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SAGE Publications

Cover Image: Reframing Contemporary Africa: Politics, Economics, and Culture in the Global Era
  • Date: 01/21/2010
  • Format: Print Paperback
  • Price: $57.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-87289-407-5
  • Pages: 394
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Reframing Contemporary Africa: Politics, Economics, and Culture in the Global Era
Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, Ithaca College
Rita Kiki Edozie , Michigan State University

It is impossible to study Africa without understanding the debate about how to study Africa. At last, a book showcases the complexities and paradoxes of Africa’s recent and more distant history, while avoiding simplistic, Eurocentric conceptualizations of “black Africa.” With this book, Peyi Soyinka-Aiwerele and Rita Kiki Edozie offer students the background and perspectives they need to comprehend the dynamics of the continent as well as a clear path through the current literature and scholarly debate. With a cross-disciplinary approach that features political, historical, and economic analysis as well as popular culture and sociological views on contemporary issues, Reframing Contemporary Africa provides an unparalleled breadth of coverage.

Essays written by a distinguished and international group of scholars—including William Ackah, Pius Adesanmi, Susan Craddock, Caroline Elkins, Siba Grovogui, Mahmood Mamdani, Mutua Makau, Celestin Monga, Wole Soyinka, and Paul Tiyambe Zeleza—are designed to distill original scholarship for undergraduate readers. Each contribution helps students engage with the work and arguments of luminaries while exposing them to renowned African thinkers. Contributors deliver analysis that allows students to see beyond the clichés commonly presented in the media (and even in scholarship), and helpful section openers by Soyinka-Airewele and Edozie frame forthcoming chapters, giving important thematic and historical context. Reframing Contemporary Africa will certainly provoke new debate and reflection, not merely about African issues and politics, but also about the West and its framing of Africa.

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Table of Contents

Part I. Discourses on the Representation of Africa

Introduction, Peyi Soyinka-Airewele and Rita Kiki Edozie

1. Reframing Contemporary Africa: Beyond Global Imaginaries, Peyi Soyinka-Airewele and Rita Kiki Edozie

2. Commentary: Reconfiguring the Study of Africa, Mahmood Mamdani

3. Not Out of Africa? Sifting Facts from Fiction in the New Balkanization of Africa, Iheanyi N. Osondu

4. The Myth and Reality of Africa: A Nudge Towards a Cultural Revolution, Oyekan Owomoyela

Part II. The Political Histories of Africa

Introduction, Peyi Soyinka-Airewele and Rita Kiki Edozie

5. Towards the Globalization of African History: A Generational Perspective: Commentary, Paul Tiyambe Zeleza

6. Remembering the Forgotten Histories of Enslavement and African Contributions to Abolition in Africa: The Case of the Gold Coast (Ghana), Kwabena Akurang-Parry

7. Colonial Legacies: Ghosts, Gulags, and the Silenced Traumas of Empire, Peyi Soyinka-Airewele
Box 7.1. Revisiting Development in Ancient and Medieval Africa, James Graham

8. The Intersection of African Identities in the Twenty-First Century: Old and New Diasporas and the African Continent, William Ackah

Part III. Power, Politics, and Socioeconomic Struggles

Introduction, Peyi Soyinka-Airewele and Rita Kiki Edozie

9. Civil Society and Sociopolitical Change in Africa: A Brief Theoretical Commentary, Célestin Monga

10. New Frames in African Democratic Politics: Discourse Trajectories, Rita Kiki Edozie

11. Your Blues Ain’t My Blues: How “International Security” Breeds Conflicts in Africa, Siba Grovogui

12. The Global Economic Order and Its Socioeconomic Impact: The African Perspective, Fantu Cheru

13. The New Oil Gulf of Africa: Global Geopolitics and Enclave Oil-Producing Economies, Okbazghi Yohannes

14. The Politics of HIV/AIDS in Africa: Representation and the Political Economy of Disease, Susan Craddock

Part IV. Political and Popular Culture and the Dynamics of a Contemporizing Continent

