ECU Libraries Catalog

Colonial transactions : imaginaries, bodies, and histories in Gabon / Florence Bernault.

Author/creator Bernault, Florence author.
Format Book and Print
Publication Info Durham : Duke University Press, 2019.
Copyright Notice ©2019
Descriptionxi, 332 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Series Theory in forms
Theory in forms. ^A1379235
Contents A siren, an empty shrine, and a photograph -- Charms and their double lives -- Carnal fetishism -- The value of people -- Cannibal mirrors -- Eating.
Summary In 'Colonial Transactions' Florence Bernault moves beyond the racial divide that dominates colonial studies of Africa. Instead, she illuminates the strange and frightening imaginaries that colonizers and colonized shared on the ground. Bernault looks at Gabon from the late nineteenth century to the present, historicizing the most vivid imaginations and modes of power in Africa today: French obsessions with cannibals, the emergence of vampires and witches in the Gabonese imaginary, and the use of human organs for fetishes. Struggling over objects, bodies, agency, and values, colonizers and colonized entered relations that are better conceptualized as "transactions." Together they also shared an awareness of how the colonial situation broke down moral orders and forced people to use the evil side of power. This foreshadowed the ways in which people exercise agency in contemporary Africa, as well as the proliferation of magical fears and witchcraft anxieties in present-day Gabon. Overturning theories of colonial and postcolonial nativism, this book is essential reading for historians and anthropologists of witchcraft, power, value, and the body.
Bibliography noteIncludes bibliographical references and index.
Issued in other formOnline version: Bernault, Florence, author. Colonial transactions Durham : Duke University Press, 2019 9781478002666
LCCN 2018047203
ISBN9781478001232 hardcover ; alkaline paper
ISBN1478001232 hardcover ; alkaline paper
ISBN1478001585 paperback ; alkaline paper

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