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In this study, inquiry will be directed to the past, and it will, for many reasons, have to reach into a past which is rather remote from present-day Shaba Swahili. The author's principal concern remains with a contemporary situation, namely the role of Swahili in the context of work, industrial, artisanal, and artistic. When it was first formulated, the aim of my project was to describe what might be called the workers' culture of Shaba, through analyses of communicative (sociolinguistic) and cognitive (ethnosemantic) aspects of language use.
Johannes Fabian is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam and author of Time and the Other and Power and Performance.
"Any student of what has been called Africanist discourse, or of imperialism will find Language and Colonial Power and invaluable and path-breaking work."--Edward Said, from the Foreword "This elegant volume represents a breakthrough in the social history of languages. Fabian provides us with an exemplary study of the micro dynamics of power showing how the colonial state, missionaries and mining companies remade African culture."--David Latin, University of Chicago "The subject is language policy, but Fabian packs his text full of insights applicable to social structure in general. Readers will relish its intellectual excitement."--Carol Myers Scotton, American Anthropologist