The International African Institute (IAI) aims to promote the scholarly study of Africa's history, societies and cultures. The institute realizes its aims primarily by means of scholarly publishing. Read more about us.
The IAI publishes the long established and prestigious journal, Africa, the annual Africa Bibliography, the International African Library series, the African Arguments series; and the Readings in… series, for use in tertiary level teaching of African studies.
Inside African Anthropology – book launch
A new IAI volume on Monica Wilson is being launched as part of an event at SOAS on 3 May 2013 on history and anthropology in southern African studies. Download the PDF for further details.
African Studies and Open Access
The IAI/ASAUK hosted a meeting on 18 March 2013 on Open Access and research publication in African studies following from the UK government’s ‘Finch’ commission and subsequent policy developments. See ASAUK Open Access Meeting (pdf) for details.
Africa Bibliography – archive available
Compiling bibliographical records since 1984, the IAI’s Africa Bibliography is being digitised. Records from 1997 to 2011 are now available via the online database at cambridge.org/login.do/. The full dataset from 1984 will be available by December 2013.
Africa journal – full archive available
For over eight decades Africa has been publishing the work of eminent Africanists: from Malinowski, Evans-Pritchard and Radcliffe-Brown through Mary Douglas, Robin Horton and Johannes Fabian, to Achille Mbembe, Birgit Meyer and Kojo Amanor. The entire archive from 1928 is now available digitally on the journal's website see journals.cambridge.org/afr
Africa ‘local intellectuals’
A new article is published in this strand of the journal by Carola Lentz on Kumbonoh Gandah, an intellectual and historian from Northern Ghana, and his Gandah-yir manuscript, the biography of his father, Gandah, an influential chief. The article draws together oral tradition, local memories and written history.
See the Cambridge Journals Blog for further background, or follow links to the full article.
Africa Impact Factor
Africa’s Thomson Reuters (ISI) Impact Factor for 2011 was 0.604 ranking the journal 11th out of 66 Area Studies journals and 42nd out of 79 journals in the Anthropology category. Africa remains the top anthropology/ethnography journal in Area Studies and the 3rd African studies journal in the same category.
Africa article awarded inaugural AEGIS Gerti Hesseling prize
The IAI is proud to announce that Kojo Amanor’s article ‘Family values, land sales and agricultural commodification in south-eastern Ghana’, published in Africa 80(1), 2010 was awarded the inaugural Gerti Hessling prize for the best article published in an African studies journal by an African scholar at the AEGIS ECAS conference held in Uppsala in June 2011. Kojo Amanor is Associate Professor at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana.
The full statement from the jury is available here.
Full text of the article is available by following this link to Cambrigde Journals.
The award ceremony can also be viewed at Cambridge Journals, click here to see the video.
Sexuality and Social Justice in Africa
The persecution of people in Africa on the basis of their assumed or perceived homosexual orientation has received considerable coverage in the popular media in recent years. Gay-bashing by high political and religious figures in Zimbabwe and Gambia; draconian new laws against lesbians and gays and their supporters in Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda; the imprisonment and extortion of gay men in Senegal and Cameroon; and so-called corrective rapes of lesbians in South Africa have all rightly sparked international condemnation. However, much of the analysis thus far has been highly critical of African leadership and culture without considering local nuances, historical factors and external influences that are contributing to the problem. Such commentary also overlooks grounds for optimism and the role played by lgbti and HIV/AIDS activism in the struggle for sexual rights and justice in Africa, not just for sexual minorities but for the majority population as well.
Marc Epprecht is a Professor in the Department of Global Development Studies at Queen's University, Canada.
Published for the IAI by Zed Books.
