Reveals how anxiety can unsettle narratives about African history, culture, and society.
This volume brings together contributions from history, archaeology, and anthropology to demonstrate the richness of anxiety as an analytical lens within African Studies. It showcases how affects and emotions not only reveal individual and collective vulnerabilities and highlights their role in subjectivities and embodied experience. Contributors call attention to ways of thinking about African spaces—physical, visceral, somatic, and imagined—as well as time and temporality. Through a multidisciplinary approach, the volume also brings histories of anxiety in colonial settings into conversation with work on the “negative” emotions in disciplines beyond history. While anxiety has long been acknowledged as able to unsettle colonial narratives and to reveal the vulnerability of the colonial enterprise, this volume shows it can equally unsettle related narratives in the contemporary moment, such as those of sustainable development, migration, sexuality, and democracy. The volume highlights the need to take emotions seriously as contemporary realities, but ones with particular histories that must be carefully mapped out.