Perspectives on Africa: A Reader in Culture, History, and Representation

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Roy Grinker, Christopher Steiner
Wiley, Feb 18, 1997 - Social Science - 736 pages
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Perspectives on Africa brings key works in African studies to a wide range of readers. Forty-four articles have been selected either because they have proved to be classic and influential, or because of their significance to the current development of the field. The book's combined focus on ethnography and theory gives the student the means to link theory with data, and perspective with practice. The book is at once an introduction to the cultures of Africa, and a history of how those cultures have been perceived and interpreted.

After a general introduction to contemporary issues in African studies, the volume is organized into ten parts, each introduced by the editors and organized around major debates and central issues. The articles illustrate the dynamic processes by and through which scholars have described and understood African history and culture, and show how profoundly the ethnography of Africa has influenced the direction and development of anthropological and social theory.

The authors include anthropologists, historians, philosophers and critics. Collectively they show the multiplicities of voice in African studies, and reveal the interpenetration of ideas and concepts within and across disciplines, regions and historical periods.

The book is illustrated with maps and photographs, and includes guides to further reading on all main issues and subjects. It will be welcomed by all students of African history and culture.

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User Review  - Enkerli - LibraryThing

A useful reader on many important topics in African Studies, mostly from an ethnographic perspective. More advanced reading. Read full review

About the author (1997)

Roy Richard Grinker is Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at the George Washington University and Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington, DC. He has written widely on Zaire and Korea and is the author of Houses in the Rainforest: Ethnicity and Inequality among Farmers and Foragers in Central Africa (1994).

Christopher B. Steiner is Associate Professor of Art History and Director of Museum Studies at Connecticut College. He is the author of African Art in Transit (1994), which was awarded the 1993-94 Amaury Talbot Prize for African Anthropology and co-editor (with Ruth B Phillips) of Unpacking Culture: Art and Commodity in Colonial and Postcolonial Worlds (1998). He has taught anthropology and art history at Harvard University, UCLA, University of Southern California and the University of East Anglia.

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