Catalogue

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Mistaking Africa : curiosities and inventions of the American mind /
Curtis Keim.
edition
2nd ed.
imprint
Boulder, CO : Westview Press, c2009.
description
xiii, 234 p.
ISBN
0813343860 (pbk. : alk. paper), 9780813343860 (pbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Boulder, CO : Westview Press, c2009.
isbn
0813343860 (pbk. : alk. paper)
9780813343860 (pbk. : alk. paper)
contents note
Changing our mind about Africa -- How we learn -- The origins of "Darkest Africa" -- "Our living ancestors" : twentieth-century evolutionism -- Real Africa, wise Africa -- We should help them -- Cannibalism : no accounting for taste -- Africans live in tribes, don't they? -- Safari : beyond our wildest dreams -- Africa in images -- Race and culture : the same and the other -- From imagination to dialogue -- Appendix : learning more.
catalogue key
6520811
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Curtis Keim is professor of history and political science at Moravian College. The recipient of the College's Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching
Reviews
Review Quotes
"This book strikes a perfect pitch. Keim takes a serious subject and presents it in a thoughtful, concise, and highly engaging manner. He mixes humorous observations with sophisticated anthropological and historical concepts to make them easily accessible to generalist audiences. As a result, Mistaking Africa contains valuable insights for the novice and experienced Africanist alike. It is a great book for introductory courses on Africa, across a range of disciplines, as well as more specialized courses such as US foreign policy toward Africa." -Scott D. Taylor, Georgetown University
"This book strikes a perfect pitch. Keim takes a serious subject and presents it in a thoughtful, concise, and highly engaging manner. He mixes humorous observations with sophisticated anthropological and historical concepts to make them easily accessible to generalist audiences. As a result,Mistaking Africacontains valuable insights for the novice and experienced Africanist alike. It is a great book for introductory courses on Africa, across a range of disciplines, as well as more specialized courses such as US foreign policy toward Africa." -Scott D. Taylor, Georgetown University
"This is essential reading for the current generation of otherwise sophisticated young social entrepreneurs who little realize how their ideas about Africa have been shaped. This welcome update includes expansions of the discussion on development, information on US military interests in the continent, an assessment of celebrity activities and recent representations of Africa in feature films, a chapter on the enduring western fascination with African animals, help for finding African materials on the Internet, and analysis of new images drawn from recent ad campaigns." -Edna Bay, Emory University
"With this new edition, Professor Keim has updated and expanded an important book for the teaching of Africa in the West. This book does the intellectual heavy-lifting of deconstructing our notions of Africa, but does it in a way accessible and meaningful to students and non-students alike." -Jeffrey Fleisher, Rice University
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, November 2008
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
For many Americans the mention of Africa immediately conjures up images of safaris, ferocious animals, strangely dressed 'tribesmen', and impenetrable jungles. This book is an exploration of the origins of American stereotypes about Africa, where they appear in American culture, and why they persist.
