Pub. Date:
University of Chicago Press
Love in Africa

Love in Africa

by Jennifer Cole, Lynn M. ThomasJennifer Cole
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In recent years, scholarly interest in love has flourished. Historians have addressed the rise of romantic love and marriage in Europe and the United States, while anthropologists have explored the ways globalization has reshaped local ideas about those same topics. Yet, love in Africa has been peculiarly ignored, resulting in a serious lack of understanding about this vital element of social life—a glaring omission given the intense focus on sexuality in Africa in the wake of HIV/AIDS.

            Love in Africa seeks both to understand this failure to consider love and to begin to correct it. In a substantive introduction and eight essays that examine a variety of countries and range in time from the 1930s to the present, the contributors collectively argue for the importance of paying attention to the many different cultural and historical strands that constitute love in Africa. Covering such diverse topics as the reception of Bollywood movies in 1950s Zanzibar, the effects of a Mexican telenovela on young people’s ideas about courtship in Niger, the models of romance promoted by South African and Kenyan magazines, and the complex relationship between love and money in Madagascar and South Africa, Love in Africa is a vivid and compelling look at love’s role in African society.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226113524
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 06/15/2009
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Jennifer Cole is associate professor of comparative human development at the University of Chicago and the author of Forget Colonialism? Sacrifice and the Art of Memory. Lynn M. Thomas is associate professor of history at the University of Washington and the author of Politics of the Womb: Women, Reproduction, and the State in Kenya.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations



Thinking through Love in Africa

            Lynn M. Thomas and Jennifer Cole

Chapter 1:

Love, Sex, and the Modern Girl in 1930s Southern Africa

            Lynn M. Thomas

Chapter 2:

 Making Love in the Indian Ocean: Hindi Films, Zanzibari Audiences, and the

Construction of Romance in the 1950s and 1960s

      Laura Fair

Chapter 3:

 “Dear Dolly’s” Advice: Representations of Youth, Courtship, and Sexualities in Africa, 1960–1980

            Kenda Mutongi

Chapter 4:

 Love, Money, and Economies of Intimacy in Tamatave, Madagascar

            Jennifer Cole

Chapter 5:

 Providing Love: Sex and Exchange in Twentieth-Century South Africa

            Mark Hunter

Chapter 6:

 Managing Men, Marriage, and Modern Love: Women’s Perspectives on Intimacy and Male Infidelity in Southeastern Nigeria

            Daniel Jordan Smith

Chapter 7:

 Media and the Therapeutic Ethos of Romantic Love in Middle-Class Nairobi

            Rachel Spronk

Chapter 8:

 Lessons from Rubí: Love, Poverty, and the Educational Value of Televised Dramas in Niger

            Adeline Masquelier


List of Contributors


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