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Book Bites: 13 May

Published in the Sunday Times

The Force
Don Winslow, Harper Collins, R205

What makes a good cop good at his job? Courage? Intelligence? Bravery, empathy, toughness? Detective Sergeant Denny Malone and his elite team, dealing with drugs, guns and gangs in New York, have all those qualities. What characterises a bad cop? Theft, dishonesty, accepting bribes, violence? Collusion? Murder? He and his team are guilty of all those as well. The Force describes in riveting detail how these contradictions are possible, even inevitable. Malone came from a police family, and joined as a young idealist, determined to do good. In the face of injustice and systematic corruption, he started crossing the line, one step at a time. Eventually caught, Malone is prepared to admit his own crimes, but the Feds want him to betray his friends, his contacts and his mentors. Set against a background of imminent racial conflagration and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, it is simply excellent. Aubrey Paton

Night Moves
Jonathan Kellerman, Headline, R300

Psychologist Alex Delaware is called by his old LAPD pal, Milo Sturgis, to a home in upscale Pacific Palisades. Inside the house is a corpse with no hands, no face and no blood. And a family who are certain they don’t know the victim who appeared in their den while they were out. Night Moves is Kellerman’s 33rd Delaware thriller and, as ever, he delivers sharp prose, intelligent plots and sleazy characters. A solid, enjoyable thriller, the novel’s real strength lies in the relationship and banter between Delaware and Sturgis. That’s really what his fans are after, and Kellerman delivers with class. Russell Clarke @russrussy

Book details

I'm telling you - celebrate your South African English heritage with this book, my bru!

Besides recognisable characteristics of South African English, such as ‘Vrystaat’, ‘ou boet’, ‘eksê’ or ‘nogal’, speakers of South African English give clear indications – even if their accent is not marked – of their being South African. Many of our South African English structures have unexpected meanings or usages which are not found in General English.

South Africans are familiar with phrases such as threw the cat with a stone, or forgot her jersey at the restaurant or hot-hot chips. In South African English a situation is very, very dire and someone therefore needs an advice.

These may sound strange – or even incorrect – to some, but all of these are examples of the unique English elements of the English that is spoken in South Africa.

Written in an accessible style, each chapter features words and phrases from different aspects of life with actual examples of usage from written and spoken sources. Photos and illustrations enliven the text.

In 2002 Malcolm Venter was the recipient of the English Academy’s highest honour, the Gold Medal Award. He has been a teacher for 36 years, a part-time lecturer at the US and co-author of a number of English school textbooks. He holds a Doctorate in English Linguistics and is currently the National Chair of the SA Council for English Education.

Jean Branford holds a PhD in dialect lexicography from Rhodes University, with particular reference to South African English. She was the compiler of A Dictionary of South African English and Associate Editor of A Dictionary of South African English on Historical Principles. She is the author of numerous papers, poetry and verse translations.

‘I did finally buy a copy of Say Again? I am enjoying it hugely. It’s a real time-guzzler – ‘I’ll just check out the entry on XYZ’, and an hour later I’m still absorbed in it! Congratulations on a really fascinating social history as well as a lively linguistic record!’ – Robin Malan, author of Ah Big Yaws? A Guard to Sow Theffricun Innglissh

‘This is a book for every South African. It shows how South African English is changing as we speak. New phrases, words and expressions are being invented and coloured to express our variety and unique nature’. – Prof Rajendra Chetty, President of the English Academy of Southern Africa

‘Written by eminent scholars in linguistics and lexicography, Say Again will be a source of edification and delight to anyone interest in language.’ – Prof Rajend Mesthrie, Professor of Linguistics, UCT

Book details

Book launch: The Illustrated Glossary of Southern African Architectural Terms

Franco Frescura, one of the authors of Illustrated Glossary of Southern African Architectural Terms will be giving talks on this book and its impact not only on architecture, but also on an inclusive account of cultural history in SA

Event Details

Living Together, Living Apart? explores social cohesion in South Africa

These ‘interventions’ are spurred by what in South Africa today is a buzz-phrase: social cohesion. The term, or concept, is bandied about with little reflection by leaders or spokespeople in politics, business, labour, education, sport, entertainment and the media.

