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Africa Reimagined is a passionately argued appeal for a rediscovery of our African identity. Going beyond the problems of a single country, Hlumelo Biko calls for a reorientation of values, on a continental scale, to suit the needs and priorities of Africans. Building on the premise that slavery, colonialism, imperialism and apartheid fundamentally unbalanced the values and indeed the very self-concept of Africans, he offers realistic steps to return to a more balanced Afro-centric identity.
Historically, African values were shaped by a sense of abundance, in material and mental terms, and by strong ties of community. The intrusion of religious, economic and legal systems imposed by conquerors, traders and missionaries upset this balance, and the African identity was subsumed by the values of the newcomers. Biko shows how a reimagining of Africa can restore the sense of abundance and possibility, and what a rebirth of the continent on Pan-African lines might look like. This is not about the churn of the news cycle or party politics – although he identifies the political party as one of the most pernicious legacies of colonialism. Instead, drawing on latest research, he offers a practical, pragmatic vision anchored in the here and now.
By looking beyond identities and values imposed from outside, and transcending the divisions and frontiers imposed under colonialism, it should be possible for Africans to develop fully their skills, values and ingenuity, to build institutions that reflect African values, and to create wealth for the benefit of the continent as a whole.
This close media study considers how, squeezed in the moral vice of past and present, Afrikaners look in a mirror that reflects only a beautiful people.
It is an image of upstanding, hard-working citizens. To hold on to that image requires blinkers, sleights of hand and contortion. Above all, it requires an inversion of the liberation narrative in which the wretched of South Africa are the historical oppressors, besieged in their language, their homes, their jobs.
They are the new `grievables', an identity that requires intricate moral manoeuvres, and elision as much of the past as of transformation.
Everything you need to know about race (but were afraid to ask), previously published in 2015 as Black Brain, White Brain: Is Intelligence Skin Deep?.
In academic journals and on internet message boards, certain scientists and thinkers are laying siege to one of the great taboos. Could it be, they ask, that racism has a rational basis in science? These ideas are no longer limited to the fringe: race-based studies of intelligence have been discussed by thinkers such as Steven Pinker, Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson. If true, it would provide an intellectual foundation for so many of the attitudes that characterise the right wing, justifying inequality and discrimination. Gavin Evans tackles the nature vs nurture debate head-on, examining the latest studies on how intelligence develops and laying out new discoveries in genetics, palaeontology, archaeology and anthropology to unearth the truth about our shared past.
In doing so, Skin Deep demolishes the pernicious myth that our race is our destiny, and instead reveals what really makes us who we are.
What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens? Yuval Noah Harari challenges everything we know about being human in the perfect read for these unprecedented times.
Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it: us.
In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we’re going.
‘I would recommend Sapiens to anyone who’s interested in the history and future of our species’ Bill Gates
‘Interesting and provocative… It gives you a sense of how briefly we’ve been on this Earth’ Barack Obama
How are we to explain the resurgence of customary chiefs in contemporary Africa? Rather than disappearing with the tide of modernity, as many expected, indigenous sovereigns are instead a rising force, often wielding substantial power and legitimacy despite major changes in the workings of the global political economy in the post–Cold War era—changes in which they are themselves deeply implicated.
This pathbreaking volume, edited by anthropologists John L. Comaroff and Jean Comaroff, explores the reasons behind the increasingly assertive politics of custom in many corners of Africa. Chiefs come in countless guises—from university professors through cosmopolitan businessmen to subsistence farmers–but, whatever else they do, they are a critical key to understanding the tenacious hold that “traditional” authority enjoys in the late modern world.
Together the contributors explore this counterintuitive chapter in Africa’s history and, in so doing, place it within the broader world-making processes of the twenty-first century.
From the phenomenal bestselling author of Sapiens and Homo Deus
How can we protect ourselves from nuclear war or ecological catastrophe?
What do we do about the epidemic of fake news or the threat of terrorism?
How should we prepare our children for the future?
21 Lessons is an exploration of what it means to be human in an age of bewilderment.
'Fascinating…Harari has teed up a crucial global conversation about how to take on the problems of the 21st century' Bill Gates, New York Times
Formerly colonised people sometimes play roles that sustain the power structure of coloniality. In this book, Professor Morgan Ndlovu asks why and how they can possibly participate in a system that is responsible for their subjugation. The author uses as an example the 'staged' performances of non-Western culture in South Africa, such as traditional healing, and the creation of 'cultural villages', which while seeming to define and keep alive elements of an African culture also serve the business of international and cultural tourism. He compares practices in South Africa with parallels in India, Australia, Canada, other parts of Africa and the Americas. He argues that it is not just brute force that made the survival and continuity of coloniality possible up to the present but also the control of knowledge that justified and naturalised the colonial project. Performing Indigeneity provides an insightful evaluation of what could constitute an 'authentic' indigenous agency and the pitfalls and prospects of decolonial practices.
