While doing fieldwork in a village in east Madagascar that had suffered both heavy settler colonialism and a bloody anticolonial rebellion, Jennifer Cole found herself confronted by a puzzle. People in the area had lived through almost a century of intrusive French colonial rule, but they appeared to have forgotten the colonial period in their daily lives. Then, during democratic elections in 1992–93, the terrifying memories came flooding back. Cole asks, How do once-colonized peoples remember the colonial period? Drawing on a fine-grained ethnography of the social practices of remembering and forgetting in one community, she develops a practice-based approach to social memory.
List of Illustrations and Maps
Note on the Text
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Colonial Interventions into Betsimisaraka Life
Chapter 3. Local Worlds: Daily Village Life
Chapter 4. Between Memory and History: Betsimisaraka Imagine the Past
Chapter 5. The Power in the Past and the Colonial in the Ancestral
Chapter 6. Memory: Official and Unofficial
Chapter 7. Reversing Figure and Ground: The Memory of the 1947 Rebellion and the Elections of 1992-93
Chapter 8. Constructing a Betsimisaraka Memoryscape
Epilogue: Looking Back: Memoryscapes in Time
Jennifer Cole is a cultural anthropologist and member of the Committee on Human Development at the University of Chicago.
"The best book-length study of colonial memory available... Cole provides a way out of the dichotomy in which memory is viewed as either individual or 'collective.'"—Rosalind Shaw, coeditor of Syncretism/Anti-Syncretism: The Politics of Religious Synthesis
"A remarkably lucid and self-assured analysis of social memory. . . The book is a pleasure to read."—Michael Lambek, author of Knowledge and Practice in Mayotte
Shortlist for the Herskovitz Prize in African Studies, African Studies Association