ISBN 9781780323817 208pp. June 2013
Inside African Anthropology. Monica Wilson and Her Interpreters
Edited by Andrew Bank and Leslie J. Bank
This book offers rare insights into the making of southern African anthropology through an analysis of the life and work of Monica Hunter Wilson, South Africa’s most distinguished anthropologist of the 20th century. Drawing on a massive personal archive, this biography of Hunter Wilson's life and work explores her main fieldwork and intellectual projects in southern Africa between the 1920s and the 1960s. The main focus of the book is on her fieldwork projects and the role of her interpreters, associates and collaborators in the production of anthropological knowledge.
...a rich and fascinating volume of papers on the life and work of the social anthropologist, Monica Wilson, addressing some major questions in the study of the politics of knowledge creation in Southern Africa. – Megan Vaughan
This book covers Wilson’s collaborative networks over decades, and thus it is a history of the field of anthropology more than a study of the individual. – Nancy Jacobs
Published for the IAI by Cambridge University Press.
ISBN 9781107029385 c.280pp. March 2013
Land Politics in Africa: Constituting Authority over Territory, Property and Persons
Edited by Christian Lund and Catherine Boone
Land issues are not only about land. Rather, they invoke questions of property more broadly, implicating social and political relationships in the widest sense. This collection investigates the relationships between property, citizenship and political institutions, and how land politics involves dynamic claims whose success and materialization depend upon the power relations among social groups and actors wielding different forms of institutional authority over land.
For full contents and links to articles see Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 83(1), Special Issue, February 2013, 203pp
Africa Bibliography 2011.
Works on Africa Published During 2011
Includes the Introductory article ‘Books and Digital Publishing in Africa: what does the future hold? by Jacqui Scott.
Africa Bibliography, Volume 2011, November 2012, pp. 482
See http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=afb for details.
Africa and the War on Drugs
Neil Carrier and Gernot Klantschnig
Nigerian drug lords, khat-chewing Somali pirates, crystal meth-smoking gangs controlling South Africa’s streets and narco-traffickers corrupting Guinea-Bissau: these are some of the vivid images surrounding drugs in Africa which in recent years have alarmed policymakers, academics and the general public. In this revealing and original book on an overlooked front of the so-called war on drugs, the authors show how foreign-inspired policies have failed to help African drug users who require medical support, while strengthening corrupt and brutal law enforcement officers.
…offers a devastating challenge to the war on drugs and its apologists.
Published for the IAI by Zed Books.
ISBN 9781848139664 186pp. October 2012
Witchcraft and a Life in the New South Africa
Reconstructing the biography of an ordinary South African, Jimmy Mohale, this study casts new light on scholarly understandings of the connections between South African politics, witchcraft and the AIDS pandemic.
…demonstrates the power of small, intimate, contextualized detail…both moving and illuminating
- Donald L. Donham
Published for the IAI by Cambridge University Press
9781107016286 280pp. October 2012
Popular Economies in South Africa
Edited by Elizabeth Hull and Deborah James
African economies are situated, somewhat contradictorily, between global settings of financialized capitalism on the one hand and impoverished local arenas where cash-based economic transfers predominate on the other. The more such economies appear to be tied to wider global arenas and operations that place them beyond the reach of ordinary people, the more necessary it is to explore the logics and decisions that tie them inexorably to specific everyday settings.
For full contents and links to articles see Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, Special Issue 186pp. February 2012
Getting Somalia Wrong? Faith, War and Hope in a Shattered State
Somalia is a comprehensively failed state, representing a threat to itself, its neighbours and the wider world. In recent years, it has become notorious for the piracy off its coast and the rise of Islamic extremism, opening it up as a new 'Southern front' in the war on terror. At least that is how it is inevitably presented by politicians and in the media. Mary Harper argues however that viewing Somalia through the prism of al-Qaeda risks further destabilizing the country and the entire Horn of Africa, She also shows that Somalia is far from being a failed society: in reality, alternative forms of business, justice, education and local politics have survived and even flourished.
The most accessible and accurate account available of the contemporary Somali world, pirates and all
Mary Harper is Africa Editor for BBC World Service News.
Published for the IAI by Zed Books.
ISBN 978-1842779330, 139 pp, February 2012.