The latest issue of the Journal of the British Academy challenges one-dimensional narratives of African childhoods
1 Jun 2022
Today the British Academy publishes a special issue of the open-access Journal of the British Academy featuring research into everyday African childhoods. The articles in this issue, Searching for the Everyday in African Childhoods, explore topics ranging from the everyday experiences of those living with extended family in Namibia to children’s everyday work in rural Muslim Yorùbá communities and the peacemaking role played by children in Ghana.
Articles in this issue include:
- “Ordinary Childhoods and Everyday Islamic Practices of Protection and Care in Zanzibar” by Franziska Fay, Johannes Gutenberg, University Mainz
- “Memory, Innocence and Nostalgia: Other versions of African Childhood in Two African Texts” by Theresah Patrine Ennin, University of Cape Coast and University of South Africa
- “Children’s Everyday Work in Rural Muslim Yorùbá Communities in Northcentral Nigeria” by Bukola Oyinloye, The Open University
- “Children as Peacemakers in Transforming Everyday Conflicts in Ghana” by Ruby Quantson Davis, Senior Learning and Impact Advisor, Peace Direct
This edition of the Journal of the British Academy was co-edited by Dr Afua Twum-Danso Imoh, Senior Lecturer in Global Childhoods and Welfare at the University of Bristol; Dr Peace Mamle Tetteh, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Ghana and Dr Georgina Yaa Oduro, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
Dr Afua Twum-Danso Imoh, Senior Lecturer in Global Childhoods and Welfare at the University of Bristol, said:
“Much of the literature on children’s lives in sub–Saharan Africa focuses on the lacks and deprivations experienced by children often living at the very margins of their societies on the continent. While there is validity in these studies given the fact that sub–Saharan Africa remains the poorest continent in the world, such a one-dimensional focus overlooks the mundane and everyday existence of many children, including many of those whose lives, despite the poverty underpinning their existence, still reflect multiple dimensions.
“This disproportionate focus of studies on African childhoods has contributed to the limited and partial nature of the knowledge transmitted about African childhoods. It is this desire to counter such one-dimensional narratives about African childhoods that was behind the production of this special issue. Instead, we hope that by foregrounding the mundane and everyday existence of a range of children’s lives on the continent, this will facilitate the process of moving beyond a one-dimensional understanding of childhoods and children’s lives in the region.”