Re-inventing the Heart of Darkness for the Twenty-First Century: African Studies and the War on Terror Since 9/11

  • Matthew Unangst


At the beginning of November 2007, a group of scholars studying the Middle East and Africa announced the creation of a new scholarly organization, the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA). ASMEA is the starkest example, but its creation signaled a larger shift, or split, in the study of Africa in the United States after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Although existing scholarly organizations continued to study the same topics and employ the same methodologies as they had before 9/11, increased US government funding for African studies and the creation of new organizations have pushed the field toward a focus on security and military issues, much to the deficit of the issues that the leading figures in African studies had deemed worthwhile in the preceding years.


  1. Abrahamsen, Rita. 2005. Blair’s Africa: The Politics of Securitization and Fear. Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 30 (1): 55–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adebanwi, Wale. 2011. The Radical Press and Security Agencies in Nigeria: Beyond Hegemonic Polarities. African Studies Review 54 (3): 45–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Adem, Seifudein. 2012. China in Ethiopia: Diplomacy and Economics of Sino-Optimism. African Studies Review 55 (1): 143–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. African Studies Association. 2010. African Studies Review 53 (2): 1–48.Google Scholar
  5. African Studies Association. 2012. African Studies Review 55 (2): 29–146.Google Scholar
  6. African Studies Association. 2013a. African Studies Review 56 (1): 21–170.Google Scholar
  7. African Studies Association. 2013b. African Studies Review 56 (2): 21–161.Google Scholar
  8. Ammons, Lila. 1996. Consequences of War on African Countries’ Social and Economic Development. African Studies Review 39 (1): 67–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Anyadike, Obinna. 2015. Cash Offensive: US Aid Organisation Kits Out Army Units to Battle Boko Haram. The Guardian, November 10. Accessed 23 Feb 2017.
  10. ASMEA. 2008. ASMEA 2008 Conference Paper Summaries. Accessed 15 Sept 2015.
  11. ASMEA. 2009a. An American Approach to Africa: The Need for a Comprehensive Policy. October 23. Accessed 8 Oct 2015.
  12. ASMEA. 2009b. Kenya’s 2007 Election Violence: Civil Society and the Way Forward. October 23. Accessed 8 Oct 2015.
  13. ASMEA. 2014. Roundtable A: ‘Boko Haram: Islamism and Anarchy to What End? October 31. Accessed 8 Oct 2015.
  14. ASMEA. 2017a. A Statement on Academic Boycotts. Accessed 21 Mar 2017.
  15. ASMEA. 2017b. J. Peter Pham, Vice President. Accessed 21 Mar 2017.
  16. Atlantic Council. 2017a. J. Peter Pham. Accessed 21 Mar 2017.
  17. Atlantic Council. 2017b. History. Accessed 21 Mar 2017.
  18. Atlantic Council. 2017c. About the Africa Center. Accessed 21 Mar 2017.
  19. Autessere, Séverine. 2006. Local Violence, National Peace? Postwar ‘Settlement’ in the Eastern D.R. Congo (2003–2006). African Studies Review 49 (3): 1–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Awe, Bolanle. 1999. Conflict and Divergence: Government and Society in Nigeria. African Studies Review 42 (3): 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Baines, Erin. 2010. Uganda: In-Between War and Peace. African Studies Review 53 (1): 143–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Barnes, Sandra. 2005. Global Flows: Terror, Oil, and Strategic Philanthropy. African Studies Review 48 (1): 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Berman, Bruce. 2006. The Ordeal of Modernity in an Age of Terror. African Studies Review 49 (1): 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Bird, S. Elizabeth, and Fraser Ottanelli. 2011. The History and Legacy of the Asaba, Nigeria, Massacres. African Studies Review 54 (3): 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Boone, Catherine. 2012. Land Conflict and Distributive Politics in Kenya. African Studies Review 55 (1): 75–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Brinkman, Inge. 2004. Language, Names, and War: The Case of Angola. African Studies Review 47 (3): 143–163. December.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Burgess, Stephen. 1998. African Security in the Twenty-First Century: The Challenges of Indigenization and Multilateralism. African Studies Review 41 (2): 37–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Bush, George W. 2000. Interview by Jim Lehrer. Newshour. PBS, February 16. Accessed 7 October 2015.
