event Eric Cantona—a professional footballer (soccer player)—was ejected from a game. On his way to the locker room a fan verbally assaulted him, and in response Cantona kicked the fan. Farred utilizes Gilles Deleuze’s insights on cinema to theorize “the most famous kung-fu kick in football.” In the third event, Zinedine Zidane, captain of the French national team, head butted an opposing player. Applying concepts from Jacques Derrida, Farred explores xenophobia and the politics of immigration.

Throughout, Farred shows how what was already inherent in the event is opened to new possibilities for understanding ontological being by thinking about sport philosophically.

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Caribbean Spaces - Escapes from Twilight Zone

Drawing on both personal experience and critical theory, Carole Boyce Davies illuminates the dynamic complexity of Caribbean culture and traces its migratory patterns throughout the Americas. Both a memoir and a scholarly study, Caribbean Spaces: Escapes from Twilight Zones explores the multivalent meanings of Caribbean space and community in a cross-cultural and transdisciplinary perspective.

From her childhood in Trinidad and Tobago to life and work in communities and universities in Nigeria, Brazil, England, and the United States, Carole Boyce Davies portrays a rich and fluid set of personal experiences. She reflects on these movements to understand the interrelated dynamics of race, gender, and sexuality embedded in Caribbean spaces, as well as many Caribbean people's traumatic and transformative stories of displacement, migration, exile, and sometimes return. Ultimately, Boyce Davies reestablishes the connections between theory and practice, intellectual work and activism, and personal and private space.

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Fanon: Imperative of the Now (South Atlantic Quarterly, Winter 2013)

This collection of essays marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Frantz Fanon’s classic study of anticolonial struggle, The Wretched of the Earth. Scholars explore the relevance of Fanon’s work for current modes of psychoanalysis, postcolonial theory, and political thought. One contributor reposes a classic question of postcolonial scholarship: what does it mean for a colonial Caribbean man to practice a Continental intellectual tradition? Others identify Fanon’s experiences working at a mental institution in colonial French Algeria as a powerful influence on his psychoanalytic perspective. This issue revitalizes Fanon’s canonical status as Third World theorist by asserting that the main imperatives of Fanon’s work remain as urgent as ever: combating the psychic and physical violence of colonialism, achieving real forms of liberation for colonized peoples, and ending the degradation of people of color.

Contributors: Matthew Abraham, Gerard Aching, John E. Drabinski, Grant Farred, Nigel C. Gibson, Priyamvada Gopal, Joy James, Ranjana Khanna, Alfred J. López, Miguel Mellino, Simon Morgan Wortham, Richard Pithouse

Grant Farred is Professor of Africana Studies and English at Cornell University. He is the former editor of the South Atlantic Quarterly and the author, most recently, of Long Distance Love: A Passion for Football.

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Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist

Ibrahim El-Salahi is one of the most influential figures in Sudanese modern art. Through his extraordinary artwork and remarkable writing and art criticism, he has made foundational contributions to the modernist movements in Africa and the Arab world. In his paintings, drawings, and illustrations, he engages with an array of traditional African, Arab, and Islamic visual sources as well as European art movements. His unique style transcends geographic and cultural boundaries and has inspired artists in Sudan and elsewhere in Africa for generations.

El-Salahi's art offers profound possibilities for understanding African and Arab modernisms and repositioning them within the context of a broader, global modernity. This book brings together more than five decades of his work, tracing a personal journey that originates in Sudan and leads to the artist's international schooling, his detention as a political prisoner in his home country, his self-imposed exile in Qatar, and his current life in the United Kingdom.

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Salah M. Hassan: How to Liberate Marx from His Eurocentrism Notes on African/Black Marxism: 100 Notes, 100 Thoughts: Documenta Series 091

Published in conjunction with the Documenta 13 exhibition in Kassel, Germany, the Documenta notebook series 100 Notes,100 Thoughts ranges from archival ephemera to conversations and commissioned essays. These notebooks express director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev’s curatorial vision for Documenta 13.

