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Directions and Provocations in African Studies

Refreshed for 2020, this article and chapter collection explores key areas of interest and relevance in African Studies. From legacies of Kanjogera in modern Rwanda to the democratization of literature in Algeria, the ideology of labor in Kenya, and climate change adaptation in KwaZulu Natal, the highlighted articles and book chapters traverse disciplines and themes. Browse these contributions to investigate new perspectives on Africa: its cultures, economies, politics, challenges, and opportunities.

View our full portfolio of African Studies journals and filter to find the specific topics and articles that fit your interests. Looking for textbooks, handbooks, or monographs? Browse our comprehensive collection of African Studies books and book series.

The articles below are free-access via this page only until 31 December 2020.

Developments in Ethiopia and Eritrea

Article Title Author(s) Journal Title Year
The recent political situation in Ethiopia and rapprochement with Eritrea Amsalu K. Addis, Simplice Asongu, Zhu Zuping, Hailu Kendie Addis & Eshetu Shifaw African Security Review 2020
Fighting and Broadcasting: A History of Ethiopia’s Radio Voice of Tigray People’s Liberation Front Amanuel Gebru Woldearegay Communicatio 2019
Ethiopian reforms and the resolution of uncertainty in the Horn of Africa state system Namhla Thando Matshanda South African Journal of International Affairs 2020
“No war, no peace” in a region in flux: crisis, escalation, and possibility in the Eritrea-Ethiopia rivalry Michael Woldemariam Journal of Eastern African Studies 2018
The depoliticisation of two competing nationalisms and the introduction of democratic Meritopianism as a possible way out for Ethiopia Bekri M. Jemal Journal of Contemporary African Studies 2020
Center–periphery relations, local governance and conflicts in Ethiopia: the experience of Metekel province Temesgen Gebeyehu Baye Social Identities 2018

Technology and Entrepreneurship

Article Title Author(s) Journal Title Year
Mobilising African music: how mobile telecommunications and technology firms are transforming African music sectors Christiaan De Beukelaer & Andrew J. Eisenberg Journal of African Cultural Studies 2018
200 Years of Astronomy in South Africa: From the Royal Observatory to the ‘Big Bang’ of the Square Kilometre Array Saul Dubow Journal of Southern African Studies 2018
“Ride-sharing”, virtual capital and impacts on labor in Cape Town, South Africa Pádraig Carmody & Alicia Fortuin African Geographical Review 2019
Making Sense of Africa's Emerging Digital Transformation and its Many Futures Bitange Ndemo & Tim Weiss Africa Journal of Management 2017
Worker, businessman, entrepreneur?: Kenya's shifting labouring subject Catherine Dolan & Claire Gordon Critical African Studies 2019
Rethinking publics in Africa in a digital age Sharath Srinivasan, Stephanie Diepeveen & George Karekwaivanane Journal of Eastern African Studies 2018

Further reading: "Ghanaian agency in economic engagement in the 21st century: The role of Chinese transnational oil corporations in Ghana" in The Politics of Economic Reform in Ghana, 1st Edition (2019). Chapter by Isaac Odoom.

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African Literary and Cultural Innovations

Article Title Author(s) Journal Title Year
The Black Panther and the monkey chant Sudip Sen African Identities 2018
Cultural heritage, artistic innovation, and activism on Amazigh Berber websites Daniela Merolla Journal of African Cultural Studies 2019
Modern African literary history: nation-and-narration, orality, and diaspora Ato Quayson Journal of the African Literature Association 2019
Reclaiming African literature in the digital age: an exploration of online literary platforms Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed Critical African Studies 2017
Confronting disillusionment: on the rediscovery of socialist archives in recent South African cultural production Ksenia Robbe Safundi 2018
The Folktale and Social Values in Traditional Africa Enongene Mirabeau Sone Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies 2018

Further reading: "Afropolitanism and mobility: Constructions of home and belonging in Sefi Atta’s A Bit of Difference" in Locating African European Studies: Interventions, Intersections, Conversations, 1st Edition (2019). Chapter by Eva Rask Knudsen.

Further reading: "A gendered discourse on women’s access to housing in South Africa" in The Political Economy of Government Subsidised Housing in South Africa, 1st Edition (2019). Chapter by Claudine Hingston.

