Postcolonial Identities in Africa

Richard Werbner & Terence O. Ranger



In this book, distinguished anthropologists, political scientists and social historians from Africa, Europe and America make a radical break with much conventional wisdom in postcolonial discourse to explore contemporary African identities in transition. They look at the colonial legacy and how colonial identities are being reconstructed in the face of deepening social inequality across the continent. They ask how the postcolonial imagination as a highly specific, locally created and historical force reconfigures personal knowledge and how that reconfiguration shapes the moral and religious realities around the uses and abuses of postcolonial power.


An excellent contribution to the growing body of literature on postcolonial Africa... should prove to have lasting influence, among all those with an interest in postcolonial encounters. - American Ethnologist


Richard Werbner is an American anthropologist who specializes in the Zimbabwe and Botswana region, including ritual, personal and historical narrative, politics, law, regional analysis. He has taught at the University of Manchester since 1961.

Terence O. Ranger was a prominent African historian, focusing on the history of Zimbabwe. His work spanned the pre- and post-Independence period in Zimbabwe, from the 1960s to the present. He died in 2015.