Main Description
For many Americans the mention of Africa immediately conjures up images of safaris, ferocious animals, strangely dressed "tribesmen," and impenetrable jungles. Although the occasional newspaper headline alerts us to genocide, AIDS, malaria, or civil war in Africa, most of us know very little about the continent. However we still carry strong mental images of Africa, which are reflected in American advertising, movies, amusement parks, cartoons, and many other corners of our society. Few think to question these perceptions or how they came to be so deeply lodged in the collective American consciousness. Curtis Keim'sMistaking Africalooks at the historical evolution of this mindset and examines the role that popular media play in the creation of our mental images of Africa. Keim addresses the most prevalent myths and preconceptions and demonstrates how these prevent a true understanding of the enormously diverse peoples and cultures of Africa. Updated throughout, the second edition includes an entirely revised chapter on Africa in images, which analyzes portrayals of Africa in popular media, including print advertising by corporations such as Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, IBM,Voguemagazine, Honda, and Snapple. New to the second edition as well is an appendix on learning more about Africa. Contents Part One: Introduction 1. Changing Our Mind about Africa 2. How We Learn Part Two: Evolutionism 3. The Origins of "Darkest Africa" 4. "Our Living Ancestors": Twentieth-Century Evolutionism 5. Real Africa, Wise Africa 6. We Should Help Them Part Three: Further Misperceptions 7. Cannibalism: No Accounting for Taste 8. Africans Live in Tribes, Don't They? 9. Safari: Beyond Our Wildest Dreams 10. Africa in Images Part Four: New Directions 11. Race and Culture: The Same and the Other 12. From Imagination to Dialogue Appendix: Learning More
Main Description
For many Americans the mention of Africa immediately conjures up images of safaris, ferocious animals, strangely dressed "tribesmen," and impenetrable jungles. Although the occasional newspaper headline alerts us to genocide, AIDS, malaria, or civil war in Africa, most of us know very little about the continent. However we still carry strong mental images of Africa, which are reflected in American advertising, movies, amusement parks, cartoons, and many other corners of our society. Few think to question these perceptions or how they came to be so deeply lodged in the collective American consciousness. Curtis Keim's Mistaking Africa looks at the historical evolution of this mindset and examines the role that popular media play in the creation of our mental images of Africa. Keim addresses the most prevalent myths and preconceptions and demonstrates how these prevent a true understanding of the enormously diverse peoples and cultures of Africa. Updated throughout, the second edition includes an entirely revised chapter on Africa in images, which analyzes portrayals of Africa in popular media, including print advertising by corporations such as Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, IBM, Vogue magazine, Honda, and Snapple. New to the second edition as well is an appendix on learning more about Africa. Contents Part One: Introduction 1. Changing Our Mind about Africa 2. How We Learn Part Two: Evolutionism 3. The Origins of "Darkest Africa" 4. "Our Living Ancestors": Twentieth-Century Evolutionism 5. Real Africa, Wise Africa 6. We Should Help Them Part Three: Further Misperceptions 7. Cannibalism: No Accounting for Taste 8. Africans Live in Tribes, Don't They? 9. Safari: Beyond Our Wildest Dreams 10. Africa in Images Part Four: New Directions 11. Race and Culture: The Same and the Other 12. From Imagination to Dialogue Appendix: Learning More
Main Description
For many Americans the mention of Africa immediately conjures up images of safaris, ferocious animals, strangely dressed "tribesmen," and impenetrable jungles. Although the occasional newspaper headline alerts us to genocide, AIDS, malaria, or civil war in Africa, most of us know very little about the continent. However we still carry strong mental images of Africa, which are reflected in American advertising, movies, amusement parks, cartoons, and many other corners of our society. Few think to question these perceptions or how they came to be so deeply lodged in the collective American consciousness. Curtis Keim's Mistaking Africa looks at the historical evolution of this mindset and examines the role that popular media play in the creation of our mental images of Africa. Keim addresses the most prevalent myths and preconceptions and demonstrates how these prevent a true understanding of the enormously diverse peoples and cultures of Africa. Updated throughout, the second edition includes an entirely revised chapter on Africa in images, which analyzes portrayals of Africa in popular media, including print advertisingby corporations such as Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, IBM, Vogue magazine, Honda, and Snapple. New to the second edition as well is an appendix on learning more about Africa. Contents Part One: Introduction 1. Changing Our Mind about Africa 2. How We Learn Part Two: Evolutionism 3. The Origins of "Darkest Africa" 4. "Our Living Ancestors": Twentieth-Century Evolutionism 5. Real Africa, Wise Africa 6. We Should Help Them Part Three: Further Misperceptions 7. Cannibalism: No Accounting for Taste 8. Africans Live in Tribes, Don't They? 9. Safari: Beyond Our Wildest Dreams 10. Africa in Images Part Four: New Directions 11. Race and Culture: The Same and the Other 12. From Imagination to Dialogue Appendix: Learning More
