Annette Joseph-Gabriel. Suzanne Césaire: Liberation beyond the Great Camouflage
2020, University of Illinois Press
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Abstract: Suzanne Césaire's essays in Tropiques make an important intervention in imagining a new Martinican and ultimately Pan-Caribbean identity during World War II. This study examines Césaire's joint politics and poetics of liberation in the context of dissidence in Martinique. A close reading of her essays alongside previously uncited personal correspondence reveals Haiti to be central to her vision for a Caribbean cultural renaissance after the death and destruction of the war.

Comment: Useful for discussions on belonging, citizenship, and nation-building, and expanding knowledge of Suzanne Césaire. Prior knowledge of key concepts of political history is needed, as well as some knowledge of French decolonization. Can be used to expand knowledge of French education in the former colonies.

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Anyidoho, Nana Akua. Women, Gender and Development in Africa
2020, The Palgrave Handbook of African Women's Studies
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Abstract: Gender denotes the social prescriptions associated with biological sex in regard to roles, behaviour, appearance, cognition, emotions, and so on. Social relations of gender or gender relations encompass all relationships in which gender subjectivities play a role, including those among people, and between people and the institutions, systems, and processes of development. The chapter describes three features of gender relations that are generally consistent across societies – gender ideologies and mythsgendered division of labor; and unequal power relationships – and discusses their implications for development. The chapter further explains the centrality of gender to the development enterprise and discusses various approaches to integrating gender analysis in development processes.

Comment: Overview of three features of gender relations: ideologies and myths, gendered division of labor, unequal power relationships. Explains why subjectivity and social and historical context matter in gender development and interventions with Africa as Global South example.

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Boittin, Jennifer Anne. Reverse Exoticism and Masculinity: The Cultural Politics of Race Relations
2010, University of Nebraska Press
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Abstract: The black colony was sculpted from the elements of racial and political solidarity, but Paris was still dominated in the eyes of black people by white men. In consequence, strategies for sociocultural independence could not follow straightforward political lines, in particular with respect to the phenomenon of negrophilia. How did black men respond to their categorization as exotic others when faced with a vogue nègre that threatened to leave them voiceless? How did they reinforce their control not just over the political milieu they had forged in part through racial bonds, but also within the broader cultural sphere of the capital?

Comment: Can be used to discuss the intersection of race and gender in spaces where black men were in power, accompanied by white women. Useful for conversations on the impact of racism on masculinity.

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Celeste Day Moore. Soundscapes of Liberation. African American Music in Postwar France
2021, Duke University Press
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Publisher’s Note: In Soundscapes of Liberation, Celeste Day Moore traces the popularization of African American music in postwar France, where it signaled new forms of power and protest. Moore surveys a wide range of musical genres, soundscapes, and media: the US military's wartime records and radio programs; the French record industry's catalogs of blues, jazz, and R&B recordings; the translations of jazz memoirs; a provincial choir specializing in spirituals; and US State Department-produced radio programs that broadcast jazz and gospel across the French empire. In each of these contexts, individual intermediaries such as educators, producers, writers, and radio deejays imbued African American music with new meaning, value, and political power. Their work resonated among diverse Francophone audiences and transformed the lives and labor of many African American musicians, who found financial and personal success as well as discrimination in France. By showing how the popularity of African American music was intertwined with contemporary structures of racism and imperialism, Moore demonstrates this music's centrality to postwar France and the convergence of decolonization, the expanding globalized economy, the Cold War, and worldwide liberation movements.

Comment: Useful for students of history interested in sound production and its relation to Black Internationalism. Can be used as an introduction into new methods and sources. Prior knowledge of Black Internationalism is recommended but not essential if the focus is on methods.

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Jennifer Anne Boittin. Colonial Metropolis: The Urban Grounds of Anti-Imperialism and Feminism in Interwar Paris
2010, University of Nebraska Press
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Publisher’s Note: World War I gave colonial migrants and French women unprecedented access to the workplaces and nightlife of Paris. After the war they were expected to return without protest to their homes—either overseas or metropolitan. Neither group, however, was willing to be discarded. Between the world wars, the mesmerizing capital of France’s colonial empire attracted denizens from Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States. Paris became not merely their home but also a site for political engagement. Colonial Metropolis tells the story of the interactions and connections of these black colonial migrants and white feminists in the social, cultural, and political world of interwar Paris. It explores why and how both were denied certain rights, such as the vote, how they suffered from sensationalist depictions in popular culture, and how they pursued parity in ways that were often interpreted as politically subversive.

