Modernization as Spectacle in Africa

Modernization as Spectacle in Africa

Edited by Peter Jason Bloom, Stephen Miescher and Takyiwaa Manuh
Distribution: World
Publication date: 05/09/2014
Format: Hardback 4 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-01225-8
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For postcolonial Africa, modernization was seen as a necessary outcome of the struggle for independence and as crucial to the success of its newly established states. Since then, the rhetoric of modernization has pervaded policy, culture, and development, lending a kind of political theatricality to nationalist framings of modernization and Africans’ perceptions of their place in the global economy. These 15 essays address governance, production, and social life; the role of media; and the discourse surrounding large-scale development projects, revealing modernization's deep effects on the expressive culture of Africa.

Author Bio

Peter J. Bloom is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is editor (with Ch. Didier Gondola and Charles Tshimanga) of Frenchness in the African Diaspora (IUP, 2009).

Takyiwaa Manuh is Emeritus Professor of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon. She is editor (with Catherine M. Cole and Stephan F. Miescher) of Africa after Gender? (IUP, 2006).

Stephan F. Miescher is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is author of Making Men in Ghana (IUP, 2005).


“This is a varied collection of fifteen sole-authored chapters on modernization as spectacle, an area that has attracted little research to date . . . [A] good read.Feb. 2016”
 — Africa

“How do people come to an awareness of being 'behind'? What is the value of huge industrial development projects? These essays show that local announcements of the modern, modernization, and modernity have had monumental consequences for Africa since independence.”
 — Donald Donham, University of California, Davis

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