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Reading & Resources

This general bibliography contains classic and cutting-edge scholarship on southern Africa, including novels, autobiographies and the works of historians. Also listed are useful websites (good for primary sources and conducting independent research) and a list of key journals. This list is meant to be a jumping off point - some of these readings will be core seminar reading, others may be useful while preparing for assessments and others will allow you to pursue your interests.

The University Library has a wealth of resources which may not be listed on the module website - check the online catalogue and remember that it is always worth going in person to check what they have on the shelves. The same goes for journal articles - look online for articles on subjects of interest by performing keyword searches on online repositories such as JSTOR and the Taylor and Francis website.

The Modern Records Centre also holds a range of materials that are relevant for our course. Examples include the papers of British trade unions and student organisations involved in the anti-apartheid struggle and papers of the History Workshop based at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Selected Published Primary Sources

  • Abrahams, Peter, Mine Boy (1946)
  • Biko, Steve, I Write What I Like (1978) 

  • Brink, André, A Dry White Season (1979)
  • Bulawayo, NoViolet, We Need New Names (2013)
  • Chinodya, Shimmer, Harvest of Thorns (1989)
  • Coetzee, JM, Disgrace (1999)
  • ------------, Boyhood (1997)
  • Collins, Robert O., Central and South African History: Vol. II of African History: Text and Readings (2015)
  • Dangarembga, Tsitsi, Nervous Conditions (1988)
  • Gordimer, Nadine, July’s People (1981)
  • Jacobs, Nancy J., African History through Sources: Volume 1, Colonial Contexts and Everyday Experiences, c. 1850-1946 (2014).
  • Krog, Antjie, Country of My Skull (2000)
  • Lessing, Doris, The Grass is Singing (1950)
  • ------------, This Was the Old Chief’s Country. Collected African Stories, Vol. 1 (1951)
  • ------------, The Sun Between Their Feet. Collected African Stories, Vol. 2 (1973)
  • Mandela, Nelson, Long Walk to Freedom (1994)
  • Marks, Shula, Not Either an Experimental Doll. The Separate Worlds of Three African Women (London, 1987).
  • Mathabane, Mark, Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa (1986)
  • Mda, Zakes, The Heart of Redness (2003)
  • Meer, Fatima, Prison Diary (2001)
  • Mitchell, J. Clyde, The Kalela Dance: Aspects of Social Relationships Among Urban Africans in Northern Rhodesia (1950)
  • Plaatje, Sol, Native Life in South Africa (1916)
  • Richards, Audrey, Chisungu: A Girl's Initiation Ceremony Among the Bemba of Zambia (1956)
  • Sachs, Albie, The Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter (1990)
  • Van Onselen, Charles, The Seed is Mine. The Life of Kas Maine, a South African Sharecropper, 1894-1985 (Oxford, 1997)
  • Williams, John A., From the South African Past: Narratives, Documents, and Debates (1997)
  • Wilson, G., An Essay on the Economics of Detribalization in Northern Rhodesia, 2 vols (1941-1942)
  • Worger, William, Nancy L. Clark and Edward A. Alpers, Africa and the West: A Documentary History: Volume 2: From Colonialism to Independence, 1875 to the Present (2010)

Selected Online Resources (including Primary Sources)

  • Africa is a Country - the best Africa-related blog on the web
  • Africa Past & Present - hosted by Michigan State University, ongoing podcasts about and by leading African historians and African Studies scholars
  • Africa through a lens - National Archives online exhibition showing photographs from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office photographic collection
  • African Activist Archive Project - posters and other documents relating to struggles against colonialism, apartheid, and social injustice
  • Africa Check - investigates the claims made by public figures and news outlets in Africa

  • African Arguments - hosted by the Royal African Society, a multi-user blog looking at contemporary African events

  • Archives Hub - find unique sources for your research, both physical and digital. Search across descriptions of archives, held at over 350 institutions across the UK

  • British Anti-Apartheid Movement - website of the British anti-apartheid movement
  • British Library - the national library of the UK. Holdings include African newspapers, manuscripts and archives and an extensive range of secondary literature
  • British Pathé - considered the finest newsreel archive in the world and contains over 85,000 films, including coverage of various colonies
  • Confidential Print: Africa, 1834-1966 - papers generated by the Foreign and Colonial Offices. These range from single-page letters or telegrams to comprehensive dispatches, investigative reports and texts of treaties (university login required)
  • Emerging Nationalism in Portuguese Africa, 1959-1965, USC Digital Library - a collection of documentary ephemera on emerging nationalism in Portuguese Africa (Mozambique, Angola, Guinea Bissau).
  • Empire Online - holds a large number of documents, particularly related to the civilising mission, search by country name (university login required)
  • International Mission Photography Archive (IMPA), USC Digital Library - a visual record of missionary activities and experiences in Africa, China, Madagascar, India, Papua-New Guinea, and the Caribbean from the mid-C19th to mid-C20th.
  • Mundus - database of over 400 collections of overseas missionary materials held in the UK
  • The National Archives UK - search the online catalogue to find resources that you might use in your research, including papers of the Foreign and Colonial Offices
  • The Ruth First Papers project - project on the life and work of socialist, journalist and anti-apartheid activist Ruth First
  • O'Malley - The Heart of Hope - hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory and Dialogue, online archive of Padraig O'Malley, relating to apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa

  • Struggles for Freedom in Southern Africa - 76 collections of sources on anti-apartheid and anti-colonial movements in southern Africa. Includes periodicals, nationalist publications, records of colonial government commissions, local newspaper reports, personal papers, correspondence, UN documents, out-of-print and other particularly relevant books, pamphlets, speeches, and interviews with those who participated in the struggles [access available via the Library here; only available until 7 Feb 2020]
  • South African History Online - educational website covering a wide variety of topics from South Africa's past

  • Voices of Africa - South African run blog showcasing opinion pieces by bloggers and journalists from across Africa (no longer updated but previous posts still available)

Selected Film & Documentary

  • I am Not a Witch (2018) [Available on Netflix]
  • Have You Seen Drum Recently (1989) [Available on Amazon Prime]
  • Inxeba: The Wound (2017) [Available to rent at BFIPLAYER]
  • Kalushi (2016)
  • Liyana (2017) [Available to rent or buy on Youtube and Google Play]
  • Neria (1993)
  • Strike a Rock (2017)
  • The World Against Apartheid: Have You Heard From Johannesburg (2012) [Available at Box of Broadcasts, you must be logged into your Library account]
  • Tsotsi (2005)
  • Winnie (2017)

Key Journals

Journal of Southern African Studies

Journal of African History

International Journal of African Historical Studies

History in Africa

Canadian Journal of African Studies

African Affairs

Selected Secondary Sources

  • Atkins, Keletso, "The Moon is Dead! Give us our Money!" The Social History of a Work Ethic in Colonial Natal (1993)
  • Beinart, William, Twentieth Century South Africa (2001)
  • Beinart, William, and Saul Dubow, eds., Segregation and Apartheid in Twentieth Century South Africa (1995)
  • Bozzoli, Belinda with Mmantho Nkotsoe, The Women of Phokeng: Consciousness, Life Strategy, and Migrancy in South Africa, 1900-1983 (1991)
  • Channock, Martin, Law, Custom and Social Order. The Colonial Experience in Malawi and Zambia (1985)
  • Cock, Jacklyn, Maids and Madams: Domestic Workers Under Apartheid (1980)
  • Crowder, M., The Flogging of Phinehas Mclntosh. A Tale of Colonial Folly and Injustice, Bechuanaland, 1933 (1988)
  • Ferguson, James, The Anti-Politics Machine: Development, Depoliticization, and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho (1990)
  • Freund, William, The Making of Contemporary Africa: The Development of African Society since 1800 (3rd Edition, 2016)
  • Geisler, Gisela G., Women and the Remaking of Politics in Southern Africa: Negotiating Autonomy, Incorporation and Representation (2004)
  • Grier, Beverly, Invisible Hands: Child Labor and the State in Colonial Zimbabwe (2006)
  • Hansen, Karen Tranberg, Distant Companions: Servants and Employers in Zambia, 1900-1989 (1989)
  • Harries, Patrick, Work, Culture, and Identity: Migrant Laborers in Mozambique and South Africa, c. 1860-1910 (1994)
  • Hunter, Mark, Love in the Time of AIDS: Inequality, Gender, and Rights in South Africa (2010)
  • Jeater, Diana, Marriage, Perversion, and Power. The Construction of Moral Discourse in Southern Rhodesia, 1894-1930 (1993)
  • Marks, Shula, and Richard Rathbone, eds., Industrialization and Social Change in South Africa (1982)
  • Marks, Shula, and Stanley Trapido, eds, The Politics of Race, Class and Nationalism in Twentieth Century South Africa (1987)
  • Mlambo, Alois S., and Neil Parsons, A History of Southern Africa (2018)
  • Kriger, Norma J., Zimbabwe’s Guerrilla War: Peasant Voices (1992)
  • McCracken, John, A History of Malawi: 1859-1966 (2012)
  • Moodie, T. Dunbar, Going for Gold: Men, Mines, and Migration (1994)
  • Moorman, Marissa, Intonations: A Social History of Music and Nation in Luanda, Angola, from 1945 to Recent Times (2008)
  • Murray, Colin, Families Divided: The Impact of Migrant Labour in Lesotho (1981)
  • Ranger, Terence, Bulawayo Burning. The Social History of a Southern African city, 1893–1960 (2010)
  • Schmidt, Elizabeth, Peasants, Traders, and Wives: Shona Women in the History of Zimbabwe, 1879-1939 (1992) 