Salah M. Hassan: How to Liberate Marx from His Eurocentrism Notes on African/Black Marxism: 100 Notes, 100 Thoughts: Documenta Series 091 Book Cover

Racial Formation in the Twenty-First Century

Michael Omi and Howard Winant’s Racial Formation in the United States remains one of the most influential books and widely read books about race. Racial Formation in the 21st Century, arriving twenty-five years after the publication of Omi and Winant’s influential work, brings together fourteen essays by leading scholars in law, history, sociology, ethnic studies, literature, anthropology and gender studies to consider the past, present and future of racial formation. The contributors explore far-reaching concerns: slavery and land ownership; labor and social movements; torture and war; sexuality and gender formation; indigineity and colonialism; genetics and the body. From the ecclesiastical courts of seventeenth century Lima to the cell blocks of Abu Grahib, the essays draw from Omi and Winant’s influential theory of racial formation and adapt it to the various criticisms, challenges, and changes of life in the twenty-first century.

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She's Mad Real

"She's mad real. She don't front for nobody. If you listen to her music you learn stuff about her life and how she struggled to get where she is. She's not just singing about how she's out at the club."
New York high school student China on R&B singer Mary J. Blige

Overwhelmingly, Black teenage girls are negatively represented in national and global popular discourses, either as being "at risk" for teenage pregnancy, obesity, or sexually transmitted diseases, or as helpless victims of inner city poverty and violence. Such popular representations are pervasive and often portray Black adolescents' consumer and leisure culture as corruptive, uncivilized, and pathological. 
In She's Mad Real, Oneka LaBennett draws on over a decade of researching teenage West Indian girls in the Flatbush and Crown Heights sections of Brooklyn to argue that Black youth are in fact strategic consumers of popular culture and through this consumption they assert far more agency in defining race, ethnicity, and gender than academic and popular discourses tend to acknowledge. Importantly, LaBennett also studies West Indian girls' consumer and leisure culture within public spaces in order to analyze how teens like China are marginalized and policed as they attempt to carve out places for themselves within New York's contested terrains.

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The Politics of Spanish American 'Modernismo': By Exquisite Design

The Politics of Spanish American "Modernismo" elucidates the professional and literary means through which Spanish American modernistas negotiated a cultural politics of rapprochement with Spain and Europe in order to differentiate their Americanness from that of the United States. Gerard Aching argues that these turn-of-the-century men of letters were in fact responsible for the burgeoning role that intellectuals and writers had (and continue to have) in defining pan-Hispanicism. Aching's arguments contribute to current debates about modernity and the colonial/postcolonial condition in nineteenth-century Hispanic literatures.

The Politics of Spanish American 'Modernismo': By Exquisite Design Book Cover

How Colonialism Preempted Modernity in Africa

Why hasn't Africa been able to respond to the challenges of modernity and globalization? Going against the conventional wisdom that colonialism brought modernity to Africa, Olúfémi Táíwò claims that Africa was already becoming modern and that colonialism was an unfinished project. Africans aspired to liberal democracy and the rule of law, but colonial officials aborted those efforts when they established indirect rule in the service of the European powers. Táíwò looks closely at modern institutions, such as church missionary societies, to recognize African agency and the impulse toward progress. He insists that Africa can get back on track and advocates a renewed engagement with modernity. Immigration, capitalism, democracy, and globalization, if done right this time, can be tools that shape a positive future for Africa.

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Sovereigns, Quasi Sovereigns, and Africans: Race and Self-Determination in International Law

Sovereigns, Quasi Sovereigns, and Africans was first published in 1996. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

In this trenchant critique, Siba N'Zatioula Grovogui demonstrates the failure of international law to address adequately the issues surrounding African self-determination during decolonization. Challenging the view that the only requirement for decolonization is the elimination of the legal instruments that provided for direct foreign rule, Sovereigns, Quasi Sovereigns, and Africans probes the universal claims of international law.

Grovogui begins by documenting the creation of the "image of Africa" in European popular culture, examining its construction by conquerors and explorers, scientists and social scientists, and the Catholic Church. Using the case of Namibia to illuminate the general context of Africa, he demonstrates that the principles and rules recognized in international law today are not universal, but instead reflect relations of power and the historical dominance of specific European states.

