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Mean Streets

By Johathan Crush, Abel Chikanda, and Caroline Skinner

This book powerfully demonstrates that some of the most resourceful entrepreneurs in the South African informal economy are migrants and refugees. Yet far from being lauded, they take their life into their hands when they trade on South Africa's "mean streets". The book draws attention to what they bring to their adopted country through research into previously unexamined areas of migrant entrepreneurship. Ranging from studies of how migrants have created agglomeration economies in Jeppe and Ivory Park in Johannesburg, to guanxi networks of Chinese entrepreneurs, to competition and cooperation among Somali shop owners, to cross-border informal traders, to the informal transport operators between South Africa and Zimbabwe, the chapters in this book reveal the positive economic contributions of migrants. these include generating employment, paying rents, providing cheaper goods to poor consumers, and supporting formal sector wholesalers and retailers. As well, Mean Streets highlights the xenophobic responses to migrant and refugee entrepreneurs and the challenges they face in running a successful business on the streets.

Pentecoastal Republic: Religion and the Struggle for State Power in Nigeria

By Ebenezer Obadare

Throughout its history, Nigeria has been plagued by religious divisions. Tensions have only intensified since the restoration of democracy in 1999, with the divide between Christian south and Muslim north playing a central role in the country's electoral politics, as well as manifesting itself in the religious warfare waged by Boko Haram. Through the lens of Christian-Muslim struggles for supremacy, Ebenezer Obadare charts the turbulent course of democracy in the Nigerian Fourth Republic, exploring the key role religion has played in ordering society. He argues the rise of Pentecostalism is a force focused on appropriating state power, transforming the dynamics of the country and acting to demobilize civil society, further providing a trigger for Muslim revivalism. Covering events of recent decades to the election of Buhari, Pentecostal Republic shows that religio-political contestations have become integral to Nigeria's democratic process, and are fundamental to understanding its future.

Humor, Silence, and Civil Society in Nigeria

By Ebenezer Obadare

In Humor, Silence, and Civil Society in Nigeria, Ebenezer Obadare offers an innovative perspective on the idea and reality of civil society. Mobilizing a wide range of concepts and insights from political science, African studies, sociology, cultural studies, media studies, anthropology, communications theory, and international development, Obadare develops a notion of civil society that radically departs from the literature's axiomatic focus on voluntary civic associations and focuses instead on more informal strategies of resistance, such as humor and silence. Compellingly argued, Humor, Silence, and Civil Society in Nigeria raises provocative questions on a topic of keen importance for students, scholars, and policymakers. Ebenezer Obadare is professor of sociology at the University of Kansas. He is coeditor of Civic Agency in Africa: Arts of Resistance in the 21st Century (James Currey, 2014).

Kenyan Youth Education in Colonial and Post-Colonial Times

By Peter Ojiambo

This book examines Joseph Kamiru Gikubu’s impact on Kenyan youth education. The author asserts that over his decades-long career, Gikubu played an active role in not only building and improving Kenyan youth education but also in demonstrating the role educational institutions play in imparting nation-building skills. Gikubu’s educational contributions were wide-ranging and include both practical and theoretical aspects of education through his works in various juvenile rehabilitation programs and youth clubs, as well as his insights on youth education and school leadership. Through Gikubu’s educational work, this volume interrogates Kenya’s educational development, transformation, and entailed challenges. The book fills the gap in the dearth of African-centered educational biographies and their role in shaping Africa’s social, political, and economic spheres in both the colonial and post-colonial period. It also addresses emerging scholarship in African educational biographies. 

Khartoum at Night: Fashion and Body Politics in Imperial Sudan

By Marie Grace Brown

In the first half of the twentieth century, a pioneering generation of young women exited their homes and entered public space, marking a new era for women's civic participation in northern Sudan. A provocative new public presence, women's civic engagement was at its core a bodily experience. Amid the socio-political upheavals of imperial rule, female students, medical workers, and activists used a careful choreography of body movements and fashion to adapt to imperial mores, claim opportunities for political agency, and shape a new standard of modern, mobile womanhood.

Khartoum at Night is the first English-language history of these women's lives, examining how their experiences of the British Empire from 1900–1956 were expressed on and through their bodies. Central to this story is the tobe: a popular, modest form of dress that wrapped around a woman's head and body. Marie Grace Brown shows how northern Sudanese women manipulated the tucks, folds, and social messages of the tobe to deftly negotiate the competing pulls of modernization and cultural authenticity that defined much of the imperial experience. Her analysis weaves together the threads of women's education and activism, medical midwifery, urban life, consumption, and new behaviors of dress and beauty to reconstruct the worlds of politics and pleasure in which early-twentieth-century Sudanese women lived.

The Unseen Things: Women, Secrecy, and HIV in Northern Nigeria

By Kathryn Rhine

What do HIV-positive women in Nigeria face as they seek meaningful lives with a deeply discrediting disease? Kathryn A. Rhine uncovers the skillful ways women defuse concerns about their wellbeing and the ability to maintain their households. Rhine shows how this ethic of concealment involves masking their diagnosis, unfaithful husbands, and unsupportive families while displaying their beauty, generosity, and vitality. As Rhine observes, collusion with counselors and support group leaders to deflect stigma, secure respectability, and find love features prominently in the lives of ordinary women who hope for a brighter future as the HIV epidemic continues to expand.

Different Shades of Green: African Literature, Environmental Justice, and Political Ecology
by Byron Santangelo

Engaging important discussions about social conflict, environmental change, and imperialism in Africa, Different Shades of Green points to legacies of African environmental writing, often neglected as a result of critical perspectives shaped by dominant Western conceptions of nature and environmentalism. Drawing on an interdisciplinary framework employing postcolonial studies, political ecology, environmental history, and writing by African environmental activists, Byron Caminero-Santangelo emphasizes connections within African environmental literature, highlighting how African writers have challenged unjust, ecologically destructive forms of imperial development and resource extraction.

Different Shades of Green also brings into dialogue a wide range of African creative writing—including works by Chinua Achebe, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Bessie Head, Nadine Gordimer, Zakes Mda, Nuruddin Farah, Wangari Maathai, and Ken Saro-Wiwa—in order to explore vexing questions for those involved in the struggle for environmental justice, in the study of political ecology, and in the environmental humanities, urging continued imaginative thinking in effecting a more equitable, sustain¬able future in Africa.

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Educating Muslim Women: The West African Legacy of Nana Asma'u 1793-1864
by Beverly Mack and Jean Boyd

Nana Asma'u was a devout, learned Muslim who was able to observe, record, interpret, and influence the major public events that happened around her.

Daughters are still named after her, her poems still move people profoundly, and the memory of her remains a vital source of inspiration and hope. Her example as an educator is still followed: the system she set up in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, for the education of rural women, has not only survived in its homeland—through the traumas of the colonization of West Africa and the establishment of the modern state of Nigeria—but is also being revived and adapted elsewhere, notably among Muslim women in the United States.

This book, richly illustrated with maps and photographs, recounts Asma'u's upbringing and critical junctures in her life from several sources, mostly unpublished: her own firsthand experiences presented in her writings, the accounts of contemporaries who witnessed her endeavors, and the memoirs of European travelers. For the account of her legacy the authors have depended on extensive field studies in Nigeria, and documents pertaining to the efforts of women in Nigeria and the United States, to develop a collective voice and establish their rights as women and Muslims in today's societies.

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