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Directions and Provocations in African Studies


Covering a diversity of topics, this article and chapter collection explores key areas of interest and relevance in African Studies. From politics to literature, sociology to media, economics to gender, technology to the diaspora, this select research collection traverses disciplines and advances leading-edge themes. Browse these contributions to investigate new takes on African literature, digital futures, radical and revolutionary change, the middle class, diasporic formations, African perspectives, gender dynamics, and much more.

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 — and enjoy a discount + free shipping at checkout.

The articles and book chapters below are free-access via this page up until 31 December 2019.

Rethinking African Literature

Article TitleAuthor(s)Journal TitleVolume Year
Literary Prizes, Writers’ Organisations and Canon Formation in Africa
Doseline KiguruAfrican Studies2016
Thematic Milestones and Literary Explorations of Black Existentiality in Black Literaure
Psalms ChinakaJournal of the African Literature Association2017
The writer as social thinker
Wale AdebanwiJournal of Contemporary African Studies2014
Writing (as) Africans - French Fiction Between Empathy and Orientalism
Oana PanaiteEastern African Literary and Cultural Studies2016
‘To See Us As We See Ourselves’: John Tengo Jabavu and the Politics of the Black Periodical
Khwezi MkhizeJournal of Southern African Studies2018

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Suggested further reading:"Decolonising the Afropolitan: Intra-African Migrations in Post-2000 Literature" in Routledge Handbook of African Literature (2019). Chapter by Rebecca Fasselt.

Africa's Digital Futures

Article TitleAuthor(s)Journal TitleVolume Year
Do African Digital Natives Wear Glass Skirts?
Teju ColeJournal of the African Literature Association2017
Africa and the Digital Savior Complex
Bhakti ShringarpureJournal of African Cultural StudiesLatest Articles
Digital media, territory, and diaspora: the shape-shifting spaces of Eritrean politics
Victoria BernalJournal of African Cultural StudiesLatest Articles
Speaking for the dead: testimonies, witnesses and the representations of Gukurahundi atrocities in new media
Mphathisi NdlovuJournal of African Cultural Studies2018
Rethinking publics in Africa in a digital age
Sharath Srinivasan, Stephanie Diepeveen & George KarekwaivananeJournal of Eastern African Studies2019
"“Who are you?”: representation, identification, and self-definition in Black Panther"
Anthony Michael D’AgostinoSafundi2019
The future is digital: an introduction to African digital arts
Lizelle BischoffCritical African Studies2017

Suggested further reading:"The mobile ecosystem and internet access on the African continent: Asymmetry and the gender digital divide" in African Women, ICT and Neoliberal Politics: The Challenge of Gendered Digital Divides to People-Centered Governance (2018). Chapter by Assata Zerai.

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Radical Change in Africa

Article TitleAuthor(s)Journal TitleVolume Year
‘We paid a heavy price for hosting them’: Villagers and Freedom Fighters in Mgagao, Tanzania
Arrigo PallottiSouth African Historical Journal2018
Nationalism and Internationalism in the Liberation Struggle in Mozambique: The Role of the FRELIMO’s Solidarity Network in Italy
Corrado TornimbeniSouth African Historical Journal2018
Debate section: Connections 2: Roape Workshop in Dar es Salaam, 16–17 April 2018
Janet Bujra et alReview of African Political Economy2018
The rush for land in Africa: Resource grabbing or green revolution?Ward Anseeuw
South African Journal of International Affairs
Migration, African migrants, and the world: towards a radical political economyFranklin Obeng-OdoomAfrican Identities 2016

Suggested further reading: "From peaceful to non-peaceful protests: the trajectory of women's movements in the Niger Delta" in The Unfinished Revolution in Nigeria’s Niger Delta: Prospects for Environmental Justice and Peace (2018). Chapter by Abosede Omowumi Babatunde.

New Narratives for the African Diaspora 

Article TitleAuthor(s)Journal TitleVolume Year
The 'Outsider Within': counter-narratives of the 'New' African diaspora in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah (2013)
Shane A McCoyJournal of the African Literature Association2017
The African second generation in the United States – identity and transnationalism: an introduction
Kassahun KebedeAfrican and Black Diaspora2019
The politics of AfropolitanismAmatoritsero EdeJournal of African Cultural Studies2016
Thinking Africa + the diaspora differently: theories, practices, imaginariesHarry Garuba Social Dynamics: A journal of African studies2011

Suggested further reading: "Diaspora intellectuals, alienation and the production of Africa in the Euro-American academy" in Global Africans: Race, Ethnicity and Shifting Identities (2017). Chapter by Moses Ochonu.

The African Middle Class

Article TitleAuthor(s)Journal TitleVolume Year
(Middle-) Class analysis in Africa: does it work?
Roger SouthallReview of African Political Economy2018
The Evolution of the Middle Class During Nearly Two Decades of Democracy in South Africa
Hennie Kotzè & Carlos García-RiveroPolitikon: South African Journal of Political Studies 2018
The uneasy boundary work of ‘coconuts’ and ‘black diamonds’: middle-class labelling in post-apartheid South Africa
Lieve de ConinckCritical African Studies2018
What middle class? The shifting and dynamic nature of class positionGrace KhunouDevelopment Southern Africa 2015
Not marrying in South Africa: consumption, aspiration and the new middle classDeborah JamesAnthropology Southern Africa 2017

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Suggested further reading: "The dynamics of the middle class in Africa" in The Emerging Middle Class in Africa (2014). Chapter by Charles Leyeka Lufumpa, Maurice Mubila & Mohamed Safouane Ben Aïssa.

Gender in Africa

Article TitleAuthor(s)Journal TitleVolume Year
Towards African-centred theories of masculinity
Sakhumzi MfecaneSocial Dynamics2018
Gender and Popular Imaginaries in Africa
Lynda Gichanda Spencer, Dina Ligaga & Grace A MusilaAgenda2018
The emergent middle class in contemporary South Africa: Examining and comparing rival approaches
Ronelle Burger, Cindy Lee Steenekamp, Servaas van der Berg & Asmus ZochDevelopment Southern Africa2015
Sexuality and gender politics in Mozambique: Rethinking gender in AfricaSusanne M. Klausen Canadian Journal of African Studies2012
Decolonising gender and peacebuilding: feminist frontiers and border thinking in AfricaHeidi HudsonPeacebuilding2016

Suggested further reading: "I was really disgusted at seeing healthy young boys playing Ping-pong: Ping-pong and masculinity in post-World War II Nigeria" in Sports in African History, Politics, and Identity Formation (2019). Chapter by Michael Gennaro.

Recentering African Perspectives

Article TitleAuthor(s)Journal TitleVolume Year
The 'science' of superiority: Africa and scholarly colonial assumptions
Steven FriedmanJournal of Contemporary African Studies2018
What/who is still missing in International Relations scholarship? Situating Africa as an agent in IR theorising
Isaac Odoom & Nathan AndrewThird World Quarterly2017
Decolonising Universities in South Africa: Rigged Spaces?
Cheryl HendricksInternational Journal of African Renaissance Studies2018
The future of African Studies: what we can do to keep Africa at the heart of our researchInsa NolteJournal of African Cultural Studies 2019
Confronting the Colonial Library: Teaching Political Studies Amidst Calls for a Decolonised CurriculumSally MatthewsPolitikon 2018

Suggested further reading: "Behind the Casement report (1903–4): Guides, interpreters, and interviewees" in African Testimony in the Movement for Congo Reform: The Burden of Proof (2018). Chapter by Robert Burroughs.

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