  29. Charlick, Robert. 2004. Niger. African Studies Review 47 (2): 97–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Chau, Donovan. 2010a. Understanding the History, Politics, and Security of Africa: We Need Serious, Sustained, Systematic and Scholarly Study. Security Debrief, November 15. Accessed 1 Oct 2015.
  31. Chau, Donovan. 2010b. At the Crossroads of Cultures? A Historic and Strategic Examination of Kenya-Somalia Relations. The Journal of the Middle East and Africa 1 (1): 67–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Cole, Juan. 2003. Why Are Arch Conservatives Ganging Up on the Middle East Studies Association? History News Network, January 20. Accessed 4 Feb 2017.
  33. Collins, Robert. 1999. Africans, Arabs, and Islamists: From the Conference Tables to the Battlefields in the Sudan. African Studies Review 42 (2): 105–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Copson, Raymond. 1997. Review Essay. African Studies Review 40 (2): 209–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Darboe, Momodou. 2004. Gambia. African Studies Review 47 (2): 73–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. De Witte, Ludo. 2001. The Assassination of Lumumba, trans. Ann Wright and Renée Fenby. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  37. Durotoye, Yomi, and Robert Griffiths. 1997. Civilianizing Military Rule: Conditions and Processes of Political Transmutation in Ghana and Nigeria. African Studies Review 40 (3): 133–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ellis, Stephen. 2004. The Pan-Sahel Initiative. African Affairs 103 (412): 459–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Flaherty, Colleen. 2014. Between the Lines. Inside Higher Ed, June 11. Accessed 13 Feb 2017.
  40. Fox News. 2013. Dr. J. Peter Pham: Mandela Was a ‘Visionary Leader’. Fox News, December 6. Accessed 22 Sept 2015.
  41. Gershoni, Yekutiel. 1997. War Without End and an End to a War: The Prolonged Wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone. African Studies Review 40 (3): 55–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Giroux, Henry. 2009. Militarized Knowledge and Academic Soldiers: Arming the University. In The Impact of 9/11 on Psychology and Education, ed. Matthew Morgan, 203–221. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Giroux, Henry (ed.). 2014. Neoliberalism’s War on Higher Education. Toronto: Between the Lines.Google Scholar
  44. Gorman, Robert. 1996. Beyond the Hobbesian Nightmare: The Prospects for Peace, Development and Ecological Revival in the War Torn Horn of Africa. African Studies Review 39 (1): 177–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Herder’sche Verlagshandlung. 1888. Nachrichten aus den Missionen. Aequatorial-Afrika. Apostolisches Vikariat Tanganjika. Die katholischen Missionen, October: 218–221.Google Scholar
  46. House International Relations. 2002. Testimony of His Excellency Donald R. Norland (Ret.), Former US Ambassador to the Republic of Chad. Subcommittee on Africa. Hearing on the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline: A New Model for Natural Resources Development, April 18.Google Scholar
  47. International Studies Association. 2017. History. Accessed 12 Feb 2017.
  48. James Madison University. 2017. Pham Shares Expertise on Somali Pirates. Accessed 21 Mar 2017.
  49. Jaschik, Scott. 1997. A Different View of the Middle East. Inside Higher Ed. Accessed 15 Sept 2015.
  50. Jok, Jok Madut, and Sharon Elaine Hutchinson. 1999. Sudan’s Prolonged Second Civil War and the Militarization of Nuer and Dinka Ethnic Identities. African Studies Review 42 (2): 125–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Kanyinga, Karuti, and James Long. 2012. The Political Economy of Reforms in Kenya: The Post-2007 Election Violence and a New Constitution. African Studies Review 55 (1): 31–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Keenan, Jeremy. 2008. US Militarization in Africa: What Anthropologists Should Know about AFRICOM. Anthropology Today 24 (5): 16–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. King, Charles. 2015. The Decline of International Studies: Why Flying Blind Is Dangerous. Foreign Affairs, July/August. Accessed 4 Feb 2017.
  54. Lance, Jim. 2014. Review Essay: Waging War and Peace in Africa. African Studies Review 57 (2): 183–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Last, Murray. 2013. Contradictions in Creating a Jihadi Capital: Sokoto in the Nineteenth Century and Its Legacy. African Studies Review 56 (2): 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Latham, Michael. 2000. Modernization as Ideology: American Social Science and ‘Nation Building’ in the Kennedy Era. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  57. Lemarchand, René. 1998. Genocide in the Great Lakes: Which Genocide? Whose Genocide? African Studies Review 41 (1): 3–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Lemarchand, René. 2005. Bearing Witness to Mass Murder. African Studies Review 48 (3): 93–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Lewis, Bernard. 1982. The Question of Orientalism. New York Review of Books, June 24. Accessed 5 Feb 2017.