Grovogui argues that two important factors have undermined the universal applicability of international law: its dependence on Western culture and the way that international law has been structured to preserve Western hegemony in the international order. This dependence on Europeandominated models and legal apparatus has resulted in the paradox that only rights sanctioned by the former colonial powers have been accorded to the colonized, regardless of the latter's needs. In the case of Namibia, Grovogui focuses on the discursive strategies used by the West and their southern African allies to control the legal debate, as well as the tactics used by the colonized to recast the terms of the discussion.

Grovogui blends critical legal theory, historical research, political economy, and cultural studies with profound knowledge of contemporary Africa in general and Namibia in particular. Sovereigns, Quasi Sovereigns, and Africans represents the very best of the new scholarship, moving beyond narrow disciplinary boundaries to illuminate issues of decolonization in Africa.

Siba N'Zatioula Grovogui is assistant professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University. He previously practiced law in his native Guinea.

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Long Distance Love: A Passion for Football (Sporting)

Since he was a young adult, Grant Farred has wandered the world.  Born in South Africa, his own personal growth was fueled by dreams of English football, as a player, and then, when age and reality set in, as a fan.  Coming to the United States at a still young age, Farred still loved football -- especially Liverpool -- and watched it from afar.  Writing about his experience, Farred shares with the reader his experience growing up colored in South Africa, moving to England, and finally to the US, and how his passion for football kept company with his many moves.  Along the way, he talks about the contradictions of football; how race and class politics mix on and off the pitch; how Farred's own ideas about what it means to be a colonial subject is both reinforced and liberated by the idea of football, and how players can serve as gods and mosnters. 

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Black Masculinity and the U.S. South: From Uncle Tom to Gangsta (The New Southern Studies Ser.)

This pathbreaking study of region, race, and gender reveals how we underestimate the South's influence on the formation of black masculinity at the national level. Many negative stereotypes of black men―often contradictory ones―have emerged from the ongoing historical traumas initiated by slavery. Are black men emasculated and submissive or hypersexed and violent? Nostalgic representations of black men have arisen as well: think of the philosophical, hardworking sharecropper or the abiding, upright preacher. To complicate matters, says Riché Richardson, blacks themselves appropriate these images for purposes never intended by their (mostly) white progenitors.

Starting with such well-known caricatures as the Uncle Tom and the black rapist, Richardson investigates a range of pathologies of black masculinity that derive ideological force from their associations with the South. Military policy, black-liberation discourse, and contemporary rap, she argues, are just some of the instruments by which egregious pathologies of black masculinity in southern history have been sustained. Richardson's sources are eclectic and provocative, including Ralph Ellison's fiction, Charles Fuller's plays, Spike Lee's films, Huey Newton's and Malcolm X's political rhetoric, the O. J. Simpson discourse, and the music production of Master P, the Cash Money Millionaires, and other Dirty South rappers.

Black Masculinity and the U.S. South: From Uncle Tom to Gangsta (The New Southern Studies Ser.) Book Cover

White Money/Black Power: The Surprising History of African American Studies and the Crisis of Race in Higher Education

The history of African American studies is often told as a heroic tale, with compelling images of black power and passionate African American students who refused to take no for an answer. Noliwe M. Rooks argues for the recognition of another story, which proves that many of the programs that survived actually began as a result of white philanthropy. With unflinching honesty, Rooks shows that the only way to create a stable future for African American studies is by confronting its complex past.

