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Africa and the Cold War - Term 1 Week 2

The rise of African nationalism

The Second World War left the empires of Britain and France severely wounded. In the immediate aftermath of the war, there was an upswing in anticolonial protest in Africa. Waves of strikes brought many colonies to a standstill. Some leaders, seeking to shape local discontent into a sense of African nationalism, turned to socialism and Marxism as a language of anticolonial struggle. In the context of the early Cold War, such rhetoric alarmed the West. What forms did African nationalisms take? And how were they influenced by the superpower rivalry? Nationalist movements, however, were contoured by multiple dynamics, including ethnicity, gender, class, and regional identity. Start with Cooper for a general outline. The class will focus on Schmidt’s challenging but rich article on Guinea as a case-study: which dynamics can we detect at play here?

Class/Essay questions
1. Was nationalism in Africa an elite phenomenon? Answer in reference to TWO countries.
2. What impact did the Cold War have upon the emergence of African nationalism between 1950 and 1965?
3. What kinds of states were established in Africa, as consequence of the 1950s nationalist movements?

Class reading

Frederick Cooper, Africa since 1940: The Past of the Present (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 66-84.  

Elizabeth Schmidt, ‘Cold War in Guinea: The Rassemblement Démocratique Africain and the Struggle over Communism, 1950-1958’, Journal of African History, 48 (2007), 95-121.  

Further reading (there is much overlap here with subsequent weeks, especially week 4…)

Jean Allman, 'The Youngmen and the Porcupine: Class, Nationalism and Asante's Struggle for Self-determination, 1954-57', Journal of African History, 31 (1990), 263-79.

Jean Allman, The Quills of the Porcupine: Asante Nationalism in an Emergent Ghana (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1993) [e-book].

James R. Brennan, 'Blood Enemies: Exploitation and Urban Citizenship in the Nationalist Political Thought of Tanzania, 1958-1975', Journal of African History, 47 (2006), 389-413.

Thomas Burgess, ‘A Socialist Diaspora: Ali Sultan Issa, the Soviet Union, and the Zanzibari Revolution’, in Maxim Matusevich (ed.), Africa in Russia, Russia in Africa: Three Centuries of Encounters (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2007), 263-91.

Joyce M. Chadya, ‘Mother Politics: Anti-Colonial Nationalism and the Woman Question in Africa’, Journal of Women’s History, 15 (2003), 153-57

Frederick Cooper, ‘Possibility and Constraint: African Independence in Historical Perspective’, Journal of African History, 49 (2008), 167-96.

Toyin Falola, Nationalism and African Intellectuals (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2001).

Margret Frenz, ‘Swaraj for Kenya, 1949-1965: The Ambiguities of Transnational Politics’, Past and Present, supplement 8 (2013), 152-77.

Jonathon Glassman, ‘Sorting Out the Tribes: The Creation of Racial Identities in Colonial Zanzibar’s Newspaper Wars’, Journal of African History, 41 (2001), 395-428.

Jonathon Glassman, War of Words, War of Stones: Racial Thought and Violence in Colonial Zanzibar (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011) [e-book].

Kyle Haddad-Fonda, ‘An Illusory Alliance: Revolutionary Legitimacy and Sino-Algerian Relations, 1958-1962’, Journal of North African Studies, 19 (2014), 338-57.

Emma Hunter, Political Thought and the Public Sphere in Tanzania: Freedom, Democracy and Citizenship in the Era of Decolonization (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Alexander Keese, 'A Culture of Panic: "Communist" Scapegoats and Decolonization in French West Africa and French Polynesia (1945-1957)', French Colonial History, 9 (2008), 131-45.

Miles Larmer, 'Historical Activism in Late Colonial and Post-Colonial Sub-Saharan Africa', Journal of Historical Sociology, 28 (2015), 67-89.

Baz Lecocq, Disputed Desert: Decolonisation, Competing Nationalisms, and Tuareg Rebellions in Northern Mali (Leiden: Brill, 2010), ch. 1 [e-book].

Lisa A. Lindsay, ‘Domesticity and Difference: Male Breadwinners, Working Women, and Colonial Citizenship in the 1945 Nigerian General Strike’, American Historical Review, 104 (1999). 783-812.

Nkrumah, K. 1970. Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for De-Colonisation. First Modem.

Nkrumah, K. 1970. Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for De-Colonisation. First Modem.
Nkrumah, Kwame. Ghana: the autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah. Intl Pub, 1971.
Marissa J. Moorman, Intonations: a social history of music and nation in Luanda, Angola, from 1945 to recent times (Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2008)

Jeremy Prestholdt, 'Politics of the Soil: Separatism, Autochthony, and Decolonization at the Kenyan Coast', Journal of African History, 55 (2014), 249-70.

Robert I. Rotberg, 'African Nationalism: Concept or Confusion?', Journal of Modern African Studies, 4 (1966), 33-46.

Elizabeth Schmidt, ‘Top Down or Bottom Up? Nationalist Mobilization Reconsidered, with Special Reference to Guinea (French West Africa)’, American Historical Review, 110 (2005), 975-1014.

Elizabeth Schmidt, ‘Anticolonial Nationalism in French West Africa: What Made Guinea Unique?’, African Studies Review, 52 (2009), 1-34.

Elizabeth Schmidt, Cold War and Decolonization in Guinea, 1946-58 (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2007).

Meredith Terretta, Nation of Outlaws, State of Violence: Nationalism, Grassfields Tradition, and State-Building in Cameroon (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2013) [e-book].