  60. Lewis, Bernard. 1990. The Roots of Muslim Rage. The Atlantic Monthly, September. Accessed 14 Feb 2017.
  61. Lewis, David Levering. 1987. The Race for Fashoda. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.Google Scholar
  62. Li, Anshan. 2005. African Studies in China in the Twentieth Century: A Historiographical Survey. African Studies Review 48 (1): 59–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Lockman, Zachary. 2010. Contending Visions of the Middle East: The History and Politics of Orientalism, 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  64. Lockman, Zachary. 2016. Field Notes: The Making of Middle East Studies in the United States. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  65. Lyman, Princeton, and J. Stephen Morrison. 2004. The Terrorist Threat in Africa. Foreign Affairs 83 (1): 75–86. January/February.Google Scholar
  66. Mahmud, Sakah Saidu. 2004. Nigeria. African Studies Review 47 (2): 83–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Mama, Amina. 1998. Khaki in the Family: Gender Discourses and Militarism in Nigeria. African Studies Review 41 (2): 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Marshall-Fratani, Ruth. 2006. The War of ‘Who Is Who’: Autochthony, Nationalism, and Citizenship in the Ivoirian Crisis. African Studies Review 49 (2): 9–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Martin, Guy. 2002. Readings of the Rwandan Genocide. African Studies Review 45 (3): 17–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Martin, Guy. 2005. Conflict in the Congo: Historical and Regional Perspectives. African Studies Review 48 (1): 127–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Martin, Guy. 2009. Review Essay: Understanding African Conflicts: Theoretical, Historical, and Contemporary Perspectives. African Studies Review 52 (3): 149–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Martin, William. 2011. The Rise of African Studies (USA) and the Transnational Study of Africa. African Studies Review 18 (1): 59–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. McFate, Sean. 2008. U.S. Africa Command: A New Strategic Paradigm? Military Review 88 (1): 10–21.Google Scholar
  74. McCaughey, Robert. 1984. International Studies and Academic Enterprise: A Chapter in the Enclosure of American Learning. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  75. Miles, William. 2012. Deploying Development to Counter Terrorism: Post 9/11 Transformation of U.S. Foreign Aid to Africa. African Studies Review 55 (3): 27–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Mills, Greg. 2011. Addressing Why Africa Is Poor—And Avoiding Vomit on the Shoes. The Journal of the Middle East and Africa 2 (1): 109–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Minter, William. 1994. Apartheid’s Contras: An Inquiry into the Roots of War in Angola and Mozambique. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press.Google Scholar
  78. Minter, William. 2007. Review Essay. African Studies Review 50 (3): 147–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Mundy, Jacob. 2013. Wanton and Senseless’ Revisited: The Study of Warfare in Civil Conflicts and the Historiography of the Algerian Massacres. African Studies Review 56 (3): 25–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Murphy, William. 2003. Military Patrimonialism and Child Soldier Clientalism in the Liberian and Sierra Leonean Civil Wars. African Studies Review 46 (2): 61–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Ndikumana, Léonce. 1998. Institutional Failure and Ethnic Conflicts in Burundi. African Studies Review 41 (1): 29–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Nelson, Cary. 2004. The National Security State. Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies 4 (3): 357–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Nelson, Cary, and Stephen Watt. 1999. Academic Keywords: A Devil’s Dictionary for Higher Education. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  84. Newbury, Catharine. 2002. States at War: Confronting Conflict in Africa. African Studies Review 45 (1): 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Newbury, David. 1998. Understanding Genocide. African Studies Review 41 (1): 73–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Nyamnjoh, Francis, and Nantang Jua. 2002. African Universities in Crisis and the Promotion of a Democratic Culture: The Political Economy of Violence in African Educational Systems. African Studies Review 45 (2): 1–26. September.Google Scholar
  87. PBS. 2014. Boko Haram Militants Suspected in Murderous Attack on Nigerian School. Newshour, February 25. Accessed 22 Sept 2015.