Comment: This book uses a wide variety of sources and methods to discuss the social, political, and cultural history of the French Empire. Prior but limited knowledge of interwar Paris is necessary. Can be used as both an introduction to themes of colonial empire and race and an introduction to new methods of archival research.

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Mamdani, Mahmood. An African Reflection on Tahrir Square
2011, Globalizations, 8(5), pp. 559–566.
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Abstract:

This essay understands the significance of Tahrir Square as a radical shift both n the way of doing politics, from armed struggle to popular struggle, and in the definition of political identity, from religious to territorial. It seeks to understand the historical significance of the shift by placing it in the context of technologies of colonial rule (both the Ottoman millet system and British indirect rule) and post-colonial attempts to rethink and reform this mode of rule. The result is a historical reflection that begins with Steve Biko and the Soweto Uprising in 1976, Mahmoud Mohamed Taha and John Garang in post-colonial Sudan, and closes with Sayyid Qutb and the significance of Tahrir Square.

Comment: This text provides an alternative understanding of the events at Tahrir Square and a way of 'doing politics' that is beyond the western norm. By locating the events of Tahrir Square within the vein of politics started by the Soweto Uprising in South Africa in 1976, the author provides a novel way through which to understand popular uprisings. This text can be used to historicise more recent historicise uprisings, in a course on political history and decolonising

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Marika Preziuso. A Subtlety by Kara Walker: Teaching Vulnerable Art
2016, Journal of International Women's Studies 17(3)
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Abstract: In late Spring 2014, the nonprofit organization Creative Time commissioned artist Kara Walker to create her first large-scale public installation. Hosted in the industrial relics of the leg- endary Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn, Walker’s A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby was as controversial as it was revered. The powerful presence of the installation, coupled with its immersion in historical consciousness, makes A Subtlety rich in educational value. This article engages in a comparative reading of A Subtlety in the light of female writers and thinkers from the Caribbean, but also incorporates some of the generative questions Walker’s installation has pro- voked my students to ask. I especially engage questions on how to unravel the mixed metaphors that make A Subtlety the artistic embodiment of the textured experience of the African diaspora, with its complex history, cultural hybridity and transnational ramifications. While Walker’s instal- lation seems to sustain its many layers of meanings through both form and content, the (mostly white, US-born) students in my class have responded to it in a range of critical ways that pointed especially to their emotional and critical response toward female Blackness, and reflections about the artist’s responsibility toward her intention. The article reflects on the inherent possibilities for teaching A Subtlety and other forms of what I consider “vulnerable art,” which at its best helps to channel our collective and personal discomfort in effective, healing ways.

Comment: Very useful for teachers interested in integrating contemporary exhibitions into debates about race, gender and colonialism. Establishes connections to other literary pieces and discusses implementation in the classroom as well as reception by students. Prior knowledge of the themes mentioned is recommended but not mandatory if the focus is on the methods used.

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Matlosa, Khabele. The State of Democratisation in Southern Africa: Blocked Transitions, Reversals, Stagnation, Progress and Prospects
2017, Politikon, 44(1), pp. 5–26. doi: 10.1080/02589346.2017.1278640.
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Abstract:

Southern Africa has experienced highs and lows in its efforts towards democratisation. Following political independence of Southern Africa states, the germination of democratisation was a rather slow process. A brief period of multi-party democracy introduced through pre-independence elections quickly dissipated and was replaced by one-party, one-person and, in some instances, military regimes. This era also coincided with the height of the Cold War globally and the heyday of apartheid in which inter-state conflicts had intensified. Since the late 1980s and early 1990s, a new dispensation has emerged wherein multi-party democracy has re-emerged in the context of the post-Cold War and post-apartheid dispensation, marked by relative peace dividend. However, democratisation in Southern Africa remains a mixed bag today. Some countries have not yet experienced the democratic transition. Others have managed to transition from one-party, one-person and military regimes to multi-party democracies. In various others, there are signs of reversal of democratic gains. This paper reviews the state of democratisation in Southern Africa with a view to understand why the regional record is so uneven across countries that form the Southern African Development Community (SADC). While the article presents a regional snapshot, it also presents comparative insights from Botswana and Lesotho.

Comment: The author debates the popular notion of whether states were 'fit for democracy' by asking whether they became 'fit through democracy' through the example of South African countries. The paper thus contributes to the debate on democratisation of formerly colonised/ authoritarian countries and the ideas in political science about democratic trajectories by investigating the linkages between political transitions and democratisation. This article can be used by students of political history in tracing the history of democratisation around the world, as well as in the debate of the longterm impacts of colonisation and authoritarian rule on democracy.

