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The Politics of Heritage in Africa
Economies, Histories, and Infrastructures

$107.00 (C)

Part of The International African Library

Derek Peterson, Daniel Herwitz, Gary Minkley, Phindi Mnyaka, Leslie Witz, Noeleen Murray, Kodzo Gavua, Ray Silverman, Ciraj Rassool, Mbongiseni Buthelezi, Kwesi Yankah, Judy Irvine, Mary Esther Dakubu, Moses Nii-Dortey, Litheko Modisane, Carolyn Hamilton
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  • Date Published: March 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107094857

$ 107.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Heritage work has had a uniquely wide currency in Africa's politics. Secure within the pages of books, encoded in legal statutes, encased in glass display cases and enacted in the panoply of court ritual, the artefacts produced by the heritage domain have become a resource for government administration, a library for traditionalists and a marketable source of value for cultural entrepreneurs. The Politics of Heritage in Africa draws together disparate fields of study – history, archaeology, linguistics, the performing arts and cinema – to show how the lifeways of the past were made into capital, a store of authentic knowledge that political and cultural entrepreneurs could draw from. This book shows African heritage to be a mode of political organisation, a means by which the relics of the past are shored up, reconstructed and revalued as commodities, as tradition, as morality or as patrimony.

    • Presents cutting edge, thought-provoking scholarship, illuminating the intersecting work of politics and heritage work in the African continent
    • Contains several contributions by younger African academics
    • Includes in-depth coverage of key heritage museums and applications of heritage in post-apartheid South Africa and in Ghana
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Precisely on the basis of the great variety of case studies presented, the volume attests to the complexity of any form of heritage politics. The ways in which such politics articulate the past with often direct present-day concerns goes well beyond the "mere" problematic of the colonial archive. Yet even more, heritage politics is situated at the crossroads of fierce identity politics, nation-building, and commercialisation, and it speaks to memories of suffering and struggle often in terms that seem wanting to those who have lived through them. The present collection provides thought-provoking and fascinating perspectives that advance these concerns."
    Reinhart Kößler, Africa Spectrum

    'The range of case studies will interest readers with particular specialisms as well as those with a broader interest in heritage, while Peterson’s introduction is likely to become the key text for students approaching the topic.' Sarah Longair, African Research and Documentation

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107094857
    • length: 311 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • contains: 18 b/w illus. 3 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: heritage management in colonial and contemporary Africa D. R. Peterson
    2. Heritage and legacy in the South African state and university D. Herwitz
    3. Seeing beyond the official and the vernacular: the Duncan Village Massacre Memorial and the politics of heritage in South Africa G. Minkley and P. Mnyaka
    4. Fences, signs and property: heritage, development and the making of location in Lwandle L. Witz and N. Murray
    5. Monuments and negotiations of power in Ghana K. Gavua
    6. Of chiefs, tourists and culture: heritage production in contemporary Ghana R. Silverman
    7. Human remains, the disciplines of the dead and the South African memorial complex C. Rassool
    8. Heritage versus heritage: reaching for pre-Zulu identities in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa M. Buthelezi
    9. 9/11 and the painful death of an Asante king: national tragedies in comparative perspective K. Yankah
    10. Visions of ethnicity in nineteenth-century African linguistics J. Irvine
    11. The role of language in forging new identities: countering a heritage of servitude M. E. Dakubu
    12. Folk opera and the cultural politics of post-independence Ghana: Saka Acquaye's 'The Lost Fishermen' M. Nii-Dortey
    13. Flashes of modernity: heritage according to cinema L. Modisane
    14. Conclusion C. Hamilton.

  • Editors

    Derek R. Peterson, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    Derek Peterson is Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He has edited several books, including Recasting the Past: History Writing and Political Work in Modern Africa (2009), and has authored Ethnic Patriotism and the East African Revival (2012).

    Kodzo Gavua, University of Ghana
    Kodzo Gavua is Associate Professor of Archaeology and Heritage Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon. He has edited A Handbook of Eweland: The Northern Ewes in Ghana (2000) and is co-editor of Intercultural Perspectives on Ghana (2005).

    Ciraj Rassool, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
    Ciraj Rassool is Professor of History and director of the African Programme in Museum and Heritage Studies at the University of the Western Cape. He co-authored and co-edited several books, including Recalling Community in Cape Town: Creating and Curating the District Six Museum (2001) and Museum Frictions: Public Cultures/Global Transformations (2006).


    Derek Peterson, Daniel Herwitz, Gary Minkley, Phindi Mnyaka, Leslie Witz, Noeleen Murray, Kodzo Gavua, Ray Silverman, Ciraj Rassool, Mbongiseni Buthelezi, Kwesi Yankah, Judy Irvine, Mary Esther Dakubu, Moses Nii-Dortey, Litheko Modisane, Carolyn Hamilton

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