Speaking with Vampires: Rumor and History in Colonial Africa (Google eBook)

Front Cover
University of California Press, Jan 1, 2000 - 368 pages
2 Reviews
During the colonial period, Africans told each other terrifying rumors that Africans who worked for white colonists captured unwary residents and took their blood. In colonial Tanganyika, for example, Africans were said to be captured by these agents of colonialism and hung upside down, their throats cut so their blood drained into huge buckets. In Kampala, the police were said to abduct Africans and keep them in pits, where their blood was sucked. Luise White presents and interprets vampire stories from East and Central Africa as a way of understanding the world as the storytellers did. Using gossip and rumor as historical sources in their own right, she assesses the place of such evidence, oral and written, in historical reconstruction. White conducted more than 130 interviews for this book and did research in Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia. In addition to presenting powerful, vivid stories that Africans told to describe colonial power, the book presents an original epistemological inquiry into the nature of historical truth and memory, and into their relationship to the writing of history.
  

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User Review - Flag as inappropriate

the same rumour about villagers saying the police and firemen are kidnapping people and have a hole under the police station where they keep the abductees and drain their blood. This story is repeated over and over with no further details along with 300 pages of worthless filler. For example there is a massive chapter on different definitions of the word mumiani from different dictionaries and the rest of the book is just as shallow and uninformative 

Review: Speaking with Vampires: Rumor and History in Colonial Africa

User Review  - Sumayyah - Goodreads

While this book contains a number of accounts and stories, it feels too much like the author's entire purpose was to disprove the vampire happenings and relate everything to slights and effects of colonialism. Requires a deeper reading to see if my feelings are correct or misplaced. Read full review

Contents

Blood and Words Writing History with and about Vampire Stories
3
Historicizing Rumor and Gossip
56
PART TWO
87
Bandages on Your Mouth The Experience of Colonial Medicine in East and Central Africa
89
Why Is Petrol Red? The Experience of Skilled and Semi Skilled Lahor in East and Central Africa
122
PART THREE
149
A Special Danger Gender Property and Blood in Nairobi 19191939
151
Roast Mutton Captivity Labor Trade and Catholic Missions in Colonial Northern Rhodesia
175
Blood Bugs and Archives Debates over SleepingSickness Control in Colonial Northern Rhodesia I93II939
208
Citizenship and Censorship Politics Newspapers and a Stupefier of Several Women in Kampala in the 1950s
242
Class Struggle and Cannibalism Storytelling and History Writing on the Copperbelts of Colonial Northern Rhodesia and the Belgian Congo
269
Conclusions
307
Bibliography
313
Credits
345
Index
347

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About the author (2000)

Luise White is Associate Professor of History at the University of Florida. Her previous book, "The Comforts of Home: Prostitution in Colonial Nairobi" (1990), won the Herskovits Prize of the African Studies Association.

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