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Mohan, C. Raja. ‘India and the Balance of Power’
2006, Foreign Affairs, 85(4), pp. 17–32.
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, Contributed by: Koen te Wierike
Abstract: India is on the verge of becoming a great power and the swing state in the international system. As a large, multiethnic, economically powerful, non-Western democracy, it will play a key role in the great struggles of the coming years. Washington has recognized the potential of a U.S.-Indian alliance, but translating that potential into reality will require engaging India on its own terms.

Comment: This article discusses the transformative role of India in the global stage. The author describes that the Western powers still treat India like the weaker nation it was 50 years ago. Mohan argues that that India has earned a spot on among the global powers and the Western powers should change their political/ foreign policy regarding India if they want to engage with them.

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Qin, Yaqing. A Relational Theory of World Politics
2016, International Studies Review 18, no. 1: 33 - 47
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, Contributed by: Fay de Lange
Abstract: Culture matters in social theory construction because the metaphysical component of the theoretical hard core is primarily shaped by the background knowledge of a cultural community. Individual rationality, a key concept abstracted from Western culture, constitutes the nucleus for much of mainstream Western International Relations Theory. This article proposes a relational theory of world politics with relationality as the metaphysical component of its theoretical hard core. It conceives the International Relations (IR) world as one composed of ongoing relations, assumes international actors as actors-in-relations, and takes processes defined in terms of relations in motion as ontologically significant. It puts forward the logic of relationality, arguing that actors base their actions on relations in the first place. It uses the Chinese zhongyong dialectics as its epistemological schema for understanding relationships in an increasingly complex world. This theoretical framework may enable us to see the IR world from a different perspective, reconceptualize key elements such as power and governance, and make a broader comparison of international systems for the enrichment of the Global IR project.

Comment: This articles offers an alternative understanding to the mainstream Western IR theories, which can be interesting to discuss.

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Rajni Kothari. POLITICS IN INDIA
1972, Kothari, R. (1972) Politics in india. Repr edn. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan.
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, Contributed by: Dina K
Publisher’s Note:

Acclaimed to be by far the most sophisticated general study on Indian politics. Politics in India unfolds, here with insight and acumen and the vastness and confusion of the Indian political scene is elaborately discussed. This book is the first comprehensive treatment of the Indian political system examined from different vantage points and drawing together the contribution of various disciplines into a common framework.

Comment: This renowned book is an important one for any scholar of history of politics, society and IR in India, having set the foundations for Indian academic perspectives on the Indian national systems of government. The ground-breaking analysis was the first to assess post-colonial Indian politics, culture and societal norms, as well as democracy from a broader perspective, distinct from the previously uncontested Western hegemony within social sciences. The book theorises on the concepts of power and modernisation, and challenges the academic hegemony of the 1970s. The redefinition of such concepts from an Indian perspective had important effects on West-centric disciplines, especially in light of India’s colonial history.

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Tahir Amin. Afghan Resistance: Past, Present, and Future
1984, Asian Survey 24(4): 373-399
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, Contributed by: Gijs ter Haar
Abstract: Armchair strategists analyzing the far-reaching impli- cations of Soviet intervention in Afghanistan tend to ignore or under- emphasize one very important reality: The Soviet occupation of Af- ghanistan is not yet an established fact. The Afghan resistance movement has become a national liberation war, posing a real and formidable challenge to Soviet control over Afghanistan. Six months after the Soviet intervention in December 1979, Brezhnev claimed in the plenary session of the central committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union: "Now life in Afghanistan is gradually returning to normal. Large bands of counterrevolutionaries have been routed, and interventionists have suf- fered a serious defeat."' But four years later, the Soviet media continue to report "counterrevolutionary" activities, admitting that "many public institutions in Afghanistan have been destroyed. Industrial enterprises, utility lines and irrigation systems have become targets of sabotage, costing Afghan industry alone 2.8 billion Afghanis.3 On April 11, 1983, Kabul Radio carried a broadcast in which Prime Minister Sultan Ali Keshtmand revealed that half of Afghanistan's hospitals and schools have been destroyed and three-quarters of the country's communications have been disrupted by the guerrillas.4

Comment: Discusses the Afghan resistance towards the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1979. According to the writer, this is a topic that is overlooked by most other works on the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.

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