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Pedro Machado

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Pedro Machado's Ocean of Trade: South Asian Merchants, Africa and the Indian Ocean, c.1750-1850 (Cambridge University Press, 2014) is a richly detailed and engaging account of Gujarati merchants and their role in the trade of textiles, ivory and slaves across the Indian Ocean. The book not only enhances our understanding of an under researched pan-continental trade network but also, through its sensitive treatment of local markets as drivers of merchants' patterns, pushes us to re-examine our understanding of trading networks themselves.

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Nicholas DuncanTales from a Muzungu

May 1, 2015

Tales from a Muzungu (Peace Corps Writers, 2014) relates a Peace Corps Volunteer's experiences living and working in Uganda. Mixing keen observation, sensitivity, and insight with a mordant wit and sense of humor, Nicholas Duncan discusses the highs and lows of being a PCV in East Africa. Filled with moments of danger, absurdity, joy, and shock, Duncan's book portrays the reality […]

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Matthew M. HeatonBlack Skin, White Coats: Nigerian Psychiatrists, Decolonization, and the Globalization of Psychiatry

April 27, 2015

In Black Skin, White Coats: Nigerian Psychiatrists, Decolonization, and the Globalization of Psychiatry (Ohio University Press, 2013), Matthew M. Heaton explores changes in psychiatric theory and practice during the decolonization of European empires in Africa in the mid-twentieth century. His story follows the transcultural Nigerian psychiatrists who tried to transform the discourse around and treatment of mental illness […]

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Mariana CandidoAn African Slaving Port and the Atlantic World: Benguela and its Hinterland

April 17, 2015

Mariana Candido’s book An African Slaving Port and the Atlantic World. Benguela and its Hinterland (Cambridge University Press, 2013) is a powerful and moving exploration of the history and development of the port of Benguela. Founded by the Portuguese in the early seventeenth century, Benguela, located on the central coast of present-day Angola, was the third largest […]

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Erskine ClarkeBy the Rivers of Water: A Nineteenth Century Atlantic Odyssey

February 9, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in American Studies] Jane Bayard Wilson and John Leighton Wilson were unlikely African missionaries, coming as they did from privileged slaveholding families in Georgia and South Carolina, respectively. Yet in 1834 they embarked on a nearly twenty-year adventure as Christian missionaries to two peoples in western Africa — the Grebo in Liberia, and […]

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Emilie CloatrePills for the Poorest: An Exploration of TRIPS and Access to Medication in Sub-Saharan Africa

February 9, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in Medicine] Emilie Cloatre’s award-winning book, Pills for the Poorest: An Exploration of TRIPS and Access to Medication in Sub-Saharan Africa (Palgrave, 2013), locates the effects—and ineffectualness—of a landmark international agreement for healthcare: the World Trade Organization’s “Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.” Cloatre takes seriously the idea of TRIPS as a technology in […]

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Georges Nzongola-NtalajaPatrice Lumumba

February 2, 2015

Patrice Lumumba was a leader of the independence struggle, as well as the country’s first democratically elected prime minister, in what is today the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After a meteoric rise in the colonial civil service and the African political elite, he became a major figure in the decolonization movement of the 1950s. […]

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Elizabeth SchmidtForeign Intervention in Africa: From the Cold War to the War on Terror

January 21, 2015

Elizabeth Schmidt's Foreign Intervention in Africa: From the Cold War to the War on Terror (Cambridge University Press, 2013) depicts the foreign political and military interventions in Africa during the periods of decolonization (1956-75) and the Cold War (1945-91), as well as the periods of state collapse (1991-2001) and the “global war on terror” (2001-10). In the […]

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Randy J. SparksWhere the Negroes Are Masters: An African Port in the Era of the Slave Trade

January 1, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in American Studies] A kind of biography of the town of Annamaboe, a major slave trading port on Africa's Gold Coast, Randy J. Sparks's book Where the Negroes Are Masters: An African Port in the Era of the Slave Trade (Harvard University Press, 2014) focuses on the African women and men who were the crucial middle figures […]

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Clapperton C. MavhungaTransient Workspaces: Technologies of Everyday Innovation in Zimbabwe

December 14, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Technology] Words have meaning. More specifically, the definitions attached to words shape our perspective on, and how we categorize, the things that we encounter. The words of "technology" and "innovation" are exemplars of how definitions impact perspectives. Ask most people what they think of when they hear these words, and most […]

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