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Swahili in Spaces of War: A Sociolinguistic Odyssey

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This monograph examines the roles and functions of Swahili in war/conflict situations, and the impact of wars on the destiny of the language. Covering a period of over a century, the monograph explores this sociolinguistic theme in the context of six wars/conflicts: the Maji Maji resistance against German rule, the two World Wars, the anti-colonial resistance to British colonialism, the wars of the Great Lakes region, the cold wars, and the ongoing war against terrorism. In geographical focus, some of the war situations explored here are "local," others are "transnational," and others still rather "global" in scope and ramifications. In the final analysis, the monograph provides important snapshots of the conflict-based history of the Swahili language, demonstrating once again that language is a malleable tool that can be appropriated and galvanized to serve the interests of either party in a conflict and sometimes as a means of creating hegemonic and anti-hegemonic meanings.

ISBN-13: 9783031273377

Media Type: Hardcover

Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan

Publication Date: 04-29-2023

Pages: 239

Product Dimensions: 8.27h x 5.83w x 0.56d

Series: Palgrave Studies in Languages at War

Alamin Mazrui is Professor at Rutgers University, USA. He has authored and edited several books and written numerous articles in sociolinguistics, education, literature, and culture. He has a special interest in human rights and civil liberties and has written policy reports on these subjects. He is also a published Swahili poet and playwright.

Kimani Njogu holds a Ph.D in linguistics from Yale University (1994). He is the Executive Director of Twaweza Communications, Nairobi, and serves in the Kiswahili Commission at the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN), an organ of the African Union. His research interests revolve around language, culture and society.