BOOKS RECEIVED: Richard and MacDonald, eds., “Ethnic Ambiguity and the African Past: Materiality, History, and the Shaping of Cultural Identities” (Left Coast Press, 2015)
The collective inquiries in this volume address ethnicity in ancient Africa as social fact and political artifact along numerous dimensions. Is ethnicity a useful analytic? What can archaeology say about the kinds of deeper time questions which scholars have asked… Read More
BOOKS RECEIVED: Grant S. McCall, “Before Modern Humans: New Perspectives on the African Stone Age” (Left Coast Press, 2014)
This fascinating volume, assessing Lower and Middle Pleistocene African prehistory, argues that the onset of the Middle Stone Age marks the origins of landscape use patterns resembling those of modern human foragers. Inaugurating a paradigm shift in our understanding of… Read More
BOOKS RECEIVED: Provenzo and Abaka, eds., “W. E. B. Du Bois on Africa” (Left Coast Press, 2012)
W. E. B. Du Bois is arguably the most important Black intellectual of the twentieth century and among the most important intellectual figures in modern African social thought. One of the founders of Pan-Africanism and a key figure in the… Read More
BOOKS RECEIVED:  Laurence Douny, “Living in a Landscape of Scarcity: Materiality and Cosmology in West Africa” (Left Coast Press, 2014)
In her close ethnography of a Dogon village of Mali, Laurence Douny shows how a microcosmology develops from people’s embodied daily and ritual practice in a landscape of scarcity. Viewed through the lens of containment practice, she describes how they… Read More
BOOKS RECEIVED: Stevens, Nixon, Murray and Fuller, eds., “Archaeology of African Plant Use” (Left Coast Press, 2013)
The first major synthesis of African archaeobotany in decades, this book focuses on Paleolithic archaeobotany and the relationship between agriculture and social complexity. It explores the effects that plant life has had on humans as they evolved from primates through… Read More
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