Political Economy

Article Title Author(s) Journal Title Year
Exporting corporate social responsibility into Africa? The experiences of South African companies in Swaziland Diana Sanchez Betancourt Journal of Contemporary African Studies 2016
The Political Economy of Sugar in Southern Africa – Introduction Alex Dubb, Ian Scoones & Philip Woodhouse Journal of Southern African Studies 2016
Anti-fraud measures in Southern Africa Nataliya Mykhalchenko & Jörg Wiegratz Review of African Political Economy 2019
Is fin-tech the new panacea for poverty alleviation and local development? Contesting Suri and Jack’s M-Pesa findings published in Science Milford Bateman, Maren Duvendack & Nicholas Loubere Review of African Political Economy 2019
African Regional Economic Integration in the Era of Globalisation: Reflecting on the Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs Clayton Hazvinei Vhumbunu International Journal of African Renaissance Studies 2019

Further reading: "Political economy: From conditionality to concessionary economic policy" in State-building Interventions in Post-Conflict Liberia: Building a State without Citizens, 1st Edition (2019). Chapter by Susanne Mulbah.

Further reading: "The use of electoral violence" in the Routledge Handbook of Democratization in Africa, 1st Edition (2019). Chapter by Dorina A. Bekoe & Stephanie M. Burchard.

Language and Multilingualism

Article Title Author(s) Journal Title Year
English is an African language – Ka Dupe! [for and against Ngũgĩ] Biodun Jeyifo Journal of African Cultural Studies 2017
Multilingualism in Algeria: between ‘soft power’, ‘Arabisation’, ‘Islamisation’, and ‘globalisation’ Anissa Daoudi The Journal of North African Studies 2018
A review of status of living languages of African origin Paul Hendry Nkuna Africa Review 2015
Utendajipepe wa Fasihi Simulizi: Haja ya Kuwa na Tawi Jipya Angelus Mnenuka Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies 2019
Mother-tongue education in South Africa: A highly contested terrain of the 21st century Medicine Magocha, Davie Elias Mutasa & Johannes Ratsikana Rammala South African Journal of African Languages 2019

Further reading: "African youth languages: The past, present and future attention" in The Routledge Handbook of African Linguistics, 1st Edition (2018). Chapter by Sandra Nekesa Barasa.

Climate Change

Article Title Author(s) Journal Title Year
Coping with climate change in Africa: an analysis of local interpretations in Eastern Cape, SA Amos Apraku, Philani Moyo & Wilson Akpan Development Southern Africa 2018
U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement: implications for climate finance in Africa Oluwole Olutola Africa Review 2019
How climate change impacts on regional security in West Africa: Exploring the link to organised crime Ebimboere Seiyefa African Security Review 2019
Climate change adaptation: the need for an Indian Ocean regional metamorphosis Victor R. Savage & Lin Qi Feng Journal of the Indian Ocean Region 2019
The role of culture in climate adaptation: ‘the nkanyamba caused that storm’ Hayley Leck Third World Thematics 2017
Making climate change adaptation programmes in sub-Saharan Africa more gender responsive: insights from implementing organizations on the barriers and opportunities Elizabeth Bryan, Quinn Bernier, Marcia Espinal & Claudia Ringler Climate and Development 2017

Further reading: "An African’s View of the Aftermath of Copenhagen’s Climate Change Conference" in The Political Economy of Development and Underdevelopment in Africa, 1st Edition (2013). Chapter by Olivier J. Tchouaffe.

More from the African Studies Community

The below content is sourced from media outside of Routledge, Taylor & Francis. Links will direct to external pages.

Blog posts | Africa in Words, January 2020
Responding to Carli Coetzee’s ‘Unsettling the Air-conditioned Room’: Journal Work as Ethos (1/2) by Rotimi Fasan 

Responding to Carli Coetzee’s “Unsettling the Air-conditioned Room”: “Laboratory Building” and Africa-based and focused Literary Activism (2/2) by Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire

Rotimi Fasan (Osun State University, Nigeria) and Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire, (Centre for African Cultural Excellence) each respond to Carli Coetzee's keynote address at the 2018 African Literature Association Annual Conference. The keynote is published and currently free-access in the Journal of the African Literature Association. 


Podcast | Citing Africa, Episode 1
Why acceptance rates are falling and what can we do about it? 

Elizabeth Walker, Global Head of the Area Studies Portfolio at Routledge, joins Dr. Ryan Briggs and Dr. Sarah Cummings to discuss the lack of representation by Africa-based researchers in international journals.

Blog post | Citing Africa, February 2020
Why publishing in Kiswahili can transform knowledge production on eastern Africa

Godwin Siundu, founding co-editor of Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies, highlights the journal's special double issue on "Trends in East African Swahili Literatures," published bilingually in Kiswahili and English (Vol. 5, Issues 3-4).