Kwasi KonaduTransatlantic Africa, 1440-1888

Oxford University Press, 2014

by Marshall Poe on September 30, 2014

Kwasi Konadu

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[Cross-posted from New Books in History] Most of what we know about the trans-Atlantic slave trade–particularly before the nineteenth century–comes from documents produced by slavers and those Europeans and euro-Americans who interacted with them. Most, but, as Kwasi Konadu points out in Transatlantic Africa, 1440-1888 (Oxford University Press, 2014), not all. It is possible, Konadu shows, to construct a narrative of the slave experience from the perspective of Africans themselves. You just have to know where to look and listen. Konadu knows and in this interview he shows how the slaves understood their hard experience.

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Deborah MayersenOn the Path to Genocide: Armenia and Rwanda Reexamined

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[Cross-posted from New Books in Genocide] I live and work in the state of Kansas in the US.  We think of ourselves as living in tornado alley and orient our schedules in the spring around the weather report.  Earthquakes are something that happen somewhere else. Recently, however, our southern neighbor, Oklahoma, has been rocked repeatedly by [...]

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Toby GreenThe Rise of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in Western Africa, 1300-1589

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[Cross-posted from New Books in History] Slavery was pervasive in the Ancient World: you can find it in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. In Late Antiquity , however, slavery went into decline. It survived and even flourished in the Byzantine Empire and Muslim lands, yet it all but disappeared in Medieval Western and Central Europe. Then, rather [...]

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Samuel TottenGenocide by Attrition: The Nuba Mountains of Sudan

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[Cross-posted from New Books in Genocide Studies] Most of the authors I’ve interviewed for this show have addressed episodes in the past, campaigns of mass violence that occurred long ago, often well-before the author was born. Today’s show is different. In his book Genocide by Attrition: The Nuba Mountains of Sudan (Transaction Publishers, 2012), Samuel Totten addresses the violence against [...]

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Donovan ChauExploiting Africa: The Influence of Maoist China in Algeria, Ghana, and Tanzania

July 7, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Donovan Chau is the author of Exploiting Africa: The Influence of Maoist China in Algeria, Ghana, and Tanzania (Naval Institute Press, 2014). Chau is an associate professor of political science at California State University. Chau examines China’s role in Algeria, Ghana, and Tanzania from the 1950s to the 1970s. China used its [...]

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James CopnallA Poisonous Thorn in Our Hearts: Sudan and South Sudan’s Bitter and Incomplete Divorce

June 20, 2014

July 2011 saw that rarest of events – an attempt to resolve a conflict in Africa by the redrawing of borders. It saw the birth of South Sudan as a fully fledged country after decades of conflict going back to the days of independence. It is obviously far too early to say whether this radical [...]

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Susan ThomsonWhispering Truth to Power: Everyday Resistance to Reconciliation in Postgenocide Rwanda

May 24, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Genocide Studies] This spring, I taught a class loosely called “The Holocaust through Primary Sources” to a small group of selected students. I started one class by asking them the deceptively simple question “When did the Holocaust end?”  The first consensus answer was “1945.”  After some discussion, the students changed their [...]

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Abena Dove Osseo-AsareBitter Roots: The Search for Healing Plants in Africa

April 10, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Science, Technology, and Society] Abena Dove Osseo-Asare’s wonderful new book is a thoughtful, provocative, and balanced account of the intersecting histories and practices of drug research in modern Ghana, South Africa, and Madagascar. Bitter Roots: The Search for Healing Plants in Africa (University of Chicago Press, 2014) tells the stories of six plants, [...]

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Sean D. MurphyLitigating War: Mass Civil Injury and the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission

April 6, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Law] Professor Sean D. Murphy is the Patricia Roberts Harris Research Professor of Law at George Washington University and co-author of the book Litigating War: Mass Civil Injury and the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission (Oxford University Press, 2013) with Won Kidane, Associate Professor of Law at the Seattle University Law School, and Thomas R. Snider, an international arbitrator [...]

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Ellen J. AmsterMedicine and the Saints: Science, Islam, and the Colonial Encounter in Morocco, 1877-1956

March 16, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Islamic Studies] What is the interplay between the physical human body and the body politic? This question is at the heart of Ellen J. Amster’s Medicine and the Saints: Science, Islam, and the Colonial Encounter in Morocco, 1877-1956  (University of Texas Press, 2013). In this pioneering, interdisciplinary study, Professor Amster explores the French campaign to colonize [...]

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