White Money/Black Power: The Surprising History of African American Studies and the Crisis of Race in Higher Education Book Cover

Women and Higher Education in Africa: Reconceptualizing Gender-based Human Capabilities and Upgrading Human Rights to Knowledge

Women and Higher Education in Africa: Reconceptualizing Gender-based Human Capabilities and Upgrading Human Rights to Knowledge is a pioneering book that provides theoretical articulation of the quest for relevant development paradigms and policy conceptualization to address effectively the urgent need for Africa collectively to appropriate the process of genuine progress. Noted scholars and policy analysts address, in 16 chapters, complex issues that are central to the relevant analysis and understanding of the interface between gender, higher education, and the production of knowledge as a means for agency, reclaiming of human rights, and a source for informed participation in social processes. They have explored the issues surrounding the basic fundamental right of women to higher education and argued the importance of women's access to higher education if African societies and countries are to break the cycle of poverty and human misery. This is a hopeful book with authoritatively articulated and compelling arguments for the full utilization of human capabilities and the fulfillment of the African women's rights to learning in all areas and at all levels of educational systems including higher education.

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Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones

In Left of Karl Marx, Carole Boyce Davies assesses the activism, writing, and legacy of Claudia Jones (1915–1964), a pioneering Afro-Caribbean radical intellectual, dedicated communist, and feminist. Jones is buried in London’s Highgate Cemetery, to the left of Karl Marx—a location that Boyce Davies finds fitting given how Jones expanded Marxism-Leninism to incorporate gender and race in her political critique and activism.

Claudia Cumberbatch Jones was born in Trinidad. In 1924, she moved to New York, where she lived for the next thirty years. She was active in the Communist Party from her early twenties onward. A talented writer and speaker, she traveled throughout the United States lecturing and organizing. In the early 1950s, she wrote a well-known column, “Half the World,” for the Daily Worker. As the U.S. government intensified its efforts to prosecute communists, Jones was arrested several times. She served nearly a year in a U.S. prison before being deported and given asylum by Great Britain in 1955. There she founded The West Indian Gazette and Afro-Asian Caribbean Newsand the Caribbean Carnival, an annual London festival that continues today as the Notting Hill Carnival. Boyce Davies examines Jones’s thought and journalism, her political and community organizing, and poetry that the activist wrote while she was imprisoned. Looking at the contents of the FBI file on Jones, Boyce Davies contrasts Jones’s own narration of her life with the federal government’s. Left of Karl Marx establishes Jones as a significant figure within Caribbean intellectual traditions, black U.S. feminism, and the history of communism.

Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones Book Cover

Beyond Eurocentrism and Anarchy: Memories of International Order and Institutions (Culture and Religion in International Relations)

This book reevaluates "international knowledge" in light of recent scholarship in the fields of hermeneutics, ethnography, and historiography regarding the non-West, the past, and the present of international society. Countering the disciplinary skepticism about political possibilities outside of the strictures of modern Western forms, it proposes formulations of power, interest, ethics, and subjectivity by a group of African intellectuals as plausible alternatives to official French and American postwar proposals for world order.

Beyond Eurocentrism and Anarchy Book Cover

Higher Education in Africa. Crises, Reforms and Transformation

This book provides theoretical tools for analysing contemporary African higher education systems and institutions. It also examines policy challenges and the prospects for social progress. It points to critical areas of investigation for the CODESRIA Multinational Working Group (MWG) research network on higher education. Conceived as a background text for this network, the book traces the historical roots and the global factors of the African higher education crises and the search for transformation to address issues of legitimacy and relevance. It analyses the origins, nature, and mission of African higher education, the problems associated with cultural colonization and the dependency trap, the local/global nexus in the crises with a special attention to the structural adjustment programmes (SAPs), and the various waves of reforms and innovations. Furthermore, the book presents a synopsis of studies that were conducted on the crises, highlighting both their findings and recommendations. The new challenges within the global and local objective conditions of globalisation, the debt burden, the disruptive impact of violence and armed conflicts, and human resource loss due to HIV/AIDS and brain drain are also discussed. Finally, the book examines the potential for higher education as a public good to promote structural change by productively using African assets including indigenous knowledge within a philosophy of fusion, and Africans in the Diaspora. It argues for the need to vigorously engender African higher education, and creatively appropriate new opportunities such as the selective use of information and communication technologies and decolonized partnerships in the global context. N'Dri T. Assié-Lumumba is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. She was trained as an educator (comparative education: economics and sociology), a sociologist and historian. She teaches at the Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, USA. Professor Assié-Lumumba has published extensively on higher education, educational systems, gender, women and development issues. Her works cover the use of information and communication technologies for education delivery, and critically address issues of continued domination and exploitation in the transfer of technology from the North to the global South and the social reproduction of gender inequality through the use of technology in educational processes. Her publications include: Les Africaines dans la politique: femmes Baoulé de Côte d'Ivoire (L'Harmattan: 1996); African Voices in Education, co-edited (Juta: 2000); and Cyberspace, Distance Learning, and Higher Education in Developing Countries, edited (Brill: 2004).