  88. Pham, J. Peter. 1999. A Noble Spirit. Modern Age, Summer: 280–282.Google Scholar
  89. Pham, J. Peter. 2011. Prepared Statement to United States Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on African Affairs on “Responding to Drought and Famine in the Horn of Africa,” August 3. Accessed 22 Sept 2015.
  90. Pham, J. Peter. 2013. “The Uncanny Parallels between Afghanistan and Africa.” New York Times, January 16. Accessed 22 Sept 2015.
  91. Pham, J. Peter. 2014. The Development of the United States Africa Command and Its Role in America’s Africa Policy Under George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The Journal of the Middle East and Africa 5 (3): 245–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Pham, J. Peter. 2015. March for Paris, but Don’t Overlook Boko Haram Horror. CNN Opinion, January 13. Accessed 23 Sept 2015.
  93. President of the United States. 2002. National Security Strategy.Google Scholar
  94. President of the United States. 2006. National Security Strategy.Google Scholar
  95. President of the United States. 2007. President Bush Creates a Department of Defense Unified Combatant Command for Africa. Accessed 5 Oct 2015.
  96. Prunier, Gérard. 2009. Racial Stereotypes and Official Diplomacy in the Sudanese Peace Processes. Lecture at the annual meeting for the Association of Scholars of the Middle East and Africa, Washington, DC, October 23. Accessed 21 Sept 2015.
  97. Prunier, Gérard. 2012. In Sudan, Give War a Chance. New York Times, May 4. Accessed 22 Sept 2015.
  98. Rashid, Khadijat. 2003. Review Essay: Ethnic Politics and Ethnic Conflict. African Studies Review 46 (2): 92–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Richards, Paul. 2006. Review Essay: Rebels and Intellectuals in Sierra Leone’s Civil War. African Studies Review 49 (1): 119–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Said, Edward, and Oleg Grabar. 1982. “Orientalism: An Exchange.” New York Review of Books, reply by Bernard Lewis, August 12. Accessed 5 Feb 2017.
  101. Salamone, Frank. 1996. The Waziri and the Thief: Hausa Islamic Law in a Yoruba City: A Case Study from Ibadan, Nigeria. African Studies Review 39 (2): 125–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Schmidle, Nicholas. 2009. The Saharan Conundrum. New York Times Magazine, February 13. Accessed 6 Oct 2015.
  103. Shafer, Jessica, and Richard Black. 2003. Conflict, Peace, and the History of Natural Resource Management in Sussundenga District, Mozambique. African Studies Review 46 (3): 55–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Sharkey, Heather. 2001. Review Essay: Islam and Power in the Twentieth Century. African Studies Review 44 (3): 73–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  105. Strauss, Scott. 2000. Review Essay: Genocide in Rwanda. African Studies Review 43 (2): 126–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  106. Taguem Fah, Gilbert. 2010. Dealing with Africom: The Political Economy of Anger and Protest. Journal of Pan African Studies 3 (6): 81–93.Google Scholar
  107. Truesdell, Amy. 2009. Achieving Political Objectives: South African Defense Priorities from the Apartheid to the Postapartheid Era. African Studies Review 52 (3): 107–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  108. United States Congress. 1965. Higher Education Act of 1965. Pub.L. 89-329. Stat. 79-1219. November 8.Google Scholar
  109. United States Congress. 2011. Boko Haram—Emerging Threat to the United States. Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence of the Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives, November 30. Serial No. 112-60.Google Scholar
  110. Verweijen, Judith. 2015. From Autochthony to Violence? Discursive and Coercive Social Practices of the Mai-Mai in Fizi, Eastern DR Congo. African Studies Review 58 (2): 157–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  111. Villalón, Leonardo. 2004. Senegal. African Studies Review 47 (2): 61–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  112. White House Office of the Press Secretary. 2014a. Fact Sheet: Security Governance Initiative. August 6. Accessed 7 Oct 2015.
  113. White House Office of the Press Secretary. 2014b. Fact Sheet: Partnering to Counter Terrorism in Africa. August 6. Accessed 7 Oct 2015.
  114. Whitsitt, Novian. 2003. Islamic-Hausa Feminism Meets Northern Nigerian Romance: The Cautious Rebellion of Bikisu Funtuwa. African Studies Review 46 (1): 137–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  115. Wiley, David. 2012. Militarizing Africa and African Studies and the U.S. Africanist Response. African Studies Review 55 (2): 147–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Unangst
    • 1
  1. 1.Jacksonville UniversityJacksonvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations