Focuses on the social and cultural dimensions of the field, bringing together essays on relations between the environmental ideas and practices of Africans, colonial officials, settlers and scientists. Also investigates ideas about landscape and nature, providing new perspectives on national and settler identities, and on constructions of ethnicity and change.
'...will be assiduously mined by lecturers and students iin Europe and North America for years to come, and should be widely read and discussed, both among scholars of Africa and more generally. Will you see an aid bureaucrat perusing them in some departure lounge, or an undergraduate under a tree on an African campus? It would be good if you did, for this is part of the readership they deserve.' - Bill Adams in African Affairs 'The book brings fresh perspectives to well-developed debates about the politics of colonial conservation and African resistance.' - Leisa Magazine '...a brilliant book. In its various chapters it offers many exciting analyses in the emerging field of environmental history in Africa...Its critical evaluation of many taken-for-granted (colonial) assumptions about Africanas and their relation to natural environments, often in a 'declinist' discourse (p.1), is well grounded in empirical data. Most of the chapters are well written, some are a straightforward delight to read. Social scientific writing as it should be, intellectually challenging, accessible and empirically solid...A 'must-read' for everyone interested in how African environments past and present are constructed and (re)produced by various stakeholders in the process, through being intimately intertwined with social history.' Harry Wells, Modern African Studies '...the authors attempt to deepen our understanding of the relationship between people and nature. In taking this approach, the collection challenges the political ecology focus of the environmental history of the 1970s and 1980s. 'Along with the introduction, the analyses of settler identity are worth thr price of admission. ...overall this collection effectively encapsulates the recent social and cultural turn in African environmental history. It should be widely read and debated.' Jeff D Grischow in The Historian
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