Higher Education Reform in Africa Book Cover

Ladies' Pages: African American Women's Magazines and the Culture That Made Them

Beginning in the late nineteenth century, mainstream magazines established ideal images of white female culture, while comparable African American periodicals were cast among the shadows. Noliwe M. Rooks’s Ladies’ Pagessheds light on the most influential African American women’s magazines––Ringwood’s Afro-American Journal of Fashion, Half-Century Magazine for the Colored Homemaker, Tan Confessions, Essence, and O, the Oprah Magazine––and their little-known success in shaping the lives of black women.

Ladies’ Pages demonstrates how these rare and thought-provoking publications contributed to the development of African American culture and the ways in which they in turn reflect important historical changes in black communities. What African American women wore, bought, consumed, read, cooked, and did at home with their families were all fair game, and each of the magazines offered copious amounts of advice about what such choices could and did mean. At the same time, these periodicals helped African American women to find work and to develop a strong communications network. Rooks reveals in detail how these publications contributed to the concepts of black sexual identity, rape, migration, urbanization, fashion, domesticity, consumerism, and education.  Her book is essential reading for everyone interested in the history and culture of African Americans.

Ladies' Pages: African American Women's Magazines and the Culture That Made Them Book Cover

Cyberspace, Distance Learning, and Higher Education in Developing Countries

Amidst the euphoria about the new frontiers of technology sometimes perceived as a panacea for expansion of higher education in developing countries, there is a need to analyze persistent and new grounds of unequal opportunity for access, learning, and the production of knowledge. This volume addresses fundamental questions about the educational process such as: - The use of technology in higher education for a holistic educational system for social development - The actual technological capacity in Africa and possibilities for virtual higher education - Cultural relevance of the curriculum and pedagogy - Pedagogy and gender in cyberspace education - Perils of externally-driven distance education programs in Africa and the quest for ownership towards development - Challenges and opportunities in the making of knowledge society in an Asian context - Strategies to promote constructive virtual higher education in Africa and Asia.

Cyberspace, Distance Learning, and Higher Education in Developing Countries Book Cover

What's My Name?: Black Vernacular Intellectuals

Whom does society consider an intellectual and on what grounds? Antonio Gramsci’s democratic vision of intelligence famously suggested that “all men are intellectuals,” yet within academic circles and among the general public, intellectuals continue to be defined by narrow, elite criteria. 

In this study of four celebrated citizens of the African diaspora—American boxer Muhammad Ali, West Indian Marxist critic C. L. R. James, British cultural theorist Stuart Hall, and Jamaican musician Bob Marley—Grant Farred develops a new category of engaged thinker: the vernacular intellectual. Extending Gramsci’s concept of the organic intellectual, Farred conceives of vernacular intellectuals as individuals who challenge social injustice from inside and outside traditional academic or political spheres. Muhammad Ali, for example, is celebrated as much for his dazzling verbal skills and courageous political stands as for his pugilistic talents; Bob Marley’s messages of liberation are as central to his popularity as his lyrical and melodic sophistication. Neither man is described as an intellectual, yet both perform crucial intellectual functions: shaping how people see the world, oppose hegemony, and understand their own history. In contrast, the careers of C. L. R. James and Stuart Hall reflect a dynamic blend of the traditional and the vernacular. Conventionally trained and situated,  James and Hall examine racism, history, and the lasting impact of colonialism in ways that draw on both established scholarship and more popular cultural experiences.

