Africa

A scholarly journal devoted to the study of African societies and cultures. Editorial emphasis is placed on an interdisciplinary approach to African studies by the inclusion of topics in social sciences, history, the environment, and life sciences. Each i

Articles from Vol. 75, No. 1, Winter

Babies' Baths, Babies' Remembrances: A Beng Theory of Development, History and Memory
ABSTRACT Memory is often considered a monopoly of adults and older children: the younger the child, the less significant the capacity for recollecting. In Cote d'Ivoire, the Beng posit a radically different theory, of cognitive development: adults...
Childhood Memories and Contemporary Parenting in Ekiti, Nigeria
ABSTRACT The practice of pawning children, whose labour served as interest paid on loans, was common in precolonial and early colonial Ekiti Yoruba society. Known as iwofa, these children would work for the lender until their kinsmen had repaid...
Foreword: Collective Memory and the Politics of Reproduction in Africa
When Bamileke women in urban Cameroon give birth, older women often recall the 'troubles', the period between 1955 and 1974 when the UPC (Union des Populations du Cameroun) waged a battle of national independence, as a way of teaching their daughters...
In the Belly of History: Memory, Forgetting, and the Hazards of Reproduction
ABSTRACT This paper examines the intertwined issues of memory and forgetting, focusing particularly on the question of precisely how, and by what social mechanisms, forgetting is accomplished. I discuss how collective and individual forms of forgetting...
Legacies of Biafra: Marriage, 'Home People' and Reproduction among the Igbo of Nigeria
ABSTRACT This article examines the ways in which the legacies and collective memories of Biafra, the secessionist state established at the time of Nigeria's civil war from 1967 to 1970, shape contemporary Igbo practices and experiences of marriage,...
Postscript: From Memory to Conviction and Action
African modernity surely comprises less pervasive outright violence than is suggested by popular representations--the 'New Barbarism', as Paul Richards (1996) calls it. But by now it surely comprises more violent disjunctures than scholars like me,...
Remembering 'The Troubles': Reproductive Insecurity and the Management of Memory in Cameroon
ABSTRACT The 'time of troubles', a period of a radical nationalist movement (the UPC) and state reprisals sometimes called the Bamileke Rebellion, rocked Cameroon during the years surrounding its Independence in 1960. At the time, Bamileke women...
The Widow in Blue: Blood and the Morality of Remembering in Botswana's Time of AIDS
ABSTRACT Popular talk and silence about AIDS in Botswana have been shaped by survivors' efforts to manage the ways in which they remember relationships arising from procreation. The emotional force of death induces the immediately bereaved and wider...