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Four Decades of Angolan Peace: Looking Back, Moving Forward - Book Launch and Reception

November 16, 2015
Green Library, 5th floor, Bender Room

RSVP to Regina Roberts

Free and open to the public.

General Public
Stanford University Libraries, Humanities Center, WSD Handa Center for Human Rights & Int'l Justice, History Department, Department of Anthropology, Center for African Studies

Join us as we celebrate two new books on reflecting the four decades of independence of Angola

Political Identity and Conflict in Central Angola by Justin Pearce

Political Identity and Conflict in Central Angola
, 1975–2002 examines the internal politics of the war that divided Angola for more than a quarter-century after independence. Justin Pearce’s argument is based on original interviews with farmers and town dwellers, soldiers and politicians in Central Angola. He uses these to examine the ideologies about nation and state that elites deployed in pursuit of hegemony, and traces how people responded to these efforts at politicisation. The material presented here demonstrates the power of the ideas of state and nation in shaping perceptions of self-interest and determining political loyalty. Yet the book also shows how political allegiances could and did change in response to the experience of military force. In so doing, it brings the Angolan case to the center of debates on conflict in post-colonial Africa and poses questions about the relationship between nation, state and political formations.

National Liberation in Post-Colonial Southern Africa by Christian William

This book traces the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) across its three decades in exile through rich, local histories of the camps where Namibian exiles lived in Tanzania, Zambia, and Angola. Christian A. Williams highlights how different Namibians experienced these sites, as well as the tensions that developed within SWAPO as Namibians encountered one another and as officials asserted their power and protected their interests within a national community. The book then follows Namibians who lived in exile into post-colonial Namibia, examining the extent to which divisions and hierarchies that emerged in the camps continue to shape how Namibians relate to one another today, undermining the more just and humane society that many had imagined. In developing these points about SWAPO, the book draws attention to Southern African literature more widely, suggesting parallels across the region and defining a field of study that examines post-colonial Africa through “the camp.”

Books will be available for purchase and signing following the presentation.