Centre for African Studies (LUCAS)

General enquiries

Leeds University Centre for African Studies
c/o POLIS,
Social Sciences Building,
University of Leeds
Leeds LS2 9JT

Tel: 0113 343 5069

LUCAS Schools Project coordinator

Richard Borowski


Leeds African Studies Bulletin 77 – list of contents

Leeds African Studies Bulletin
Number 77 Winter 2015-16

Notes on Contributors
LUCAS News, Reports and People
The LUCAS Book Distribution Scheme
LUCAS Seminars
The LUCAS Schools Project
Yorkshire African Studies Network

Departmental Reports
School of Earth and Environment
School of English/Workshop Theatre
School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies
School of History
School of Languages, Cultures and Societies
School of Media and Communication
Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development
School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science
School of Politics and International Studies


Professor Vic Allen (by Alex Beresford)


Narcissus and Other Pall-Bearers: Morbidity as Ideology
Wole Soyinka

Thabo Mbeki’s AIDS denialism: Neoliberalism, government 
and civil society in South Africa
Emma Camp

Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) in Somalia 
since the End of the Cold War: Historical and Theoretical Implications
Jethro Norman

Remembering the Fifth Pan-African Congress 
Christian Høgsbjerg

Book Reviews

Building a Peaceful Nation: Julius Nyerere and the establishment of
sovereignty in Tanzania, 1960-1964. Paul Bjerk.
(Reviewed by Jane Plastow)

Achebe and Friends at Umuahia: The Making of a Literary Elite.
Terri Ochiagha,
(Reviewed by Jane Plastow)

Mandela: My prisoner, My friend. Christo Brand with Barbara Jones.
(Reviewed by Ruth Daly)

Zimbabwe: challenging the stereotypes. Robert Mshengu Kavanagh.
(Reviewed by Jack Mapanje)

Blood on the Tides: The Ozidi Saga and Oral Epic Narratology.
Isidore Okpewho.
(Reviewed by Rachel Bower)

[This issue of the Bulletin is now uploaded online – see here – for more info or to propose contributions for future volumes please email african-studies@leeds.ac.uk]

This entry was posted in Journal, LUCAS, Research, YASN.

LUCAS special offer – VL Allen – The History of Black Mineworkers in South Africa

Thanks to Kate Carey, LUCAS are able to offer a special discount for copies of the late Professor Vic Allen’s classic work The History of Black Mineworkers in South Africa:

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Copies of this 3-volume study are available at greatly reduced prices (UK p&p free)

Vol I: Mining in South Africa and the Genesis of Apartheid, 1871-1948     £10

Vol II: Apartheid Repression and Dissent in the Mines, 1948-1982            £10

Vol III: Organise or Die, 1982-1994                                                         £10

Set of 3 volumes     £25

To order / for payment details, please email LUCAS: african-studies@leeds.ac.uk

This entry was posted in History, LUCAS, Research.

Poverty, Inc.: Film showing and discussion

Poverty, Inc – fighting poverty is big business – but who profits the most?

Film Showing and discussion of Poverty, Inc

The West has positioned itself as the protagonist of development, giving rise to a vast multi-billion dollar poverty industry — the business of doing good has never been better. Yet the results have been mixed, in some cases even catastrophic, and leaders in the developing world are growing increasingly vocal in calling for change. Drawing from over 200 interviews filmed in 20 countries, Poverty, Inc. unearths an uncomfortable side of charity we can no longer ignore.

Wednesday 27 April, 5.30pm, Leeds University Business School Maurice Keyworth LT (G.02)
Film showing and post-film discussion organised by Leeds University Centre for African Studies (LUCAS) with The Global Native (Leeds-based NGO) – all welcome – admission £5 (costs help contribute towards The Global Native’s development work in Zimbabwe).


This entry was posted in Film, LUCAS.

Alex Beresford on South Africa’s Political Crisis

South Africa’s Political Crisis: Unfinished Liberation and Fractured Class Struggles

Book Launch and LUCAS seminar with Alexander Beresford

Thursday 3 March, 4–5.30pm, Michael Sadler Building, University of Leeds, LG 19 – all welcome

South Africa’s long road to political freedom reflects only a partial freedom and an unfinished project of liberation. The country remains one of the most unequal on earth and is experiencing unprecedented levels of protest and industrial action. South Africa’s powerful and globally revered trade unions are currently playing a central role in what are the most significant political upheavals since the transition to democracy. The alliance between the unions and the ruling African National Congress (ANC) is in crisis, while the unions themselves are beset by volatile internecine infighting that threatens to tear the labour movement apart. The unions therefore stand at an organisational and political crossroads. Which path they take bears huge significance for South Africa’s future, as well as how we understand the role that trade unions can play in global struggles for social justice in the era of neoliberal globalisation. Through original ethnographic insights this book investigates which political direction South Africa is moving in at this pivotal moment in the country’s history. It contributes to the African Studies and Political Science scholarship on nationalist movements and African trade unions, while also offering new perspectives on labour activism and the strategic dilemmas confronting movements on a global scale.

