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Intermediaries, Interpreters, and Clerks African Employees in the Making of Colonial Africa

ISBN-10: 029921950X
ISBN-13: 9780299219505
Edition: 2006
List price: $45.00
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Description: As a young man in South Africa, Nelson Mandela aspired to be an interpreter or clerk, noting in his autobiography that "a career as a civil servant was a glittering prize for an African." Africans in the lower echelons of colonial bureaucracy often  More...

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Book details

List price: $45.00
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date: 9/29/2006
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 342
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

As a young man in South Africa, Nelson Mandela aspired to be an interpreter or clerk, noting in his autobiography that "a career as a civil servant was a glittering prize for an African." Africans in the lower echelons of colonial bureaucracy often held positions of little official authority, but in practice the occupants of these positions functioned as hidden lynchpins of colonial rule. As the primary intermediaries among European colonial officials, African chiefs, and subject populations, these men (and a few women) could manipulate the intersections of power, authority, and knowledge at the center of colonial society. By uncovering the role of African civil servants in the construction, function, and legal apparatus of colonial states, the essays in this volume highlight a new perspective. They offer important insights on hegemony, collaboration and resistance, structures and changes in colonial rule, the role of language and education, the production of knowledge and expertise in colonial settings, and the impact of colonization in dividing African societies by gender, race, status, and class.nbsp; Contributors: Maurice Nyamanga Amutabi, Ralph Austen, Andreas Eckert, Ruth Ginio, Hervé Jezequel, Martin Klein, Benjamin Lawrance, Roger Levine, Saliou Mbaye, Thomas McClendon, Emily Osborn, David Pratten, Richard Roberts, Brett Shadle

Benjamin N. Lawrance is the Hon. Barber B. Conable, Jr Endowed Chair in International Studies of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He has authored eight books, most recently Amistad's Orphans (2014) and Trafficking in Slavery's Wake (2012). Lawrance is a legal consultant and has served as an expert witness for more than two hundred and fifty West African asylum claims in fifteen countries. His research is situated at the dynamic interdisciplinary intersection of history, anthropology, and sociology and is focused on international mobilities, including migration, smuggling, trafficking, forced marriage, and refugee movements.

Emily Lynn Osborn is an assistant professor of history at the University of Chicago. 

Introduction: African Intermediaries and the "Bargain" of Collaboration
The Formative Period of Colonial Rule, ca. 1800-1920
An Interpreter Will Arise: Resurrecting Jan Tzatzoe's Diplomatic and Evangelical Contributions as a Cultural Intermediary on South Africa's Eastern Cape Frontier, 1816-1818
Interpreting Colonial Power in French Guinea: The Boubou Penda-Ernest Noirot Affair of 1905
Interpretation and Interpolation: Shepstone as Native Interpreter
Petitioners, "Bush Lawyers," and Letter Writers: Court Access in British-Occupied Lome, 1914-1920
Negotiating Legal Authority in French West Africa: The Colonial Administration and African Assessors, 1903-1918
The Maturing Phase of Colonial Rule, ca. 1920-1960
"Collecting Customary Law": Educated Africans, Ethnographic Writings, and Colonial Justice in French West Africa
Interpreters Self-Interpreted: The Autobiographies of Two Colonial Clerks
African Court Elders in Nyanza Province, Kenya, ca. 1930-1960: From "Traditional" to "Modern"
Power and Influence of African Court Clerks and Translators in Colonial Kenya: The Case of Khwisero Native (African) Court, 1946-1956
The District Clerk and the "Man-Leopard Murders": Mediating Law and Authority in Colonial Nigeria
Cultural Commuters: African Employees in Late Colonial Tanzania
African Participation in Colonial Rule: The Role of Clerks, Interpreters, and Other Intermediaries
Personnel Files and the Role of Qadis and Interpreters in the Colonial Administration of Saint-Louis, Senegal, 1857-1911

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