Birders of Africa

History of a Network


Available
    Edition: 1st edition
  • Format: Soft Cover
  • ISBN: 9781775822516
  • Extent: 340 pages
  • Published:
  • Category: Scholarly, Social Sciences

R399.00



In this adventurous narrative that explores how relationships between human and birds determined the course of African ornithological knowledge, Jacobs challenges accepted stereotypes and charts a new direction in African history’ – Jane Carruthers, University of South Africa

 

Like the African honeyguide, Nancy Jacobs has led us to great riches. She beautifully describes the fascination of humans for birds, and thereby greatly illuminates (post)-colonial relations between humans’. – Robert Ross, Leiden University.

In this unique and unprecedented study of birding in Africa, historian Nancy Jacobs reconstructs the collaborations between well-known ornithologists and the largely forgotten guides, hunters and taxidermists who worked with them. Drawing on ethnography, scientific publications, private archives and interviews, Jacobs asks: How did white ornithologists both depend on and operate distinctively from African birders? What investment did African birders have in collaborating with ornithologists? By distilling the interactions between European science and African vernacular knowledge, this work offers a fascinating examination of the colonial and postcolonial politics of expertise about nature. It is also a riveting history of the discovery of certain bird species.

INTRODUCTION

PART 1: VERNACULAR BIRDING AND ORNITHOLOGY IN AFRICA

CHAPTER 1: African vernacular birding traditions

CHAPTER 2: Early birding contact, 1500-1700

CHAPTER 3: Ornithology comes to southern Africa, 1700-1900

CHAPTER 4: Authority in vernacular traditions and ornithology 

PART II: LIVES OF BIRDERS

CHAPTER 5: The boundaries of birding

CHAPTER 6: The honour of collecting

CHAPTER 7: The respectability of museum work

CHAPTER 8: Birding revolutions

The general reader interested in the history of birding and birds; academics in the area of the History of Science, Southern African History and African Studies.

  1. Birders of Africa review by Andrew McKechnie

    Ornithology, like any branch of science, is an incremental process whereby new layers of information and understanding are gradually added to an edifice that may have been under construction for centuries. In Birders of Africa: History of a Network, social and environmental historian Nancy Jacobs traces the development of ornithology in Africa. Her book reviews the history of knowledge and the network of people involved, with a particular focus on the interactions between three broad categories of bird-related knowledge: vernacular, ornithological and recreational. The backdrop for the journey on which the reader is taken is the shifting social and political landscapes of the African continent over the past millennium. View further detail at: https://new.juta.co.za/press-room/review-birders-africa-andrew-mckechnie/

    Reviewed by Paula Whitaker on 29 Apr 2019, 1:59 p.m. | Permalink

    This review has no votes.

In this adventurous narrative that explores how relationships between human and birds determined the course of African ornithological knowledge, Jacobs challenges accepted stereotypes and charts a new direction in African history’ – Jane Carruthers, University of South Africa

 

Like the African honeyguide, Nancy Jacobs has led us to great riches. She beautifully describes the fascination of humans for birds, and thereby greatly illuminates (post)-colonial relations between humans’. – Robert Ross, Leiden University.

In this unique and unprecedented study of birding in Africa, historian Nancy Jacobs reconstructs the collaborations between well-known ornithologists and the largely forgotten guides, hunters and taxidermists who worked with them. Drawing on ethnography, scientific publications, private archives and interviews, Jacobs asks: How did white ornithologists both depend on and operate distinctively from African birders? What investment did African birders have in collaborating with ornithologists? By distilling the interactions between European science and African vernacular knowledge, this work offers a fascinating examination of the colonial and postcolonial politics of expertise about nature. It is also a riveting history of the discovery of certain bird species.

INTRODUCTION

PART 1: VERNACULAR BIRDING AND ORNITHOLOGY IN AFRICA

CHAPTER 1: African vernacular birding traditions

CHAPTER 2: Early birding contact, 1500-1700

CHAPTER 3: Ornithology comes to southern Africa, 1700-1900

CHAPTER 4: Authority in vernacular traditions and ornithology 

PART II: LIVES OF BIRDERS

CHAPTER 5: The boundaries of birding

CHAPTER 6: The honour of collecting

CHAPTER 7: The respectability of museum work

CHAPTER 8: Birding revolutions

The general reader interested in the history of birding and birds; academics in the area of the History of Science, Southern African History and African Studies.

  1. Birders of Africa review by Andrew McKechnie

    Ornithology, like any branch of science, is an incremental process whereby new layers of information and understanding are gradually added to an edifice that may have been under construction for centuries. In Birders of Africa: History of a Network, social and environmental historian Nancy Jacobs traces the development of ornithology in Africa. Her book reviews the history of knowledge and the network of people involved, with a particular focus on the interactions between three broad categories of bird-related knowledge: vernacular, ornithological and recreational. The backdrop for the journey on which the reader is taken is the shifting social and political landscapes of the African continent over the past millennium. View further detail at: https://new.juta.co.za/press-room/review-birders-africa-andrew-mckechnie/

    Reviewed by Paula Whitaker on 29 Apr 2019, 1:59 p.m. | Permalink

    This review has no votes.