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Tuareg Society within a Globalized World: Saharan Life in Transition

Tuareg Society within a Globalized World: Saharan Life in Transition

Edited by: Anja Fischer, Ines Kohl

  • Hardback | Not defined | £56.50

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The Tuareg (Kel Tamasheq) are an ancient nomadic people who have inhabited the Sahara, one of the most extreme environments in the world, for millennia. In what ways have the lives of the Tuareg changed, and what roles do they have, in a modern and increasingly globalized world? Here, leading scholars explore the many facets of contemporary Tuareg existence: from transnational identity to international politics, from economy to social structure, from music to beauty, from mobility to slavery.

This book provides a comprehensive portrait of Saharan life in transition, presenting an important new theoretical approach to the anthropology and history of the region. Dealing with issues of mobility, cosmopolitanism, and transnational movements, this is essential reading for students and scholars of the history, culture and society of the Tuareg, of nomadic peoples, and of North Africa more widely. This book is the first comprehensive study of the Tuareg today, exploring the ways in which the Tuareg themselves are moving global.

Table of Contents

1. Tuareg Moving Global: An Introduction – Ines Kohl and Anja Fischer

Part I: Where is Saharan Anthropology Going?
2. Research and Nomads in the Age of Globalization – Anja Fischer
3. Tuareg Networks: An Integrated Approach to Mobility and Stasis – Alessandra Giuffrida
4. Tuareg City Blues: Cultural Capital in a Global Cosmopole – Baz Lecocq

Part II: From Past to Present – Ongoing Discourses
5. Foreign Cloth and Kel Ewey Identity – Gerd Spittler
6. Genesis and Change in the Socio-political Structure of the Tuareg – Dida Badi
7. Tuareg Trajectories of Slavery: Preliminary Reflections on a Changing Field – Benedetta Rossi

Part III: Diversified Norms and Values
8. The Price of Marriage: Shifting Boundaries, Compromised Agency and the Effects of Globalization on Iklan Marriages – Annemarie Bouman
9. Debating Beauties: Contested and Changing Female Bodily Aesthetics of Fatness among the Tuareg – Susan Rasmussen
10. Libya, the ‘Europe of Ishumar’: Between Losing and Reinventing Tradition – Ines Kohl
11. The Ishumar Guitar: Emergence, Circulation and Evolution, from the Diasporic Performances to the World Scene – Nadia Belalimat
12. Between the Worlds: Tuareg as Entrepreneurs in Tourism – Marko Scholze

Part IV: Sahara – Global Playground
13. Ambiguous Meanings of Ikufar and their Role in Development Projects – Sarah Lunacek
14. Resisting Imperialism: Tuareg Threaten US, Chinese and Other Foreign Interests – Jeremy Keenan

Author Info

Anja Fischer was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Vienna, where she is a lecturer in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology. She has been conducting annual fieldwork among nomads in Algeria since 2002. Her research focuses on the economic and linguistic anthropology of nomads in the Sahara.

Ines Kohl is senior researcher at the Institute for Social Anthropology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Her main interests are concentrated on the anthropology of borderlands and questions of migration, transnationality and identity among the Tuareg (Kel Tamasheq) between Niger, Algeria and Libya.


[This] is a book that comes at the right time, when the need to rethink Tuareg culture – and other African cultures – in their wider (now ‘global’) context has become widely and deeply felt in African Studies. It embodies vast amounts of first-class fieldwork and deploys insightful conceptual frames in the exploration of the empirical evidence...I believe it will appeal not only to established academics, but also to students – and not only to those specialising in the study of the Tuareg.
– Dr P.F. de Moraes Farias, Honorary Senior Fellow, Centre of West African Studies, University of Birmingham

By focusing on the transitions of Tuareg societies whose “classical” delimitations by ethnographers and anthropologists become more and more doubtful...[this book] actually takes into account the contemporary reality of the Tuareg who live in the borderlands between Mali, Niger, Algeria and Libya. In this context they want to explore the consequences of the various aspects of globalisation, and, the various ways the Tuareg respond to and cope with growing influences from the outside.
–Dr Georg Klute, Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Bayreuth

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd

ISBN: 9781848853706
Publication Date: 30 Oct 2010
Number of Pages: 320
Height: 216
Width: 134
Illustrations: Illustrations, 1 map

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