Yet, who would not wish to live in a socially cohesive society? How, then, do we apply the ideal in the daily round when diversity of language, religion, culture, race and the economy too often supersedes our commitment to a common citizenry? How do we live together rather than live apart? Such questions provoke the purpose of these interventions.

The interventions – essays, which are short, incisive, at times provocative – tackle issues that are pertinent to both living together and living apart: equality/inequality, public pronouncement, xenophobia, safety, chieftaincy in modernity, gender-based abuse, healing, the law, education, identity, sport, new ‘national’ projects, the role of the arts, South Africa in the world.

In focusing on such issues, the essays point towards the making of a future, in which a critical citizenry is key to a healthy society.

Contributors include leading academics and public figures in South Africa today: Christopher Ballantine, Ahmed Bawa, Michael Chapman, Jacob Dlamini, Jackie Dugard, Kira Erwin, Nicole Fritz, Michael Gardiner, Gerhard Maré, Monique Marks, Rajend Mesthrie, Bonita Meyersfeld, Leigh-Ann Naidoo, Njabulo S. Ndebele, Kathryn Pillay, Faye Reagon, Brenda Schmahmann, Himla Soodyall, David Spurrett and Thuto Thipe.

Christopher Ballantine, Michael Chapman and Gerhard Maré are professors emeriti who are affiliated to the University of KwaZulu-Natal. They have all published prominently in areas of the humanities and social sciences in South Africa. Kira Erwin is a researcher at the Urban Futures Centre at the Durban University of Technology. Her publications focus on race, space and urban identities.


1 At Ease with Being ‘Citizen’ and ‘Human Being’
Njabulo S. Ndebele

2 Human Variation: What Can We Learn from Genetics?
Himla Soodyall and Faye Reagon

3 Agreeing to Disagree
David Spurrett

4 The Danger of Empty Words: from Rhetoric to Action
Kira Erwin

5 What Social Cohesion? Binding through Shared Austerity
Gerhard Maré

6 Where Walls Don’t Divide: Dreaming a Suburban Life
Monique Marks

7 Bound by Tradition: Chieftaincy in a ‘New’ South Africa
Thuto Thipe

8 ‘AmaNdiya, they’re not South Africans!’ Xenophobia and Citizenship
Kathryn Pillay

9 ‘Them’ and ‘Us’: Politics, Poetry and the Public Voice
Michael Chapman

10 ‘Urban Cool!’ Social Bridging in Language
Rajend Mesthrie

11 Sounds like a Better Future: Musicking for Social Change
Christopher Ballantine

12 Embroidering Controversy: The Politics of Visual Imaging
Brenda Schmahmann

13 Mothers, Children and Mathematics: Ways to a Better Society
Ahmed Bawa

14 Coercion or Cohesion? Educators in a Democracy
Michael Gardiner

15 Sexual Harassment and Violence: Higher Education as Social Microcosm
Jackie Dugard and Bonita Meyersfeld

16 The ‘Hidden’ Curriculum of South African Sport
Leigh-Ann Naidoo

17 The Global Obligations We Owe: A Source of Domestic Cohesion?
Nicole Fritz

18 The Death of Jacob Dlamini
Jacob Dlamini

Living Together, Living Apart?

Book details

  • Living Together, Living Apart?: Social Cohesion in a Future South Africa by Christopher Ballantine, Kira Erwin, Gerhard Mare
    EAN: 9781869143329
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Durban book launch of Tribing and Untribing the Archive: Volumes 1 and 2

University of KwaZulu-Natal Press invites you to the launch of Tribing and Untribing the Archive. Dr Vukile Khumalo will be in conversation with editors Carolyn Hamilton and Nessa Leibhammer.

Both volumes of Tribing and Untribing the Archive will be sold as a single set.