For more on the book see here

Alexander Beresford is Lecturer in the Politics of African Development at the University of Leeds, UK, and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. His work examines contemporary South African politics. He has previously published a range of articles on issues including patronage politics, crony capitalism, nationalism and labour politics in the post-apartheid era.

Download the poster for the event here: AlexBeresfordBookLaunch

This entry was posted in Book Launch, LUCAS, Research, Seminars.

Religion, Homosexuality and LGBT Rights in Africa Symposium

Religion, Homosexuality and LGBT Rights in Africa Symposium
University of Leeds, 7 April, 1pm

This symposium celebrates the launch of two book volumes, co-edited by Ezra Chitando and Adriaan van Klinken, and published with Ashgate in spring 2016:
Public Religion and the Politics of Homosexuality in Africa.
Christianity and Controversies over Homosexuality in Africa.

Dr Barbara Bompani, University of Edinburgh
Prof Ezra Chitando, University of Zimbabwe
Rev Jide Macaulay, House of Rainbow Ministries
Dr Adriaan van Klinken, University of Leeds
Dr Matthew Waites, University of Glasgow
Thursday, 7 April 2016 from 13:00 to 17:00 (BST) – Add to Calendar
University of Leeds – Old Mining Building, room G.19. Woodhouse lane. Leeds LS2 9JT GB – Register at this link here:


This entry was posted in Book Launch, LUCAS, Research, Symposium.

Slave Rebellions or Actions of War? Understanding West African Armed Resistance in Bahia and Cuba, 1807-1844 – Manuel Barcia

Professor Manuel Barcia’s Inaugural Lecture.

"Slave Rebellions or Actions of War

Date: 10-03-2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:00

This lecture will examine how a series of historical events that occurred in West Africa from the mid-1790s – including Afonja’s rebellion, the Owu wars, the Fulani-led jihad, and the migrations to Egbaland – had an impact upon life in cities and plantations in Bahia, Brazil and western Cuba during the first half of the nineteenth century. Why did these two geographical areas serve as the theatre for the uprising of the Nagos, the Lucumis, and other West African men and women? To understand why these two areas followed such similar social patterns it is essential to look across the Atlantic and to centre the focus on the African side of the story. The lecture will also raise the broader issue of how can American, Latin American and Caribbean historians make a better use of African history and historical sources to illuminate their subjects of study.

The lecture will be followed by a reception at The Terrace Bar from 6pm to 8pm. Please RSVP to LCSResearch@leeds.ac.uk  for catering purposes.

Location: Clothworkers South Lecture Theatre 3

This entry was posted in Lecture, LUCAS, Research.

Upcoming LUCAS seminars / events 2016

James Morris (York), ‘The Orchestra on the Titanic? Oxfam in Kenya, 1963-2002’.
Tuesday 2 February, 4-5.30pm (Michael Sadler LG10)

Alex Beresford (Leeds), ‘South Africa’s Political Crisis: Unfinished Liberation and Fractured Class Struggles’.
Thursday 3 March, 4–5.30pm (seminar and book launch) (Michael Sadler LG 19)

For more details, please see the LUCAS events page or contact african-studies@leeds.ac.uk

This entry was posted in Book Launch, History, LUCAS, Research, Seminars.

YASN Workshop on Gender and Sexuality Programme




Grant Room 311 Michael Sadler Building, University of Leeds


10.15am Coffee and opening remarks

Manel Zouabi (Centre for Women’s Studies, York), Post-revolutionary Tunisia: sexualizing women-political activists in digital media
Brendon Nicholls (English, Leeds), Ken Saro-Wiwa, Heteronormativity and Gender Politics
Shane Doyle (History, Leeds), STD campaigns and sexual morality in East Africa

Lunch 12.30-1.30pm

Session 2: 1.30-3.30pm NORMS AND DISSONANCE
Bev Orton (Criminology and Criminal Justice, Hull), So what’s New?: Sex and sexuality in post-apartheid South Africa
Jane Plastow (English, Leeds) and Katie McQuaid (Geography, Leeds), In search of the Frierean ‘plenitude of the praxis’ of action and reflection for women from Walukuba: thinking through an activist approach using theatre and ethnography
Will Jackson (History, Leeds), Queering the family in segregation-era South Africa

3.30pm Closing remarks
Adriaan van Klinken (Theology and Religious Studies, Leeds), New directions in the study of African sexuality

To download a programme please go to here: YASN Gender and Sexuality PROGRAMME


For more details on YASN, see here: http://lucas.leeds.ac.uk/yasn/

This entry was posted in Conferences, LUCAS, Workshop, YASN.

