Nostalgia for the Future: West Africa After the Cold War

Paperback | July 1, 2010

byCharles Piot

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Since the end of the cold war, Africa has seen a dramatic rise in new political and religious phenomena, including an eviscerated privatized state, neoliberal NGOs, Pentecostalism, a resurgence in accusations of witchcraft, a culture of scamming and fraud, and, in some countries, a nearly universal wish to emigrate. Drawing on fieldwork in Togo, Charles Piot suggests that a new biopolitics after state sovereignty is remaking the face of one of the world’s poorest regions.

In a country where playing the U.S. Department of State’s green card lottery is a national pastime and the preponderance of cybercafés and Western Union branches signals a widespread desire to connect to the rest of the world, Nostalgia for the Future makes clear that the cultural and political terrain that underlies postcolonial theory has shifted. In order to map out this new terrain, Piot enters into critical dialogue with a host of important theorists, including Agamben, Hardt and Negri, Deleuze, and Mbembe. The result is a deft interweaving of rich observations of Togolese life with profound insights into the new, globalized world in which that life takes place.

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Since the end of the cold war, Africa has seen a dramatic rise in new political and religious phenomena, including an eviscerated privatized state, neoliberal NGOs, Pentecostalism, a resurgence in accusations of witchcraft, a culture of scamming and fraud, and, in some countries, a nearly universal wish to emigrate. Drawing on fieldwor...

Charles Piot is professor in the departments of cultural anthropology and African and African American studies at Duke University. He is the author of Remotely Global: Village Modernity in West Africa, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:216 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:July 1, 2010Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226669653

ISBN - 13:9780226669656

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

One / States of Emergency

Two / The End of History

Three / Exit Strategy

Mise En Scène

Four / Charismatic Enchantments

Five / Arrested Development

Six / The Death of a Culture

Notes

Bibliography

Index