Curtis A. Keim
- Title: Mistaking Africa: Curiosities and Inventions of the American Mind
- Author: Curtis A. Keim
- ISBN: 9780813343860
- Page: 118
- Format: Paperback
For many Americans the mention of Africa immediately conjures up images of safaris, ferocious animals, strangely dressed tribesmen, and impenetrable jungles Although the occasional newspaper headline alerts us to genocide, AIDS, malaria, or civil war in Africa, most of us know very little about the continent However we still carry strong mental images of Africa, which aFor many Americans the mention of Africa immediately conjures up images of safaris, ferocious animals, strangely dressed tribesmen, and impenetrable jungles Although the occasional newspaper headline alerts us to genocide, AIDS, malaria, or civil war in Africa, most of us know very little about the continent However we still carry strong mental images of Africa, which are reflected in American advertising, movies, amusement parks, cartoons, and many other corners of our society.Few think to question these perceptions or how they came to be so deeply lodged in the collective American consciousness Curtis Keim s Mistaking Africa looks at the historical evolution of this mindset and examines the role that popular media play in the creation of our mental images of Africa Keim addresses the most prevalent myths and preconceptions and demonstrates how these prevent a true understanding of the enormously diverse peoples and cultures of Africa Updated throughout, the second edition includes an entirely revised chapter on Africa in images, which analyzes portrayals of Africa in popular media, including print advertising by corporations such as Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, IBM, Vogue magazine, Honda, and Snapple New to the second edition as well is an appendix on learning about Africa.ContentsPart One Introduction1 Changing Our Mind about Africa2 How We LearnPart Two Evolutionism3 The Origins of Darkest Africa 4 Our Living Ancestors Twentieth Century Evolutionism5 Real Africa, Wise Africa6 We Should Help ThemPart Three Further Misperceptions7 Cannibalism No Accounting for Taste8 Africans Live in Tribes, Don t They 9 Safari Beyond Our Wildest Dreams10 Africa in ImagesPart Four New Directions11 Race and Culture The Same and the Other12 From Imagination to DialogueAppendix Learning More
Recent Comments "Mistaking Africa: Curiosities and Inventions of the American Mind"
If you want to feel bad about yourself every time you think of anything relating to the African continent, do yourself a favor and read this book. The author makes several good points, namely that different cultures tend to evolve in parallel as an adaptation to their respective contexts, but meticulously points out flaws in Western stereotypes and casts a lot of blame. He basically calls out any reference to the rural or wild parts of Africa, arguing that advertisements and popular culture shou [...]
Wow, seeing the negative reviews of this book rooted in how bad it makes the reader feel is truly disappointing. If you read to learn and improve the way you see the world, this book is for you. It is clear, concise, well-written and comprehensive, and the lessons you learn, while upsetting and haunting, are important ones for anyone who wishes to transcend the limitations imposed by the western view of Africa. If you want to feel nice and cozy, read something else. If you have any real intellec [...]
Read this for Africana Studies class. Shared a lot of interesting information about America's inaccurate perception of Africa and it's people, and was very readable. If you are interested in Africa or the breaking down of societal stereotypes, then i would recommend this.
I think this book is an important read for deconstructing perceptions and stereotypes of Africa that are commonplace in the United States. The language and writing style are accessible, so it's a nice intro for people who aren't necessarily academics. I was a little bothered by the lack of citations, particularly in reference to scientific studies and assumptions. It strikes me as unprofessional. I think the more important purpose of this book is to make people think more deeply about their assu [...]
I had to force myself to finish even just part I. I found this book condescending to the point of offense. The text's sexism did not help (see page 9 for the disparaging comments about "easy women," vs "desirable" pure women). He does to American cultures what he chastizes "us" for doing to African cultures: he stereotypes and flattens. There is no room for nuance and no cultural crossings here. Yet Disney's version of America is much like Disney's version of Africa; the reprehensible mispercept [...]
While it may be overly sensitive, this book is a well-written introduction to the American perception of Africa and a good first read for Americans who want to know more about Africa. By examining the most popular American misunderstandings of "The Dark Continent," (including that colorful phrase) Keim helps readers understand their own worldview and biases.
Had to read this book for a sociology/anthropology class. I found it to be pretty interesting and easy to read.
Want to feel bad about yourself? Read this one.
I read this book as a teaching assistant for a modern African history course. Keim makes many interesting arguments in his thematic chapters. However, I found the book to be too general.
Great for stripping away the misconceptions of Africa.
Not a bad read, though there were some factual inaccuracies, particularly on scientific history, that I found alarming at times. In general, a good starting point for evaluations of Africa.
Well, since I'm doing so much reading for school, it might as well count towards my 2013 reading challenge, LOL!
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