Rainbow Collective Film Festival



A festival of films by the Rainbow Collective film company, dealing with human resilience, economic development, exploitation, racism and resistance

Hosted by Leeds University School of Media and Communication, Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures, Centre for African Studies, Centre for Global Development, Dept. of Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

Tuesday, Oct. 27, 6-8.30 pm, Worsley Medical LT (7.35)
Amazulu: The Children of Heaven
Velabahleke (Come with a Smile) High School in Umlazi township outside Durban may be the only school in the country that starts at 06h30am and finishes at 4pm and where students are racing to get there on time! Mbongeni Mtshali the principal, has created an oasis of excellence for hundreds of learners, and where students, staff and community are doggedly determined that they not ‘be slaves to their backgrounds’.
Bafana is a 20 minute documentary, looking at the lives and experiences of Cape Town’s street children. The film delves into the global crisis of street children, while offering a ray of hope in the form of Gerald and all his colleagues who are fighting to make a better future for the children in their care.

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 5-8pm, School of Media and Communication, Cinema
Children’s Shorts
For many years we have developed film training programmes with young people from under-represented and deprived communities, providing the skills, equipment and training they need to enter the industry as artists on their own terms, whatever their background. In this film, stories from the inner city youth of Kingston, the homeless children of Dhaka and young film makers from around the UK can be seen together for the fist time in a remarkable programme of powerful and cinematic short films.

Thursday, Oct. 29, 5-8pm, Business School Western LT (G.01)
The Process
Filmed in Israel and Palestine, the Process is the human tale of a political story. Three lives, framed by bold cinematic observation and reflective criticism, reveal a new perspective on the Middle East peace process.
Tears in the Fabric
In Savar, Bangladesh, Razia struggles to raise two grandchildren after losing her daughters in the Rana Plaza factory collapse, a disaster which claimed the lives of over 1000 garment workers. One year on, Tears in the Fabric follows Razia as, amidst the struggle of raising and educating her grandsons, she searches for resolution and answers through protest on the streets of Dhaka and amongst the rubble and torn fabrics of Rana Plaza. Tears in the Fabric offers a starkly honest and deeply moving view of the human cost of high street fashion

Friday, Oct. 30, 5-8pm, Business School Western LT (G.01)
Mass E Bhat
One young man struggles to grow up and achieve his goals in modern Bangladesh. As we follow the 20 year old Nasir, now a social worker in the slums, he reflects on his life, from childhood in a rural village and his families migration to the city, through his early years working in the rubbish dumps and sweatshops and finally how he has achieved his dream of an education and respect within his community. As Nasir recounts his life, we meet a series of children, parents and employers, who mirror his past but are all real in the country’s present.
Udita (Arise)
Udita follows 5 years in the lives of the women at the grass roots of the garment workers struggle. From 2010, when organising in the workplace would lead to beatings, sacking and arrests, through the tragedies of Tazreen and Rana Plaza, to the present day, when the long fight begins to pay dividends. We see this vital period through the eyes of the unions’ female members, workers and leaders.


This entry was posted in Film, LUCAS.

Tom Penfold on Black Consciousness in South Africa

The LUCAS Seminar with Tom Penfold (University of Johannesburg) speaking on ‘Black Consciousness in South Africa’ was filmed through ‘lecture capture’ and Tom has kindly given us permission to make it available online. The seminar took place on Thursday 15 October, 4pm-5.30pm, Michael Sadler Building, LG10 and is online to view here:


The rise of Black Consciousness in South Africa during the 1970s was initially met with approval from some quarters of the Afrikaner establishment and fierce rejection from the ANC liberation effort. It was, they said, a political ideology that solidified racial divisions and did the work of the apartheid government of them. This paper rejects this view and offers a revision account of Black Consciousness history by arguing that Black Consciousness sought to counter the dominant apartheid ideology at its core: It consistently manipulated and complicated the black/white binary. Furthermore, by briefly drawing on Afrikaner nationalism’s cultural and linguistic foundations, I argue that Black Consciousness was born from an act of cultural misrepresentation and was a cultural organisation. It was through poetry, literature and art that the Black Consciousness message was promoted and made to continually evolve. Consequently, the rise of Black Consciousness succeeded in the closer integration of politics and culture in South Africa and implicitly challenged the suitability of such a division.

This entry was posted in LUCAS, Seminars.

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