Books  Regional Natural History  Natural History of Africa 

Social History and African Environments

Edited By: William Beinart and JoAnn McGregor

James Currey

Paperback | Dec 2003 | #144406 | ISBN: 085255950X
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £19.99 $26/€23 approx
Hardback | Dec 2003 | #144408 | ISBN: 0852559518
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £19.99 $26/€23 approx

About this book

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


Introduction by William Beinart & JoAnn McGregor I AFRICAN ENVIRONMENTAL IDEAS & PRACTICES Hidden fruits: a social ecology of fruit trees in Namibia & Angola, 1880s-1990s by Emmanuel Kreike - The ironies of plant transfer: the case of prickly pear in Madagascar by Karen Middleton - Environmental data & historical process: historical climatic reconstruction & the Mutapa State, 1450-1862 AD by Innocent Pikirayi - Women & environment in African religion: the case of Zimbabwe by Terence Ranger - Living with the river: landscape & memory in the Zambesi valley, northwest Zimbabwe by JoAnn McGregor II COLONIAL SCIENCE, THE STATE & AFRICAN RESPONSES African environments & environmental sciences: the African Research Survey, ecological paradigms & British colonial development, 1920-1940 by Helen Tilley - Soil conservation policies in colonial Kigezi, Uganda: successful implementation & an absence of resistance by Grace Carswell - Conservation & resistance in colonial Malawi: the 'dead north' revisited by John McCracken - Representations of custom, social identity & environmental relations in Central Tanzania, 1926-1950 by Ingrid Yngstrom III SETTLERS & AFRICANS; CULTURE & NATURE An unnatural state: tourism, water & wildlife photography in the early Kruger National Park by David Bunn - The ant of the white soul: popular natural history & the politics of Afrikaner identity, with reference to the entomological writings of Eugene Marais by Sandra Swart - Fido: Dog tales of colonialism in Namibia by Robert J. Gordon - Past & future landscape ideology: the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park by Jane Carruthers

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William Beinart is Rhodes Professor of Race Relations, University of Oxford; JoAnn McGregor is Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Reading

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