Main Description
For many Americans the mention of Africa immediately conjures up images of safaris, ferocious animals, strangely dressed "tribesmen," and impenetrable jungles. Although the occasional newspaper headline alerts us to genocide, AIDS, malaria, or civil war in Africa, most of us know very little about the continent. However we still carry strong mental images of Africa, which are reflected in American advertising, movies, amusement parks, cartoons, and many other corners of our society.Few think to question these perceptions or how they came to be so deeply lodged in the collective American consciousness. Curtis Keim'sMistaking Africalooks at the historical evolution of this mindset and examines the role that popular media play in the creation of our mental images of Africa. Keim addresses the most prevalent myths and preconceptions and demonstrates how these prevent a true understanding of the enormously diverse peoples and cultures of Africa. Updated throughout, the second edition includes an entirely revised chapter on Africa in images, which analyzes portrayals of Africa in popular media, including print advertising by corporations such as Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, IBM,Voguemagazine, Honda, and Snapple. New to the second edition as well is an appendix on learning more about Africa.ContentsPart One: Introduction 1. Changing Our Mind about Africa 2. How We LearnPart Two: Evolutionism 3. The Origins of "Darkest Africa" 4. "Our Living Ancestors": Twentieth-Century Evolutionism 5. Real Africa, Wise Africa 6. We Should Help ThemPart Three: Further Misperceptions 7. Cannibalism: No Accounting for Taste 8. Africans Live in Tribes, Don't They? 9. Safari: Beyond Our Wildest Dreams 10. Africa in ImagesPart Four: New Directions 11. Race and Culture: The Same and the Other 12. From Imagination to DialogueAppendix: Learning More
Table of Contents
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introduction
Changing Our Mind About Africap. 3
Speaking "African"p. 4
The Use and Misuse of Stereotypesp. 6
Stereotypes over Timep. 11
A Word About Wordsp. 12
How We Learnp. 15
Television Culturep. 16
The Print Mediap. 18
Moviesp. 23
Amusement Parksp. 25
Celebritiesp. 28
Other Sourcesp. 29
Evolutionism
The Origins of "Darkest Africa"p. 35
Africans in Antiquityp. 36
Western Views of Africans, ca. 1400-1830p. 38
Birth of the Dark Continentp. 40
A Myth for Conquestp. 44
"Our Living Ancestors": Twentieth-Century Evolutionismp. 49
Biological Evolutionismp. 50
Evolutionismp. 51
The Primitive Africanp. 53
Changing Paradigmsp. 56
Lingering Evolutionismp. 61
Real Africa, Wise Africap. 63
African Culturesp. 64
Art and Artifactp. 66
Touring Africap. 69
Selling Sexp. 73
Africans in the Statesp. 74
An African American Examplep. 77
The Noble Africanp. 79
We Should Help Themp. 83
Authoritarian Helpp. 85
Market Helpp. 86
Conversion Helpp. 88
Gift-Giving Helpp. 90
Participatory Helpp. 93
Military Helpp. 95
The Failure of Helpp. 96
Rethinking Developmentp. 98
Helping Outp. 100
Further Misperceptions
Cannibalism: No Accounting for Tastep. 105
Africans Live in Tribes, Don't They?p. 113
A Textbook Definitionp. 114
A Word with a Historyp. 115
The End of the Tribep. 117
Contemporary African Uses of Tribep. 118
Other Tribesp. 120
African Tribes in Americap. 121
Alternatives to Tribep. 124
Safari: Beyond Our Wildest Dreamsp. 129
Where the Wild Things Aren'tp. 130
The Good Old Daysp. 131
The Decline of the Great White Hunting Safarip. 136
The Tourist Safari: Animals in Picturesp. 138
The Safari from a Distancep. 140
The Lion Is Kingp. 142
Hunting Africap. 144
Africa in Imagesp. 147
Black, White, and Red All Overp. 148
Africa's Got Chemistryp. 151
One Challenge per Continent, Pleasep. 151
Our Living Ancestorsp. 153
Africa Is Dyeingp. 154
Flights of Fantasyp. 156
"Totally in the Wild"p. 156
Dances with Lionsp. 159
African Salesbeastsp. 161
New Directions
Race and Culture: The Same and the Otherp. 169
Racep. 169
Culturep. 172
On Being Humanp. 175
From Imagination to Dialoguep. 179
Evolutionismp. 180
A Kind of Equalityp. 182
An African Dialoguep. 184
Learning Morep. 189
Notesp. 195
Works Citedp. 215
Indexp. 229
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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