The Popular and the Public

Cultural Debates and Struggles over Public Space in Modern India, Africa and Europe

Edited by Preben Kaarsholm and Isabel Hofmeyer


6 x 9 inches, 286pp, 12 halftones August 2009

ISBN : 9781905422869 & 9781905422876

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The Popular and the Public brings together a range of international scholars to examine how popular culture has shaped the public sphere, providing an alternative space for political debate in 19th and 20th Century India, Africa and Europe. A diverse range of case studies include: competition between Christians, Muslims and Traditionalists within public culture in Nigeria; popular music and songs of war and peace in Uganda; Battala chap-books, popular painting and battles over urban space in Calcutta; Islamic festivals and moral debates around AIDS and crime in post-apartheid South Africa; Danish orientalism; nationalist journalism in Kenya; and notions of ‘miraculous literacy’ among Evangelical Christians in Africa.


Preben Kaarsholm is Associate Professor in International Development Studies, Roskilde University and editor of Cultural Struggles and Development in Southern Africa and City Flicks: Indian Cinema and the Urban Experience.


Isabel Hofmeyer is Professor of African Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand and is editor of The Portable Bunyan: a Transnational History of The Pilgrim’s Progress.


Culture Studies