Prof. Alois Mlambo (University of Pretoria) discusses Zimbabwe’s deindustrialization and economic decline, its relationship with South Africa, and the role of Pan-Africanism and “patriotic history” in sustaining a new authoritarian nationalism.
Enocent 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.
Anthropologist Richard Werbner (University of Manchester) on the similarity between Freud and African wisdom diviners, ethnographic filmmaking in southern Africa, and the place of ‘Holy Hustlers’ (pentecostal churches and prophecy in Botswana) — the subject of his latest book — in the public sphere.
Diana Jeater on Zimbabwe’s colonial history. Focus is on gender and on how culture and access to material resources shaped African lives, and on the role of African languages — and their translation by white settlers — in constructing discourses about morality. Jeater also discusses current work on private archives of Rhodesian expats in the UK, and oral histories of former members of the Rhodesian forces and the British South Africa Police.
Prof. Terence Ranger (Emeritus, University of Oxford) discusses his many contributions to African Studies and African History, how these themes have developed, and also his 17th book, Bulawayo Burning (2010). This is the first of three podcasts recorded at the ‘Making History: Terence Ranger and African Studies’ conference, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign October, 2010.
Historian Luise White (U. of Florida) has published extensively on women’s history, medical history, political and military history, from East Africa to Central and Southern Africa. She reveals the genealogy of her work on renegade white independence and describes the strange history of the African franchise in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. White concludes with her thoughts about where the field of African history is going.
Mac Maharaj (South African activist and intellectual) explains why the model of South Africa’s transition to democracy cannot be replicated in powersharing agreements in Kenya and Zimbabwe. In the second part of this episode, recorded at the NEWSA meeting in Burlington, VT, Alex Beresford (PhD candidate, University of Edinburgh) tells us about his research on union workers’ views of Tripartite Alliance politics in contemporary South Africa.