'A mesmerizingly fascinating tale, one astonishing adventure after another. I could not stop reading this beautifully written book.' Michael Finkel, author of The Stranger in the Woods 'A unique history of a culturally and scientifically important netherworld most people barely know exists.' Booklist 'An unusual and intriguing travel book ... A vivid illumination of the dark and an effective evocation of its profound mystery.'Kirkus (starred review) When Will Hunt was sixteen years old, he discovered an abandoned tunnel that ran beneath his house in Providence, Rhode Island. His first tunnel trips inspired a lifelong fascination with exploring underground worlds, from the derelict subway stations and sewers of New York City to sacred caves, catacombs, tombs, bunkers and ancient underground cities in more than twenty countries around the world. Underground is both a personal exploration of Hunt's obsession and a panoramic study of how we are all connected to the underground, how caves and other dark hollows have frightened and enchanted us through the ages. In a narrative spanning continents and epochs, Hunt follows a cast of subterraneaphiles who have dedicated themselves to investigating underground worlds. He tracks the origins of life with a team of NASA microbiologists a mile beneath the Black Hills, camps out for three days with urban explorers in the catacombs and sewers of Paris, descends with an Aboriginal family into a 35,000-year-old mine in the Australian outback, and glimpses a sacred sculpture moulded by Paleolithic artists in the depths of a cave in the Pyrenees. Each adventure is woven with findings in mythology and anthropology, natural history and neuroscience, literature and philosophy - this is a graceful meditation on the allure of darkness, the power of mystery, and our eternal desire to connect with what we cannot see.
Sapiens showed us where we came from. In uncertain times, Homo Deus shows us where we’re going.
Yuval Noah Harari envisions a near future in which we face a new set of challenges. Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century and beyond – from overcoming death to creating artificial life.
It asks the fundamental questions: how can we protect this fragile world from our own destructive power? And what does our future hold?
'Homo Deus will shock you. It will entertain you. It will make you think in ways you had not thought before’ Daniel Kahneman, bestselling author of Thinking, Fast and Slow
In this ambitious new history of the antiapartheid struggle, Jon Soske places India and the Indian diaspora at the center of the African National Congress's development of an inclusive philosophy of nationalism. Even as Indian independence provided black South African intellectuals with new models of conceptualizing sovereignty, debates over the place of the Indian diaspora in Africa forced a reconsideration of South Africa's internal and external boundaries, not least by the ANC thinkers-led by Albert Luthuli- centered in Durban. There, they developed a new philosophy of nationhood that affirmed South Africa's simultaneously heterogeneous and fundamentally African character. In describing this process, Soske makes a major contribution to postcolonial and Indian Ocean studies and charts new ways of writing about African nationalism.
The revolutionary and psychiatrist Frantz Fanon was a foundational figure in postcolonial and decolonial thought and practice, yet his psychiatric work still has only been studied peripherally. That is in part because most of his psychiatric writings have remained untranslated. With a focus on Fanon's key psychiatry texts, Frantz Fanon, Psychiatry and Politics considers Fanon's psychiatric writings as materials anticipating as well as accompanying Fanon's better known works, written between 1952 and 1961 (Black Skin, White Masks; A Dying Colonialism, Toward the African Revolution, The Wretched of the Earth). Both clinical and political, they draw on another notion of psychiatry that intersects history, ethnology, philosophy, and psychoanalysis. The authors argue that Fanon's work inaugurates a critical ethnopsychiatry based on a new concept of culture (anchored to historical events, particular situations, and lived experience) and on the relationship between the psychological and the cultural. Thus, Gibson and Beneduce contend that Fanon's psychiatric writings also express Fanon's wish, as he puts it in The Wretched of the Earth, to "develop a new way of thinking, not only for us but for humanity."
In this book, renowned anthropologists Jean and John L. Comaroff make a startling but absolutely convincing claim about our modern era: it is not by our arts, our politics, or our science that we understand ourselves-it is by our crimes. Surveying an astonishing range of forms of crime and policing-from petty thefts to the multibilliondollar scams of toobigtofail financial institutions to the collateral damage of war-they take readers into the disorder of the late modern world. Looking at recent transformations in the triangulation of capital, the state, and governance that have led to an era where crime and policing are ever more complicit, they offer a powerful meditation on the new forms of sovereignty, citizenship, class, race, law, and political economy of representation that have arisen. To do so, the Comaroffs draw on their vast knowledge of South Africa, especially, and its struggle to build a democracy founded on the rule of law out of the wreckage of long years of violence and oppression. There they explore everything from the fascination with the supernatural in policing to the extreme measures people take to prevent home invasion, drawing illuminating comparisons to the United States and United Kingdom. Going beyond South Africa, they offer a global criminal anthropology that attests to criminality as the constitutive fact of contemporary life, the vernacular by which politics are conducted, moral panics voiced, and populations ruled. The result is a disturbing but necessary portrait of the modern era, one that asks critical new questions about how we see ourselves, how we think about morality, and how we are going to proceed as a global society.
