Monday, September 5, 2016

The Postcolonial Condition of Names and Naming Practices in Southern Africa

Editor(s):Oliver Nyambi, Tendai Mangena, Charles Pfukwa
Contributors: Herbert Mushangwe, Zvinashe Mamvura, Kelvin Mambwe, Sambulo Ndlovu, Tendai Mangena, Nhlanhla Landa, Oliver Nyambi

Subject: Cultural Studies

Book Description

The Postcolonial Condition of Names and Naming Practices in Southern Africa represents a milestone in southern African onomastic studies. The contributors here are all members of, and speakers of, the cultures and languages they write about, and, together, they speak with an authentic African voice on naming issues in the southern part of the African continent. The volume’s overarching thesis is that names are important yet often underestimated socio-politico-cultural sites on which some of the most significant events and processes in the post-colony can be read. The onomastic topics covered in the book range from the names of traditional healers and male aphrodisiacs to urban landscapes and street naming, from the interface between Chinese and African naming practices to the names of bands of musicians and mini-bus taxis. There is a strong section on literary onomastics which explores how names have been variously deployed by southern African fiction writers for certain semantic, aesthetic and ideological effects. The cultures and languages covered in this volume are equally wide-ranging, and, while some authors focus on single languages and cultures (for example Thembu, Xhosa, Shona), others look at inter-cultural influences such as the influence of the Portuguese and Chinese languages on Shona naming.

Written by Professor Adrian Koopman
Emeritus Professor, University of KwaZulu-Natal


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-9691-7
ISBN-10: 1-4438-9691-8
Date of Publication: 01/09/2016

Pages / Size: 410 / A5
Price: £68.99


Dr Oliver Nyambi lectures in the Department of English at the University of the Free State’s QwaQwa Campus in South Africa.

Dr Tendai Mangena is currently an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow in Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies at Bremen University in Germany.

Professor Charles Pfukwa is the Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities at Bindura University of Science Education in Zimbabwe, and a Research Fellow in the Department of Linguistics at the University of South Africa.

Product reviews for The Postcolonial Condition of Names and Naming Practices in Southern Africa

"From age-old traditions to contemporary innovations, this extremely well-researched reference offers a fascinating look into the dazzling diversity of southern African naming. The unusual scope of this impressive scholarly collaboration makes it an outstanding reference not only for onomastic experts, but also for readers interested in anthropology, economy, sociology, history, geography, literature, and politics."

Dr Iman Laversuch Nick

Sociolinguist at the University of Cologne, Germany; President of the American Name Society and the Germanic Society for Forensic Linguistics

"The importance of this volume lies in its focus on the study of names and naming in the southern hemisphere of the African continent in a postcolonial context. The originality and complexity of this book is provided by the exploration of the phenomenon from within, by specialists who have experienced postcolonial onomastic reality, which is not only reflected in anthroponyms and toponyms, but also in literary onomastics and brand names."

Oliviu Felecan
Associate Professor (Reader) at the North University Centre of Baia Mare, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania; co-editor of Onomastics in Contemporary Public Space and Unconventional Anthroponyms: Formation Patterns and Discursive Function