Africa

Africa

Africa

Africa

Synopsis

Since the publication of the first edition in 1977, Africa has established itself as a leading resource for teaching, business, and scholarship. This fourth edition has been completely revised and focuses on the dynamism and diversity of contemporary Africa. The volume emphasizes contemporary culture-civil and social issues, art, religion, and the political scene-and provides an overview of significant themes that bear on Africa's place in the world. Historically grounded, Africa provides a comprehensive view of the ways that African women and men have constructed their lives and engaged in collective activities at the local, national, and global levels.

Excerpt

More than fifteen years have passed since the third edition of Africa was published. Much has changed in Africa, in the continent’s relations with the world, and in scholarship during the intervening years. Our vision for this edition is to focus on contemporary Africa in all its dynamism and diversity, to emphasize African agency and resourcefulness, and to stress social pro cesses as well as institutions in revealing the ways that African women and men have constructed meaningful individual lives and engaged in collective activities at the local, national, and global levels. Our contributors, as in previous editions, convey ongoing events and discuss theoretical approaches within disciplines that affect understandings of the continent and the ways in which data are analyzed. All chapters are freshly conceptualized and written for this fourth edition, many with an expanded scope or integration of topics from previously separate chapters. Previous editions had bibliographic essays, and in this edition we add a new chapter on the availability of information on the internet in addition to published materials.

In its emphasis on contemporary Africa, this edition seeks to be comprehensive, but it does not attempt to be exhaustive either thematically or geograghically. The chapters reflect their authors’ interests and regional specializations as well as their lived experiences in different parts of the continent. In keeping with recent developments and student interest, several new chapters were added to cover African cities, film, health and illness, and human rights. We have only one explicitly historical chapter, contemplating the legacies of the past, including the era of Eu rope an colonialism, for contemporary Africa; other chapters develop the specific historical contexts for their topics. Geography examines not only Africa’s physical environments and their use but also how the idea of Africa as a place changed over time. The chapters on politics and development too reflect current scholarly trends to move from the “crisis” lens that dominated discussions for de cades to a contemporary emphasis on “renewal” or, at least, tempered hope. The debate about the prospects for democracy continues, but our contributors seek to move beyond a . . .

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