The International African Institute (IAI), hosted at SOAS University of London, 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 Journal of African Cultural Studies 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.
Israel in Africa: Security, Migration, Interstate Politics by Yotam Gidron Launch of the latest book in the African Arguments series, SOAS 29 April 2020. Further details >>
Abiola Irele: The African Scholar and Other Essays. This seminar which is being held on the 9 March 2020, features a discussion of Abiola Irele: The African Scholar and Other Essays (Bookcraft, Nigeria, 2019), Abiola Irele's final book, which brings together the later writings of this leading scholar of African literature and thought, with some of his earlier essays, conveniently published in this compendium volume. The speakers will consider Irele's writing life and legacies. Further details >>
Ironies of Solidarity Insurance and Financialization in South Africa
An ethnographic study of how financial products and services affect inequalities and conflicts in South Africa. Mon 24 February 2020 at SOAS, University of London.
African Digital Research Repositories, update July 2019
In 2019 the International African Institute undertook to update and develop its project initiated in 2015/16 to publish an aggregated list of institutional repositories, containing significant research and publication materials from the African continent. Additional repositories have now been added for Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, Botswana and Lesotho. Read more about the update and view the repositories.
intellectuals strand - call for papers
The aim of this strand of the journal is to introduce and analyse texts – whether oral, manuscript or print – produced by authors outside the literary or academic mainstream.
Read more and view the call for papers >>
Call for papers: Africa Bibliography Introductory Essays
Articles of 5,000-8,000 words on topics relating to research, libraries, archives and publishing in and on Africa, and in African studies, are invited.
Find out more here or contact Managing Editor Stephanie Kitchen for further details, sk111(at)soas.ac.uk.
International African Library series - call for proposals
The Institute and series editors welcome new proposals for this series.
Please see further details on The International African Library page.
Israel in Africa: Security, Migration, Interstate Politics
Amidst the turmoil of the Middle East, few have noticed the extent to which Israel has slowly but surely been building alliances on the African continent. Facing a growing international backlash, Israel has had to look beyond its traditional Western allies for support, and many African governments in turn have been happy to receive Israeli political support, security assistance, investments and technology. But what do these relationships mean for Africa, and for wider geopolitics? From Africa’s authoritarian development politics and the rise of Born-Again Christianity to Israel’s thriving high-tech and arms industries, from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the migration of Africans to Israel and back again, Gidron provides a comprehensive analysis of the various forces and actors shaping Israel’s controversial relationships with countries on the continent. In particular, the book demonstrates that Israel’s interest in Africa forms part of a wider diplomatic effort, aimed at blocking Palestine’s pursuit of international recognition. Though the scale of Israeli-African engagements has been little appreciated until now, the book reveals how contemporary African and Middle Eastern politics and societies interact and impact each other in profound ways. Yotam Gidron is a researcher whose writing focuses on migration, state-society relations, and popular culture in Africa and Israel/Palestine. He has worked with human rights organisations in Israel and in East Africa, and is currently pursuing a PhD in African History at Durham University.
Published for the International African Institute by Zed Books
ISBN: 9781786995025, 192 pp, April 2020
Hunting Game: Raiding Politics in the Central African Republic
Northeastern Central African Republic - a vast space bordering Chad, Darfur, and South Sudan - is a quintessential 'stateless' space, where the government has little presence and armed actors operate freely. In this first ethnographic and historical study of Central African raiding, Louisa Lombard investigates practices of forceful acquisition, a distinctive political repertoire in which claims to social status are linked to the ability to take (from wild spaces, or from others) and are frequently overturned. People have developed raiding skills to survive and live in a stateless borderland for over 150 years. From the trans-Saharan slave trade, to colonial forced labour regimes, big game hunting and coercive conservation, to rebellion, raiding has flourished where people's status in relation to each other is unclear and where institutional guidance is absent. Hunting Game offers rich comparative insights into the vibrant, if not always salutary, role that forceful acquisition plays in the world today.
Published for the IAI by Cambridge University Press
ISBN 9781108478779, 253pp, February 2020
Ironies of Solidarity: Insurance and Financialization of Kinship in South Africa
Set in one of the world’s most unequal and violent places, this ethnographic study reveals how insurance companies discovered a vast market of predominantly poor African clients. After apartheid ended in 1994, South Africa became a ‘testing ground’ for new insurance products, new marketing techniques and pioneering administrative models with a potentially global market. Drawing on Rorty’s notion of irony for understanding how the contradictions inherent to solidarity affect inequality and conflict as well as drawing on a vast array of case studies, Ironies of Solidarity examines how both Africans enjoy the freedoms that they have gained in financial terms and how the onset of democracy effected the risks faced in everyday life. Bähre examines the ways in which policies are sold and claims are handled, offering a detailed analysis of South Africa’s insurance sector.
ISBN: 9781786998583, 264pp, January 2020, Published for the IAI by Zed Books
Readings in Sexualities from Africa
Edited by Rachel Spronk and Thomas Hendriks
Images and stories about African sexuality abound in today's globalized media. Frequently old stereotypes and popular opinion inform these stories, and sex in the media is predominately approached as a problem in need of solutions and intervention. The authors gathered here refuse an easy characterization of African sexuality and instead seek to understand the various erotic realities, sexual practices, and gendered changes taking place across the continent. They present a nuanced and comprehensive overview of the field of sex and sexuality in Africa to serve as a guide though the quickly expanding literature. This collection offers a set of texts that use sexuality as a prism for studying how communities coalesce against the canvas of larger political and economic contexts and how personal lives evolve therein. Scholars working in Africa, the U.S., and Europe reflect on issues of representation, health and bio-politics, same-sex relationships and identity, transactional economies of sex, religion and tradition, and the importance of pleasure and agency. This multidimensional reader provides a comprehensive view of sexuality from an African perspective.
Published for the IAI by Indiana University Press
ISBN: 9780253047618; 357pp, March 2020