Challenging existing paradigms, What’s My Name offers an expansive and inclusive vision of intellectual activity that is as valid and meaningful in the boxing ring, the press conference, and the concert hall as in academia.

What's My Name?: Black Vernacular Intellectuals Book Cover

Masking and Power: Carnival and Popular Culture in the Caribbean

Does the mask reveal more than it conceals? What, this book asks, becomes visible and invisible in the masking practiced in Caribbean cultures -- not only in the familiar milieu of the carnival but in political language, social conduct, and cultural expressions that mimic, misrepresent, and mislead? Focusing on masking as a socially significant practice in Caribbean cultures, Gerard Aching's analysis articulates masking, mimicry, and misrecognition as a means of describing and interrogating strategies of visibility and invisibility in Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Martinique, and beyond.

Masking and Power uses ethnographic fieldwork, psychoanalysis, and close literary readings to examine encounters between cultural insiders as these locals mask themselves and one another either to counter the social invisibility imposed on them or to maintain their socioeconomic privileges. Aching exposes the ways in which strategies of masking and mimicry, once employed to negotiate subjectivities within colonial regime, have been appropriated for state purposes and have become, with the arrival of self-government in the islands, the means by which certain privileged locals make a show of national and cultural unity even as they engage in the privatization of popular culture and its public performances.

Masking and Power: Carnival and Popular Culture in the Caribbean Book Cover

Hair Raising: Beauty, Culture, and African American Women

We all know there is a politics of skin color, but is there a politics of hair? In this book, Noliwe Rooks explores the history and politics of hair and beauty culture in African American communities from the nineteenth century to the 1990s. She discusses the ways in which African American women have located themselves in their own families, communities, and national culture through beauty advertisements, treatments, and styles. Bringing the story into today's beauty shop, listening to other women talk about braids, Afros, straighteners, and what they mean today to grandmothers, mothers, sisters, friends, and boyfriends, she also talks about her own family and has fun along the way. Hair Raising is that rare sort of book that manages both to entertain and to illuminate its subject.

Hair Raising: Beauty, Culture, and African American Women Book Cover

Legal Naturalism: A Marxist Theory of Law

Legal Naturalism advances a clear and convincing case that Marx's theory of law is a form of natural law jurisprudence. It explicates both Marx's writings and the idea of natural law, and makes a forceful contribution to current debates on the foundations of law.

Olufemi Taiwo argues that embedded in the corpus of Marxist writing is a plausible, adequate, and coherent legal theory. He describes Marx's general concept of law, which he calls "legal naturalism." For Marxism, natural law isn't a permanent verity; it refers to the basic law of a given epoch or social formation which is an essential aspect of its mode of production. Capitalist law is thus natural law in a capitalist society and is politically and morally progressive relative to the laws of preceding social formations.

Taiwo emphasizes that these formations are dialectical or dynamic, not merely static, so that the law which is naturally appropriate to a capitalist economy will embody tensions and contradictions that replicate the underlying conflicts of that economy. In addition, he discusses the enactment and reform of "positive law"―law established by government institutions―in a Marxian framework.

Legal Naturalism - A Marxist Theory of Law Book Cover

Ngambika: Studies of Women in African Literature

Ngambika is a Tshiluba (Central Africa) phrase whose closest english rendition is "Help Me To Balance This Load." An African woman who has to carry a heavy load often asks another woman to help her lift it onto her head while she finds the correct posture and balance to choulder the weight herself. In most cases, the load is within her capability, so she balances it herself without assistance. This balancing process is the symbolic representation of the balance between woman's emancipation and commitment to total African liberation that is at the core of this book.

The criticism in Ngambika: Studies of Women in African Literature is concerned with expanding and augmenting the interpretation of the whole body of African literary creativity. It is a concerted attempt to redress the relative inattention to women in African literary sholarship. towards this end, the editorial and ideological orientation here is not just around the works of women writers (and critics), but around African writers ranging from Buchi Emecheta and Wole Soyinka to Mariama Ba and Ngugi wa Thiong'o.

Ngambika: Studies of Women in African Literature Book Cover