Event Details

Book Details

Significant book on the dynamics of power and identity in the African context to be published in June

The book illuminates key aspects of how, historically, the dynamics of power and identity interact in the African context, generating the kind of political structures and collective actions that have often appeared characteristic for the continent. It examines some salient dimensions of the broader frameworks of hegemony and power imposed upon African societies in the context of larger geopolitical and historical processes. Power and identity are two key concepts which can be applied in describing African realities. The interaction and connections between the two concepts are, moreover, of key importance in the African context, as their studies demonstrate.

In common with other scholars in this area of study, the authors acknowledge that underlying their work is a compelling fascination with the continent’s evolving social and cultural forms. Their insight into African social reality reflects a fragile and fragmented continent capable of bringing forth a great variety of agents and actors in the interplay of social and political power: power vested in a variety of groups, ethnicities, religions or classes, with potential to impose on the identity of others.

About the authors
Martin Doornbos (PhD, University of California, Berkeley) is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands, and Visiting Professor of Development Studies, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda. His research interests have broadly focused on the dynamics of state-society relations in Africa and India, on the institutional dimensions of conflict and collaboration, the politics of resource allocation, and on questions of state collapse and post-conflict reconstruction.

Wim van Binsbergen is an anthropologist, presently working on the theory and method of research on cultural globalisation, especially in connection with virtuality, Information and Communication Technology, ethnicity and religion. His project on ‘Africa’s Contribution to Global Systems of Knowledge: An Epistemology for African Studies in the Twenty-First Century’, provides a link between his research at the ASC and his chair in Foundations of Intercultural Philosophy at Erasmus University, Rotterdam.

Part Introduction 53
1 ‘Big-man’ and his big brother: Some notes on incorporation by Martin Doornbos 59
2 The post-colonial state, ‘state penetration’ and the Nkoya experience in Western Central Zambia by Wim van Binsbergen 71
3 Recurring penetration strategies in East Africa by Martin Doornbos 105
4 Aspects of modern state penetration in Africa by Wim van Binsbergen 125

Part introduction 157
5 Some conceptual problems concerning ethnicity in integration analysis by Martin Doornbos 162
6 From tribe to ethnicity in Western Zambia: The unit of study as an ideological problem by Wim van Binsbergen 199
7 Kumanyana and Rwenzururu: Two responses to ethnic inequality in Uganda by Martin Doornbos 261
8 The Kazanga festival: Ethnicity as cultural mediation and transformation in Western Central Zambia by Wim van Binsbergen 329
9 Rwenzururu protest songs by Martin Doornbos and Peter Cooke 385
10 Nkoya royal chiefs and the Kazanga cultural association in Western Central Zambia today: Resilience, decline, or folklorisation? by Wim van Binsbergen 425
11 The Ankole kingship question: Stalemate and Implications by Martin Doornbos 477

Part introduction 515
12 Fortunes and failures in state formation: Contrasting the jihads of Usman dan Fodio and Mohammed Abdulle Hassan by Martin Doornbos 521
13 Religious innovation and political conflict in Zambia: The Lumpa rising by Wim van Binsbergen 563
14 Church and state in Eastern Africa: Some unresolved questions Martin Doornbos 328
15 African Independent churches and the state in Botswana Wim van Binsbergen 337

Introduction to Part IV 361
16 Form and ideology in first-generation constitutional preambles: Some francophone African examples Martin Doornbos, Wim van Binsbergen & Gerti Hesseling 364
17 Aspects of democracy and democratisation in Zambia and Botswana: Exploring African political culture at the grassroots Wim van Binsbergen 389
18 Enquiring into African statehood, conflict and legitimacy, with particular reference to Somalia and Uganda Martin Doornbos 414

19 Conclusion

Wim van Binsbergen & Martin Doornbos 433
Notes 448
Cumulative bibliography 482
Index 529


Book details

  • Researching Power and Identity in African State Formation: Comparative Perspectives by Martin Doornbos, Wim van Binsbergen
    EAN: 9783643908520
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!