  • Roger Southall, The New Black Middle Class in South Africa (Johannesburg, 2016)
  • Summers, Carol, Colonial Lessons: Africans’ Education in Southern Rhodesia, 1918-1940 (2002)

  • Thornberry, Elizabeth, Colonising Consent: Rape and Governance in South Africa’s Eastern Cape (2019)
  • Van Onselen, Charles, Chibaro: African Mine Labour in Southern Rhodesia, 1900-1933 (1986)
  • Vaughan, M., The Story of an African Famine. Gender and Famine in Twentieth Century Malawi (1987)
  • Walker, Cheryl. (ed.), Women and Gender in Southern Africa to 1945 (1990)
Selected Readings on Methodology & Sources
  • Moradewun Adejunmobi and Carli Coetzee, The Routledge Handbook of African Literature (London, 2019)
  • Sarah Baker, Catherine Strong, Lauren Istvandity, Zelmarie Cantillon, The Routledge Companion to Popular Music History and Heritage (London, 2018)
  • Karin Barber, The Anthropology of Texts, Persons and Publics: Oral and Written Culture in Africa and Beyond (Cambridge, 2007)
  • Karin Barber, A History of African Popular Culture (Cambridge, 2018)
  • Elleke Boehmer, Stories of Women: Gender and Narrative in the Postcolonial Nation (2005)
  • Peter Burke, Eyewitnessing: The Uses of Images as Historical Evidence (London, 2001)
  • Peter Burke (ed.), New Perspectives on Historical Writing (1991: second edn, Cambridge 2000), pp. 187–217 [includes chapters on visual history and oral history amongst others]
  • Keith Breckenridge, 'The Politics of the Parallel Archive: Digital Imperialism and the Future of Record-Keeping in the Age of Digital Reproduction', Journal of Southern African Studies, 40, 3 (2014), pp. 499-519.
  • Antoinette Burton (ed.), Archive Stories: Facts, Fictions, And The Writing Of History (Durham NC, 2006)
  • David William Cohen, The Combing of History (Chicago IL, 1994)
  • Miriam Dobson and Benjamin Ziemann (eds), Reading Primary Sources: The Interpretation of Texts from Nineteenth and Twentieth Century History (2009) [includes chapters on letters, diaries, novels, and newspapers amongst others]
  • Josef Gugler, African Film: Re-imagining a Continent (Oxford, 2003)
  • Simon Gunn and Lucy Faire (eds), Research Methods for History (Edinburgh, 2011) [includes chapters on archival research and life stories amongst others]
  • Morten Jerven, Poor Numbers: How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and What We Can Do About It (Ithaca NY, 2013)
  • Ludmilla Jordanova, The Look of the Past: Visual and Material Evidence in Historical Practice (Cambridge, 2012)
  • Mukoma Wa Ngugi, The Rise of the African Novel: Politics of Language, Identity, and Ownership (Ann Arbor MI, 2018)
  • Derek R. Peterson, Emma Hunter and Stephanie Newell (eds), African Print Cultures: Newspapers and Their Publics in the Twentieth Century (Ann Arbor MI, 2016)
  • Thomas Richards, The Imperial Archive: Knowledge and the Fantasy of Empire: Knowledge and Fantasy of Empire (London, 1993)
  • Ann Laura Stoler, Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense (Princeton NJ, 2008)
  • Penny Summerfield, Histories of the Self: Personal Narratives and Historical Practice (Routledge, 2018) [includes chapters on letters, autobiography and oral history amongst others]
  • Elizabeth Tonkin, Narrating Our Pasts: The Social Construction of Oral History (Cambridge, 2012)
  • Keyan Tomaselli, The Cinema of Apartheid: Race and Class in South African Film (London, 1989)
  • Luise White, Stephan F. Miescher and David William Cohen (eds), African Words, African Voices: Critical Practices in Oral History (Bloomington IN, 2001)
  • John Edward Philips (ed.), Writing African History (Woodbridge, 2007) [includes chapters on oral sources, mission and colonial documents amongst others]
  • Richard Vokes (ed.), Photography in Africa: Ethnographic Perspectives (2012)