Introduction, Peyi Soyinka-Airewele and Rita Kiki Edozie

15. Reshaping Power and the Public Sphere: The Political Voices of African Writers, Pius Adesanmi

16. African Cinema: Visions, Meanings, and Measures, Jude Akudinobi

17. Engendering African History: A Tale of Sex, Politics, and Power, Anene Ejikeme

18. Between Multiple Ideals of Feminism: An Intercontinental Engagement with Womanhood: A Young Scholar's Response and Commentary, Kendra Sundal

Part V. Critical Questions and Challenges in a Globalizing Age

Introduction, Peyi Soyinka-Airewele and Rita Kiki Edozie

19. Millennial Challenges for Contemporary African Affairs: Reconstructing from Within: A Commentary, Wolé Soyinka

20. Human Rights in Africa: The Limited Promise of Liberalism, Makau Mutua

21. Africa in International Relations Theory: Addressing the Quandary of Africa’s Ongoing Marginalization Within the Discipline, Christopher LaMonica

22. Reframing Africa in the Global Era: The Relevance of Postcolonial Studies, Rita Kiki Edozie and Peyi Soyinka-Airewele


“A much-needed, momentous, and remarkable contribution to interdisciplinary studies on Africa. The authors are learned and knowledgeable in their fields and demonstrate mastery of the various disciplines that they represent in this volume, having consulted, referenced, and critically assessed a broad array of scholarly works. Reframing Contemporary Africa reveals deep and broad exploration of the enduring and contemporary issues in African studies.”

- Mojúbàolú Olúfúnké Okome, Brooklyn College, CUNY

“The selections that comprise Reframing Contemporary Africa are well written with historically-based and culturally complex arguments. The readings deal with topics and issues that intellectually challenge the authors to be critical in locating Africa in the world system--taking into account both the past, the present, and the future histories and ideologies. I also appreciate that the authors come from various interdisciplinary analytical and/or methodological perspectives. With solid methodological and theoretical issues, this book provides analytical skills and concrete knowledge needed in any undergraduate course.”

- Tukumbi Lumumba-Kasongo, Wells College and Suffolk University

“Perhaps what is most instructive about Reframing Contemporary Africa is that it goes beyond the traditional geographic divisions of Africa into ‘Sub-Saharan Africa’ and ‘North Africa’ as well as the traditional narratives on ‘colonialism,’ ‘post-independence’ ‘interest group,’ and ‘ethnic’ group politics. Equally compelling is the firm theoretical basis on which the book is built. Its theoretical foundation goes beyond the ‘orthodoxy’ as it contests and interrogates the latter and in the process provides a more nuanced understanding of contemporary Africa in all its majesty and contradictions. I am convinced that it will be a major hit because a text of its type does not exist yet.”

- Abdoulaye Saine, Miami University of Ohio

Reframing Contemporary Africa demystifies some of the misperceptions held by many about Africa as a passive continent, waiting for a stream of solutions from outside to solve the stream of problems governments and civil society face daily. The editors suggest that solutions to African problems can only be reached through an African context, and through the redefinition of these problems through an African lens, with input and support from outside. A single-disciplinary approach would just dissect the problem and political and resulting policy recommendations would be futile and inadequate; the multidisciplinary approach of this book captures the complexity and diversity of African politics and society.”

- Saba Jallow, Georgia Southern University
Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, Ithaca College

Peyi Soyinka-Airewele is associate professor at Ithaca College where she teaches international and comparative politics with an emphasis on African politics and socio-political transitions. She is a fellow of the Global Security and Cooperation (GSC) program of the Social Science Research Council and the Director of the Alliance for Community Transformation (Africa). Her research on the politics of memory in African political transitions has received recognition from many quarters, including a GSC fellowship, an invitation to help prepare the final report of the Nigerian Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission, and most recently, Fellowship of the Oxford Round Table (Women’s Leadership). She is the author of Invoking the Past, Conjuring the Nation: Memory, Communal Citizenship and Cathartic Violence.

Rita Kiki Edozie , Michigan State University

Rita Kiki Edozie is an assistant professor of international relations at Michigan State University where she researches African affairs, comparative politics, democratization, and international political economy--with a focus on development. She is the author of People Power and Democracy: The Popular Movement Against Military Despotism in Nigeria, 1989-1999 and Reconstructing Africa's Third Wave: Comparative African Democratic Politics. Edozie has also contributed scholarly articles and book chapters to several edited volumes and academic journals.

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