Elizabeth Colson is a giant of twentieth and twenty-first century social science scholarship. For sixty years (beginning in 1946), she has carried out regular and intensive anthropological research amongst one of central Africa's most important ethnic groups, the Tonga of Zambia and Zimbabwe. She is the author of an astonishing number of books and articles concerning virtually every aspect of Tonga life, including religion, law, marriage, education, and the impact of relocation. Colson has made important theoretical and comparative contributions as well. She has inspired, encouraged, and greatly influenced three generations of scholars studying the Tonga. Fourteen of those scholars, from disciplines including social and physical anthropology, history, political science, and education have contributed essays for this volume. In addition, Colson has written a concluding essay for this work in which she gives her reflections on her own and others' scholarship. This work sheds light on the Tonga's pre-colonial past; colonial transformations; religious and political life; gender relations; growing up and growing old; the consequences of resettlement; and much more. It is a major contribution to several strains of African studies.
Publisher: University Press of America
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 599 g
Dimensions: 228 x 149 x 29 mm
...[the book] is a triple celebration. * African Studies Review *
Overall the contributions to this volume provide an interesting, interdisciplinary series of snapshots, taken at different historical moements, of the area with which Colson's name will always be linked. -- Kate Crehan, 2008 * African Affairs *
Kenneth Vickery deserves much praise for persisting with this book project, whose coverage testifies to the historical and regional dynamics of the Tonga-speaking peoples and pays homage to Elizabeth Colson's outstanding scholarship, recognizing the importance of her rich, field research-based observations for generations to come. -- Karen Tranberg Hansen