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Namibia's red line : the history of a veterinary and settlement border /
Giorgio Miescher.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
New York, NY : Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
description
xii, 327 p. : maps ; 25 cm.
ISBN
9780230337480
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York, NY : Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
isbn
9780230337480
general note
"This book is adapted from the German manuscript 'Die Rote Linie. Eine Geschichte der Veterinär- und Siedlungsgrenze in Namibia (1890er-1960er Jahre),' completed in 2009 and published in 2012 by the Basler Afrika Bibliographien in Switzerland."
catalogue key
8643965
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 307-319) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Giorgio Miescher is a historian of Namibia and Southern Africa and has published an various aspects in the field. He is currently a Marie Curie Fellow of the University of Basel, Switzerland and the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2013-01-01:
Contributing to the growing field of African borderland studies, Miescher (Univ. of Basel, Switzerland) reevaluates Namibian history through the lens of an internal border previously regarded as peripheral. Using archival documents, maps, and oral interviews, the author traces the evolution of a boundary that separated African and European populations from the early years of German colonialism through several decades of South African rule. Established in 1896-97, the original boundary was intended to thwart the spread of animal disease from African-inhabited areas in the north to the settler colony in the territory's center and south. In 1907, following the mass slaughter of African civilians by the colonial army, the border was militarized and used to separate the Northern Native Territories from the settler-inhabited Police Zone. Under South African rule, a unified veterinary and police border was identified on colonial maps by a stark red line, which took on a physical form in the 1960s when a veterinary fence was built to divide the African north from the rest of the territory. A fascinating study of a neglected topic, this book provides valuable insights into the construction and implementation of colonialism in Namibia. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. E. S. Schmidt Loyola University Maryland
Reviews
Review Quotes
'A remarkable demonstration of how focusing on topic largely ignored in African historiography, a line drawn in the sand, can produce alternative perspectives on the socio-cultural history of Namibia. This finely nuanced study opens up important ways of re-examining old ways of writing history and generates important new insights into the dynamics of colonial control.' -- Robert Gordon, professor, University of Vermont and University of the Free State 'Seated in an exceptional knowledge of Namibia's historical record, this work has moved the history of an internal border towards the center of the history of colonialism and empire in southern Africa. Miescher makes a convincing case that the internal border, through its development towards a formally realized settlement and veterinary boundary, may be far more determinative of the terms of governmentality, and in turn of the fate of the nation, than the external borders that were the privileged cartographic marks of empire. We learn how the internal border was experienced, how it was lived, and the work raises critical questions regarding the continuing effects of the structures of spatial colonialism on the conditions of governance and economy in the post-colony.' -- David William Cohen, professor emeritus of Anthropology and History, The University of Michigan 'Real and imagined, the Red Line slices through Namibia's history. Miescher provides a compelling and vivid account of an historic journey along the line as it is constantly re-mapped and re-inscribed upon the landscape, defining Namibia's space and time for almost a century and still continues to cast its shadowlike presence.' -- Leslie Witz, History Department, University of the Western Cape 'Giorgio Miescher's innovative study uses the Red Line as a tangential and highly productive route into Namibian history. He concludes with a more personal quest for the Red Line, exploring how this border was experienced, and how it is remembered. It is a revealing study, welding social, environmental, and veterinary themes and showing again the value of unusual vantage points in the writing of history.' -- William Beinart, Rhodes Professor of Race Relations, University of Oxford
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 2013
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
Main Description
Based on archival sources and oral history, this book reconstructs a border-building process in Namibia that spanned more than sixty years. The process commenced with the establishment of a temporary veterinary defence line against rinderpest by the German colonial authorities in the late nineteenth century and ended with the construction of a continuous two-metre-high fence by the South African colonial government sixty years later. This 1250-kilometre fence divides northern from central Namibia even today. The book combines a macro and a micro-perspective and differentiates between cartographic and physical reality. The analysis explores both the colonial state's agency with regard to veterinary and settlement policies and the strategies of Africans and Europeans living close to the border. The analysis also includes the varying perceptions of individuals and populations who lived further north and south of the border and describes their experiences crossing the border as migrant workers, African traders, European settlers and colonial officials. The Red Line's history is understood as a gradual process of segregating livestock and people, and of constructing dichotomies of modern and traditional, healthy and sick, European and African.
Main Description
Based on archival sources and oral history, this book reconstructs a border-building process in Namibia that spanned more than sixty years. The process commenced with the establishment of a temporary veterinary defence line against rinderpest by the German colonial authorities in the late nineteenth century and ended with the construction of a continuous two-metre-high fence by the South African colonial government sixty years later. This 1250-kilometre fence divides northern from central Namibia even today. The book combines a macro and a micro-perspective and differentiates between cartographic and physical reality. The analysis explores both the colonial state's agency with regard to veterinary and settlement policies and the strategies of Africans and Europeans living close to the border. The analysis also includes the varying perceptions of individuals and populations who lived further north and south of the border and describes their experiences crossing the border as migrantworkers, African traders, European settlers and colonial officials. The Red Line's history is understood as a gradual process of segregating livestock and people, and of constructing dichotomies of modern and traditional, healthy and sick, European and African.
Main Description
Namibia's Red Line opens a fascinating window into a nation's history by tracing the establishment of an internal border within it. Based on archival sources and oral histories, it recounts the process of border constitution in Namibia from the German military's construction of a temporary veterinary defense line against Rinderpest in the late nineteenth century to the erection of a two-meter-high fence by the South African colonial government sixty years later. The nearly 800-mile-long fence has divided northern and central Namibia up to today. Giorgio Miescher reveals the Red Line's history to be a gradual process aimed at segregating stock and people and constructing dichotomies between modern and traditional, healthy and sick, European and African. As a device of the South African empire, the border functioned conceptually and ideologically as a "barbarian border" drawn against the dangers of inner African, physically marking the limits of "white" South Africa. Book jacket.
Table of Contents
List of Mapsp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
The Rinderpest Cordon of 1896-1897p. 19
The Police Zone Boundary and "Restricted Areas," 1905-1915p. 43
The Invention of the Red Line, 1915-1928p. 69
The Red Line as a Veterinary and Setdement Border, 1928-1945p. 101
The Red Line-From Zone to Fence, 1945-1960sp. 137
In Search of the Red Linep. 177
Epiloguep. 199
Appendix: Brief Chronology of the Police Zone Border, Key Dates, and Proclamationsp. 203
Notesp. 207
Sources and Bibliographyp. 301
Indexp. 321
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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