BOOK REVIEWS Speaking with Vampires: Rumor and History in Colonial Africa. By Luise White. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. Pp. xvi + 352, bibliographic references, index.) Cati Coe Institute of Community Research The subject of this book is a corpus of stories from Central and East Africa about Europeans who sucked African blood and about the Africans who worked for them: firemen, policemen, mine foremen, and game wardens. Vampire stories show how Africans imagined the colonial world in all its contradictions. In seven chapters, Luise White reads both oral and written sources to understand colonial medicine and skilled labor in East and Central Africa after World War I, women's land ownership in Nairobi in the 1920s and 1930s, control of disease in northern Rhodesia in the 1930s, local politics in Kampala in the 1950s, and migrant laborers' conception of wages in the mines of northern Rhodesia and the Belgian Congo from the 1930s to the 1950s. Most of the chapters were published as journal articles in the past decade, and they are reprinted here with very few changes, although there is some updating of references. White argues that vampire stories were fluid enough to describe many situations:
Journal of American Folklore – American Folklore Society
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