The radio in Africa has shaped culture by allowing listeners to negotiate modern identities and sometimes fast-changing lifestyles. Through the medium of voice and mediated sound, listeners on the station – known as Radio Bantu, then Radio Zulu, and finally Ukhozi FM – shaped new understandings of the self, family and social roles.
Through particular genres such as radio drama, fuelled by the skills of radio actors and listeners, an array of debates, choices and mistakes were unpacked daily for decades. This was the unseen literature of the auditory, the drama of the airwaves, which at its height shaped the lives of millions of listeners in urban and rural places in South Africa. Radio became a conduit for many talents squeezed aside by apartheid repression. Besides Winnie Mahlangu and K.E. Masinga and a host of other talents opened by radio, the exiles Lewis Nkosi and Bloke Modisane made a niche and a network of identities and conversations which stretched from the heart of Harlem to the American South. Nkosi and Modisane were working respectively in BBC Radio drama and a short-lived radio transcription centre based in London which drew together the threads of activism and creativity from both Black America and the African continent at a critical moment of the late empire.
Radio Soundings is a fascinating study that shows how, throughout its history, Zulu radio has made a major impact on community, everyday life and South African popular culture, voicing a range of subjectivities which gave its listeners a place in the modern world.
A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER! Waterstones nonfiction Book of the Month (June)! A Time Magazine Top 10 Nonfiction Book of 2016! SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE! `The political book of the year' - Sunday Times! `You will not read a more important book about America this year' Economist!
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis - that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.
The Vance family story begins hopefully in post-war America. J. D.'s grandparents were "dirt poor and in love," and moved north from Kentucky's Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance's grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.
A deeply moving memoir with its share of humour and vividly colourful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
In 1856 and 1857, in response to a prophet's command, the Xhosa people of southern Africa killed their cattle and ceased planting crops; the resulting famine cost tens of thousands of lives. Much like other millenarian, anticolonial movements - such as the Ghost Dance in North America and the Birsa Munda uprising in India - these actions were meant to transform the world and liberate the Xhosa from oppression. Despite the movement's momentous failure to achieve that goal, the event has continued to exert a powerful pull on the South African imagination ever since. It is these afterlives of the prophecy that Jennifer Wenzel explores in Bulletproof. Wenzel examines literary and historical texts to show how writers have manipulated images and ideas associated with the cattle killing-harvest, sacrifice, rebirth, devastation - to speak to their contemporary predicaments. Widening her lens, Wenzel also looks at how past failure can both inspire and constrain movements for justice in the present, and her brilliant insights into the cultural implications of prophecy will fascinate readers across a wide variety of disciplines.
For too long, scientists have focused on the dark side of our biological heritage: our capacity for aggression, cruelty, prejudice, and self-interest. But natural selection has given us a suite of beneficial social features, including our capacity for love, friendship, cooperation, and learning. Beneath all our inventions -- our tools, farms, machines, cities, nations -- we carry with us innate proclivities to make a good society. In Blueprint, Nicholas A. Christakis introduces the compelling idea that our genes affect not only our bodies and behaviors, but also the ways in which we make societies, ones that are surprisingly similar worldwide. With many vivid examples -- including diverse historical and contemporary cultures, communities formed in the wake of shipwrecks, commune dwellers seeking utopia, online groups thrown together by design or involving artificially intelligent bots, and even the tender and complex social arrangements of elephants and dolphins that so resemble our own -- Christakis shows that, despite a human history replete with violence, we cannot escape our social blueprint for goodness. In a world of increasing political and economic polarization, it's tempting to ignore the positive role of our evolutionary past. But by exploring the ancient roots of goodness in civilization, Blueprint shows that our genes have shaped societies for our welfare and that, in a feedback loop stretching back many thousands of years, societies have shaped, and are still shaping, our genes today.
This compelling narrative explains how Native Americans found themselves time and again betrayed by the ever-expanding white nation of the East, fighting for lands on the edge of the shrinking frontier. Long considered a classic, this edition features an introduction by Dee Brown, author of" Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee."
