Black Subjects in Africa and Its Diasporas: Race and Gender in Research and Writing

Hardcover | August 15, 2011

EditorBenjamin Talton, Quincy T. Mills

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Through the research and experiences of scholars whose native homes span ten countries, this collection shifts the discussion of belonging and affinity within Africa and its diaspora toward local perceptions and the ways in which these notions are asserted or altered. The interactions and relationships of the researchers with their subjects, sites, and data in context permits a deeper exploration of the role that race and, more specifically, “blackness” may or may not play. The book accomplishes this through a rare comparative and multidisciplinary exploration of African and Africa diasporic communities and their relationships with the scholars of diverse backgrounds who conduct research among them.

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Through the research and experiences of scholars whose native homes span ten countries, this collection shifts the discussion of belonging and affinity within Africa and its diaspora toward local perceptions and the ways in which these notions are asserted or altered. The interactions and relationships of the researchers with their sub...

Benjamin Talton is an Assistant Professor of History at Temple University. He is the author of Politics of Social Change in Ghana: The Konkomba Struggle for Political Equality (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).  Quincy T. Mills is an Assistant Professor of History at Vassar College. He is completing his book manuscript titled Shaving Men, Gr...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.59 × 5.79 × 0.72 inPublished:August 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023011587X

ISBN - 13:9780230115873

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Table of Contents

Race, Gender and the Research Subject: An Introduction--Benjamin Talton and Quincy T. Mills * Researching while Black: Interrogating and Navigating Boundaries of Belonging in the Andes--Sara Busdiecker * Posing as Subject: Compromise and the Art of Access in Trinidad--Harvey Neptune * Translating Hybrid Cultures: Quandaries of an Indian-Australian Ethnographer in Cuba--Sujatha Fernandes * Where to Find Black Identity in Buenos Aires--Judy Anderson * “You Don’t Look Groomed”: Rethinking Black Barber Shops as Public Spaces in the United States--Quincy T. Mills  * The “Dark Sheep” of the Atlantic World: Following the Transnational Trail of Blacks to Canada--Dann J. Broyld * The Strange Life of Lusotropicalism in Luanda: On Race, Nationality and Sexuality in Angola--Jessica Krug * Quenching the Thirst for Data: Beer, Local Connections and Fieldwork in Ghana--Benjamin Talton * (African-) American Woman Outsider: Nationality, Race and Gender in Field Research in Mozambique--Frances Henderson * Mamatoma “the chief’s namesake”: Strategies for Research and Belonging in Sierra Leone--Lynda R. Day

Editorial Reviews

“The beauty of this book rests not only in its cutting-edge scholarship, but also in its rare honesty about the salience of one’s identity as researcher vis-à-vis “subjects”; about the shifting constructions of Blackness relative to research locale; and, about ever-present power dynamics, albeit unspoken, in interviews in field research.  Its critique of conventional research methodology, which assumes researchers of Africa and the African Diaspora are white, is long overdue and liberating for students and scholars. A must-read, it puts race, self-reflection, and researcher humility at the center of knowledge production.”— Lisa Aubrey, Associate Professor, Department of African and African American Studies, Arizona State University “I strongly recommend this book to readers interested in field research, especially in its complex personal and political dynamics in African and African diasporic situations. The contributors offer compelling insights into the challenges and vulnerabilities of fieldwork, whether it is undertaken as ethnography, oral history, or the qualitative pursuit of other social sciences.  This book clearly illuminates field work as a mode of investigation and knowledge co-production that is socially negotiated, fraught with ethical challenges, and predicated on the effective navigation of anxieties and ambiguities that may be read or, in some cases, misread, with potentially significant outcomes for nuancing and deepening our understanding of past and present social realities.”—Faye V. Harrison, author of Outsider Within: Reworking Anthropology in the Global Age “Following in the tradition of Zora Neale Hurston and Maya Angelou, this collection explores the ways encounters between researchers and the communities they visit continually reshape and reinterpret African diaspora identities.  A compelling and refreshingly frank look at issues in African diaspora fieldwork—essential in the face of all the silences in the historical record—that will be of interest to ethnographers, anthropologists, oral historians, and cultural travelers everywhere.”—Kim D. Butler, Associate Professor of History, Department of Africana Studies, Rutgers University