Swahili Beyond the Boundaries

Literature, Language, and Identity

Author: Alamin M. Mazrui

Publisher: Ohio University Press

ISBN: 0896802523

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 206

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Africa is a marriage of cultures: African and Asian, Islamic and Euro-Christian. Nowhere is this fusion more evident than in the formation of Swahili, Eastern Africa's lingua franca, and its cultures. Swahili Beyond the Boundaries: Literature, Language, and Identity addresses the moving frontiers of Swahili literature under the impetus of new waves of globalization in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. These momentous changes have generated much theoretical debate on several literary fronts, as Swahili literature continues to undergo transformation in the mill of human creativity. Swahili literature is a hybrid that is being reconfigured by a conjuncture of global and local forces. As the interweaving of elements of the colonizer and the colonized, this hybrid formation provides a representation of cultural difference that is said to constitute a "third space," blurring existing boundaries and calling into question established identitarian categorizations. This cultural dialectic is clearly evident in the Swahili literary experience as it has evolved in the crucible of the politics of African cultural production. However, Swahili Beyond the Boundaries demonstrates that, from the point of view of Swahili literature, while hybridity evokes endless openness on questions of home and identity, it can simultaneously put closure on specific forms of subjectivity. In the process of this contestation, a new synthesis may be emerging that is poised to subject Swahili literature to new kinds of challenges in the politics of identity, compounded by the dynamics and counterdynamics of post-Cold War globalization.

The Swahili World

Author: Stephanie Wynne-Jones,Adria LaViolette

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317430166

Category: Social Science

Page: 672

View: 9862

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The Swahili World presents the fascinating story of a major world civilization, exploring the archaeology, history, linguistics, and anthropology of the Indian Ocean coast of Africa. It covers a 1,500-year sweep of history, from the first settlement of the coast to the complex urban tradition found there today. Swahili towns contain monumental palaces, tombs, and mosques, set among more humble houses; they were home to fishers, farmers, traders, and specialists of many kinds. The towns have been Muslim since perhaps the eighth century CE, participating in international networks connecting people around the Indian Ocean rim and beyond. Successive colonial regimes have helped shape modern Swahili society, which has incorporated such influences into the region’s long-standing cosmopolitan tradition. This is the first volume to explore the Swahili in chronological perspective. Each chapter offers a unique wealth of detail on an aspect of the region’s past, written by the leading scholars on the subject. The result is a book that allows both specialist and non-specialist readers to explore the diversity of the Swahili tradition, how Swahili society has changed over time, as well as how our understandings of the region have shifted since Swahili studies first began. Scholars of the African continent will find the most nuanced and detailed consideration of Swahili culture, language and history ever produced. For readers unfamiliar with the region or the people involved, the chapters here provide an ideal introduction to a new and wonderful geography, at the interface of Africa and the Indian Ocean world, and among a people whose culture remains one of Africa’s most distinctive achievements.

Guidance (Uwongozi) by Sheikh al-Amin Mazrui: Selections from the First Swahili Islamic Newspaper

A Swahili-English Edition

Author: Kai Kresse

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9004335544

Category: History

Page: 204

View: 3084

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Guidance (Uwongozi) is a bi-lingual edition of a collection of essays from the first Swahili Islamic newspaper, Sahifa, written by Sheikh al-Amin Mazrui (d. 1947) in Mombasa between 1930 and 1932. The collection was first printed locally in 1944.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Thought

Author: Abiola Irele

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0195334736

Category: Africa

Page: 988

View: 695

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From St. Augustine and early Ethiopian philosophers to the anti-colonialist movements of Pan-Africanism and Negritude, this encyclopedia offers a comprehensive view of African thought, covering the intellectual tradition both on the continent in its entirety and throughout the African Diaspora in the Americas and in Europe. The term "African thought" has been interpreted in the broadest sense to embrace all those forms of discourse - philosophy, political thought, religion, literature, important social movements - that contribute to the formulation of a distinctive vision of the world determined by or derived from the African experience. The Encyclopedia is a large-scale work of 350 entries covering major topics involved in the development of African Thought including historical figures and important social movements, producing a collection that is an essential resource for teaching, an invaluable companion to independent research, and a solid guide for further study.