"A vivid, swiftly paced account of the dispossession of the Plains Indians during the half century after 1840--"The New York Times Book Review,"
Electronic Iran introduces the concept of the Iranian Internet, a framework that captures interlinked, transnational networks of virtual and offline spaces. Taking her cues from early Internet ethnographies that stress the importance of treating the Internet as both a site and product of cultural production, accounts in media studies that highlight the continuities between old and new media, and a range of works that have made critical interventions in the field of Iranian studies, Niki Akhavan traces key developments and confronts conventional wisdom about digital media in general, and contemporary Iranian culture and politics in particular. Akhavan focuses largely on the years between 1998 and 2012 to reveal a diverse and combative virtual landscape where both geographically and ideologically dispersed individuals and groups deployed Internet technologies to variously construct, defend, and challenge narratives of Iranian national identity, society, and politics. While it tempers celebratory claims that have dominated assessments of the Iranian Internet, Electronic Iran is ultimately optimistic in its outlook. As it exposes and assesses overlooked aspects of the Iranian Internet, the book sketches a more complete map of its dynamic landscape, and suggests that the transformative powers of digital media can only be developed and understood if attention is paid to both the specificities of new technologies as well as the local and transnational contexts in which they appear.
In analyzing the obstacles to democratization in post- independence Africa, Mahmood Mamdani offers a bold, insightful account of colonialism's legacy-a bifurcated power that mediated racial domination through tribally organized local authorities, reproducing racial identity in citizens and ethnic identity in subjects. Many writers have understood colonial rule as either "direct" (French) or "indirect" (British), with a third variant-apartheid-as exceptional. This benign terminology, Mamdani shows, masks the fact that these were actually variants of a despotism. While direct rule denied rights to subjects on racial grounds, indirect rule incorporated them into a "customary" mode of rule, with state-appointed Native Authorities defining custom. By tapping authoritarian possibilities in culture, and by giving culture an authoritarian bent, indirect rule (decentralized despotism) set the pace for Africa; the French followed suit by changing from direct to indirect administration, while apartheid emerged relatively later. Apartheid, Mamdani shows, was actually the generic form of the colonial state in Africa. Through case studies of rural (Uganda) and urban (South Africa) resistance movements, we learn how these institutional features fragment resistance and how states tend to play off reform in one sector against repression in the other. Reforming a power that institutionally enforces tension between town and country, and between ethnicities, is the key challenge for anyone interested in democratic reform in Africa.
'This vital memoir illuminates the power of being on the autism spectrum' - The Times Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of eight, Camilla Pang struggled to understand the world around her and the way people worked. Desperate for a solution, Camilla asked her mother if there was an instruction manual for humans that she could consult. But, without the blueprint to life she was hoping for, Camilla began to create her own. Now armed with a PhD in biochemistry, Camilla dismantles our obscure social customs and identifies what it really means to be human using her unique expertise and a language she knows best: science. Through a set of scientific principles, this book examines life's everyday interactions including: - Decisions and the route we take to make them; - Conflict and how we can avoid it; - Relationships and how we establish them; - Etiquette and how we conform to it. Explaining Humans is an original and incisive exploration of human nature and the strangeness of social norms, written from the outside looking in. Camilla's unique perspective of the world, in turn, tells us so much about ourselves - about who we are and why we do it - and is a fascinating guide on how to lead a more connected, happier life. 'This book is truly exceptional. Applying science to the problems of human relationships, the perils of perfectionism and the pitfalls of social etiquette, Millie has written a joyous, funny and hugely insightful text for all of us - whether neurotypical or neurodiverse. This 'outsiders guide to the human race' is warm, witty and a joy to read.' Prof Gina Rippon, Cognitive neuroscientist/autism researcher and author of The Gendered Brain.
'With Genesis, Wilson inspires awe ... His message is that selection has shaped a society that is characterized by cooperation and division of labour' Nature Of all species that have ever existed on earth, only one has reached human levels of intelligence and social organisation: us. Why? In Genesis, celebrated biologist Edward O. Wilson traces the great transitions of evolution, from the origin of life to the invention of sexual reproduction to the development of language itself. The only way for us to fully understand human behaviour, Wilson argues, is to study the evolutionary histories of nonhuman species. Of these, he demonstrates that at least seventeen - from the African naked mole rat and the sponge-dwelling shrimp to one of the oldest species on earth, the termite - have been found to have advanced societies based on altruism, cooperation and the division of labour. These rare eusocial species form the prehistory to our human social patterns, even, according to Wilson, suggesting the possible biological benefits of homosexuality and elderly grandmothers. Whether writing about midges who dance about like acrobats, schools of anchovies who protectively huddle to appear like a gigantic fish or well-organised flocks becoming potentially immortal, Genesis is a pathbreaking work of evolutionary theory filled with lyrical observations. It will make us rethink how we became who we are.
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