Wednesday, July 6, 2016

New edited collection: "Marriage by Force? Contestation over Consent and Coercion in Africa"

New from Ohio University Press: Marriage by Force? Contestation over Consent and Coercion in Africa, edited by Annie Bunting (York University), Benjamin N. Lawrance (Rochester Institute of Technology), and Richard L. Roberts (Stanford University). A description from the Press:
With forced marriage, as with so many human rights issues, the sensationalized hides the mundane, and oversimplified popular discourses miss the range of experiences. In sub-Saharan Africa, the relationship between coercion and consent in marriage is a complex one that has changed over time and place, rendering impossible any single interpretation or explanation.

The legal experts, anthropologists, historians, and development workers contributing to Marriage by Force? focus on the role that marriage plays in the mobilization of labor, the accumulation of wealth, and domination versus dependency. They also address the crucial slippage between marriages and other forms of gendered violence, bondage, slavery, and servile status.

Only by examining variations in practices from a multitude of perspectives can we properly contextualize the problem and its consequences. And while early and forced marriages have been on the human rights agenda for decades, there is today an unprecedented level of international attention to the issue, thus making the coherent, multifaceted approach of Marriage by Force? even more necessary.
A few blurbs.
"This fascinating collection addresses the important problem of determining what forced marriage is through the perspective of historical studies of marriage from precolonial through postcolonial eras in Africa. The essays destabilize any idea that there is a simple dichotomy between forced and consensual marriage, and show that calling forms of coerced marriage customary or traditional ignores the extent to which tradition is constantly subject to change.” --  Sally Engle Merry

“This eloquent volume tackles age-old yet pressing problems of coercion, gender, and marriage in present-day Africa. The authors offer compelling case studies to demonstrate the deep-seated and complex values that underpin the subordination of women and girls and highlight the vulnerability of the female gender in the face of a growing movement—in Africa and abroad—to address the problem. This volume is a must-read for all those who teach, think, write, and formulate laws and public policy about gender and violence.” -- Makau Mutua
More information, including the TOC, is available here.