The Story of Swahili

Author: John M. Mugane

Publisher: Ohio University Press

ISBN: 0896804895

Category: History

Page: 332

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Swahili, or more properly Kiswahili, was once an obscure littoral dialect of an East African Bantu language. Today more than one hundred million people use Swahili, making it one of the few truly international languages: Swahili is to eastern and central Africa what English is to the world. How this came about and why, of all African languages, it happened only to Swahili is the story that John M. Mugane sets out to explore. The remarkable adaptability of Swahili has allowed Africans — and others — to tailor the language to their needs, extending its influence far beyond its place of origin. The Story of Swahili calls for a reevaluation of the widespread but fallacious assumption that cultural superiority, military conquest, and economic dominance determine the prosperity of any given language. The Story of Swahili is about where languages come from, where they are now, and where they are headed, using the success of Swahili as a convenient point of entry. As a language that arose from contact between peoples from diverse cultures, Swahili is an excellent conveyor of the history of communities in eastern and central Africa as well as their associations throughout the Indian Ocean world. It is also a vibrant, living language that continues to adapt to the changing demands of global trade, technology, and communication.

The Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology

Author: Peter Mitchell,Paul Lane

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191626155

Category: Social Science

Page: 1080

View: 7907

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Africa has the longest and arguably the most diverse archaeological record of any of the continents. It is where the human lineage first evolved and from where Homo sapiens spread across the rest of the world. Later, it witnessed novel experiments in food-production and unique trajectories to urbanism and the organisation of large communities that were not always structured along strictly hierarchical lines. Millennia of engagement with societies in other parts of the world confirm Africa's active participation in the construction of the modern world, while the richness of its history, ethnography, and linguistics provide unusually powerful opportunities for constructing interdisciplinary narratives of Africa's past. This Handbook provides a comprehensive and up-to-date synthesis of African archaeology, covering the entirety of the continent's past from the beginnings of human evolution to the archaeological legacy of European colonialism. As well as covering almost all periods and regions of the continent, it includes a mixture of key methodological and theoretical issues and debates, and situates the subject's contemporary practice within the discipline's history and the infrastructural challenges now facing its practitioners. Bringing together essays on all these themes from over seventy contributors, many of them living and working in Africa, it offers a highly accessible, contemporary account of the subject for use by scholars and students of not only archaeology, but also history, anthropology, and other disciplines.

Swahili Port Cities

The Architecture of Elsewhere

Author: Sandy Prita Meier

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253019176

Category: History

Page: 248

View: 8637

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On the Swahili coast of East Africa, monumental stone houses, tombs, and mosques mark the border zone between the interior of the African continent and the Indian Ocean. Prita Meier explores this coastal environment and shows how an African mercantile society created a place of cosmopolitan longing. Meier understands architecture as more than a way to remake local space. Rather, the architecture of this liminal zone was an expression of the desire of coastal inhabitants to belong to places beyond their homeports. Here architecture embodies modern ideas and social identities engendered by the encounter of Africans with others in the Indian Ocean world.

Ebrahim Hussein

Swahili Theatre and Individualism

Author: Alain Ricard

Publisher: Mkuki Na Nyoka Pub

ISBN: 9789976973815

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 160

View: 5935

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Ebrahim Hussein is the best known Swahili playwright, and Tanzania's most complex literary personality. Known first and foremost as a dramatist, he is also a theorist whose dissertation on the theatre in Tanzania remains the standard reference work. His plays are a corpus of theatrical material with great significance to an understanding of Tanzania's political and social development in relation to the Swahili/Islamic coastal culture, of which he is a part. Alain Ricard is Research Professor of the CRNS of the African Studies Centre of the University of Bordeaux. In this sympathetic study of the man and the author, he corrects the neglect, by those writing in French and English, of the study of Tanzanian literature in general, and Hussein's work in particular.

Rumba Rules

The Politics of Dance Music in Mobutu’s Zaire

Author: Bob W. White

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822389266

Category: History

Page: 326

View: 9706

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Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) from 1965 until 1997, was fond of saying “happy are those who sing and dance,” and his regime energetically promoted the notion of culture as a national resource. During this period Zairian popular dance music (often referred to as la rumba zaïroise) became a sort of musica franca in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa. But how did this privileged form of cultural expression, one primarily known for a sound of sweetness and joy, flourish under one of the continent’s most brutal authoritarian regimes? In Rumba Rules, the first ethnography of popular music in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bob W. White examines not only the economic and political conditions that brought this powerful music industry to its knees, but also the ways that popular musicians sought to remain socially relevant in a time of increasing insecurity. Drawing partly on his experiences as a member of a local dance band in the country’s capital city Kinshasa, White offers extraordinarily vivid accounts of the live music scene, including the relatively recent phenomenon of libanga, which involves shouting the names of wealthy or powerful people during performances in exchange for financial support or protection. With dynamic descriptions of how bands practiced, performed, and splintered, White highlights how the ways that power was sought and understood in Kinshasa’s popular music scene mirrored the charismatic authoritarianism of Mobutu’s rule. In Rumba Rules, Congolese speak candidly about political leadership, social mobility, and what it meant to be a bon chef (good leader) in Mobutu’s Zaire.

Cultural Politics of Translation

East Africa in a Global Context

Author: Alamin M. Mazrui

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317233190

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 190

View: 1011

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This book is the first full-length examination of the cultural politics at work in the act of translation in East Africa, providing close critical analyses of a variety of texts that demonstrate the myriad connections between translation and larger socio-political forces. Looking specifically at texts translated into Swahili, the book builds on the notion that translation is not just a linguistic process, but also a complex interaction between culture, history, and politics, and charts this evolution of the translation process in East Africa from the pre-colonial to colonial to post-colonial periods. It uses textual examples, including the Bible, the Qur’an, and Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth, from five different domains – religious, political, legal, journalistic, and literary – and grounds them in their specific socio-political and historical contexts to highlight the importance of context in the translation process and to unpack the complex relationships between both global and local forces that infuse these translated texts with an identity all their own. This book provides a comprehensive portrait of the multivalent nature of the act of translation in the East African experience and serves as a key resource for students and researchers in translation studies, cultural studies, post-colonial studies, African studies, and comparative literature.

Kujibizana

Author: Ann Joyce Biersteker

Publisher: MSU Press

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: 368

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The author argues that reading poetry in Kiswahili provides important insights into questions of language and power, as well as into discussions of socialist practice in East Africa and East African resistance to colonialism and neo-colonialism. Includes the text of numerous poems and footnotes.

Africa

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Africa

Page: N.A

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Includes Proceedings of the Executive council and List of members, also section "Review of books".

The Edge of Islam

Power, Personhood, and Ethnoreligious Boundaries on the Kenya Coast

Author: Janet McIntosh

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822390965

Category: Social Science

Page: 340

View: 5912

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In this theoretically rich exploration of ethnic and religious tensions, Janet McIntosh demonstrates how the relationship between two ethnic groups in the bustling Kenyan town of Malindi is reflected in and shaped by the different ways the two groups relate to Islam. While Swahili and Giriama peoples are historically interdependent, today Giriama find themselves literally and metaphorically on the margins, peering in at a Swahili life of greater social and economic privilege. Giriama are frustrated to find their ethnic identity disparaged and their versions of Islam sometimes rejected by Swahili. The Edge of Islam explores themes as wide-ranging as spirit possession, divination, healing rituals, madness, symbolic pollution, ideologies of money, linguistic code-switching, and syncretism and its alternatives. McIntosh shows how the differing versions of Islam practiced by Swahili and Giriama, and their differing understandings of personhood, have figured in the growing divisions between the two groups. Her ethnographic analysis helps to explain why Giriama view Islam, a supposedly universal religion, as belonging more deeply to certain ethnic groups than to others; why Giriama use Islam in their rituals despite the fact that so many do not consider the religion their own; and how Giriama appropriations of Islam subtly reinforce a distance between the religion and themselves. The Edge of Islam advances understanding of ethnic essentialism, religious plurality, spirit possession, local conceptions of personhood, and the many meanings of “Islam” across cultures.

Swahili Origins

Swahili Culture & the Shungwaya Phenomenon

Author: James De Vere Allen

Publisher: James Currey

ISBN: 9780852550762

Category: Africa, Eastern

Page: 272

View: 3109

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