Tag Archives: history

Episode 78: Spirituality in Central African History

Invisible_AgentsDavid Gordon (Bowdoin, History) on his recent book Invisible Agents: Spirits in a Central African History. Gordon explores how and why spirits and discourses about spirits inspired social movements and influenced historical change, from precolonial Bemba chieftaincies and 1930s Watchtower millenarianism to the postcolonial state’s humanism and Pentecostalism under Kaunda and Chiluba, respectively. Gordon closes by noting the effervescence of Zambian studies today. (Note: the interview was recorded via Skype.)

 

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Episode 76: Black Travelers, Writers and Activists in Africa and the Diaspora

Professor David Killingray at Michigan State UniversityDavid Killingray (Emeritus, Goldsmiths College, U. of London) on the often-neglected role of African travelers and intermediaries in 19th-century Africa; black writers and activists in Victorian Britain; and the significance of documenting lived experiences of Africans to better understand processes of historical change.

 

 

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Episode 75: Radio and Resistance in South Africa

32-131-13A-98-african_activist_archive-a0a8r7-a_14380Sekibakiba Peter Lekgoathi (U. Witwatersrand/Michigan) on radio, ethnicity and knowledge production in South Africa, both apartheid’s Bantu Radio and the liberation movement’s Radio Freedom, including broadcasts and audiences, idioms, songs and slogans. Also discusses formation of Ndebele ethnicity and role of popular radio in forging a strong ethnic consciousness, and histories of African interpreters and research assistants.

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Episode 73: Namibia: Herero Protest, Prophecy and Private Archives

No 11 Herero parade

Red/White Flag Herero: courtesy Dag Henrichsen

Dag Henrichsen (Basler Afrika Bibliographien, Basel) on protest and prophecy among Herero intellectuals in 1940s Namibia. Also discussed are the 1904-5 German genocide, construction of Herero modernity, private archives, popular culture, Namibian historiography, and how Namibians conceptualized a “South African Empire.”

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Episode 71: Ethnicity in Zimbabwe

Dr. Enocent MsindoEnocent Msindo (History, Rhodes U.) on his recent book Ethnicity in Zimbabwe: Transformations in Kalanga and Ndebele Societies, 1860-1990. He explores chiefly politics, class, language, and local sources to show the creation of ethnic identity in southwestern Zimbabwe was not solely the result of colonial rule or African elites. Ordinary Africans created and shaped an ethnic consciousness based on precolonial histories and 20th-century innovations, while much-neglected Kalanga identities resisted both colonial and Ndebele hegemony.

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Episode 70: The International Politics of Black Liberation

Horne_Edozie_AlegiHistorian Gerald Horne (U. of Houston) on how labor struggles in Hawaii and black self-assertion in Kenya influenced a young Barack Obama; the legacy of African-American involvement in African political struggles; the confluence of African-American Studies and African Studies; and W.E.B. DuBois as a template for unity among people of African descent. With guest co-host Kiki Edozie.

 

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Episode 69: Economic and Cultural History of the Slave Trade in Western Africa

Toby Green (King’s College London) on his recent book The Rise of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in Western Africa, 1300-1589. Green discusses periodization, sources, and the creation of creole communities in the Upper Guinea coast. He also comments on new research comparing Upper Guinea and West-Central Africa and concludes with a reflection on the opportunities and challenges of doing research in Guinea-Bissau. Walter Hawthorne is guest co-host.

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Episode 67: Africanizing History and Society

Sifiso Ndlovu (CEO, South African Democracy Education Trust) on the Soweto 1976 rising; personal and professional perspectives on challenges and contributions of African historians;  writing and editing SADET’s The Road to Democracy in South Africa series; and the importance of orality and African languages in Zulu history and in rewriting South Africa’s past.

 

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Episode 66: Miners, Marikana, and Photography

 

Image courtesy of Lincoln Cushing/Docs Populi www.docspopuli.org

Alex Lichtenstein (History, Indiana U.) on the history of the struggles for class and racial justice in both South Africa and the U.S. The focus is on black trade unions and the apartheid state, the 2012 Marikana mine massacre, and labor in Jim Crow U.S. South, as well as an upcoming exhibition of Margaret Bourke-White‘s South African photographs of the apartheid era.

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Episode 65: A Female King: Gender and Oral History in Eastern Nigeria

Prof. Nwando Achebe (MSU History) on her recent book The Female King of Colonial Nigeria: Ahebi Ugbabe. Achebe describes key aspects of King (or Eze) Ahebi’s life; reflects on the value of oral history and multidisciplinary methods; and discusses Igbo gender, culture, and power during British colonial rule.

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