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. 79, No. 3, Summer

Anticipating the Tsunami: Rumours, Planning and the Arbitrary State in Zimbabwe
ABSTRACT Using ethnographic material alongside newspaper and NGO reports, this article explores popular responses to ZANU PF's devastating Operation Murambatsvina, commonly dubbed Zimbabwe's tsunami, which targeted informal markets and 'illegal'...
Human Rights and NGO 'Wrongs': Conflict Diamonds, Culture Wars and the 'Bushman Question'
ABSTRACT I examine the struggle surrounding the relocations of Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana. Despite a recent court decision allowing the Bushmen to return, the 'war of words' continues and the Bushmen's circumstances...
Islamic Reform and Historical Change in the Care of the Dead: Conflicts over Funerary Practice among Tanzanian Muslims
ABSTRACT Muslim radicalism in Tanzania has tended to be perceived as a political problem, and as part of a trans-regional wave of Islamist movements. The present article instead seeks to demonstrate the connections between current debates among...
Response to Ter Haar and Ellis
In his review article, Terence Ranger raises two major issues. First, he is concerned about the relation between exoticizing ideas about an 'African occult' in Western societies (for example, Scotland Yard investigations, media reports, etc.) and Africanist...
'Sleep Occupies No Space': The Use of Public Space by Street Gangs in Kinshasa
ABSTRACT This article deals with issues of territoriality, public space, the microphysics of power and street gang life in the current urban context of Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In this city, a growing number of street...
The Occult Does Not Exist: A Response to Terence Ranger
ABSTRACT In recent years, it has become common for academic writers to use 'the occult' as an analytical category to which are assigned various types of mystical belief and activity that are quite widespread in Africa, including those often described...
Traditional Medicine, Biomedicine and Christianity in Modern Zambia
ABSTRACT The World Health Organization has recognized 'traditional medicine' as a de facto and economical substitute for biomedicine in the developing world. Accordingly, the Zambian government aims to integrate 'traditional healers', locally known...