Associate Professor

Mhoze Chikowero Announcement
California, United States
Subject Fields
African History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Music and Music History, Nationalism History / Studies, Popular Culture Studies

Call for book chapters


Guerrilla Music: Sonic Histories of African Self-Liberation


Scholarship on African self-liberation from European colonialism has grown and increasingly shifted focus from resistance wars against occupation to shedding more light on the movements that bore the nominal political independence that the continent has enjoyed over the last half-century. Increasing access to official archives and the cataloguing and digitalization of scattered collections around the world have helped this scholarship greatly. Yet the scholarship has not yielded much on the cultural dimension of these struggles. A limited number of studies exist on a few individual musicians or countries, but there are no continental surveys. As the composers of the songs that won the liberation wars (Alec Pongweni, 1982) pass on and the meaning of independence comes under the microscopic scrutiny, the need to commit the musical legacies of these struggles that redefined Africa becomes pressing. This edited volume--Guerrilla Music: Sonic Histories of African Self-Liberation--seeks contributions on the musical arts that inspired, mobilized, drove, and articulated the African struggles for independence across the continent throughout the 20th century. Chapters need to identify the guerrilla musicians, cultural troupes, choirs, or other individuals or entities that deployed music with the purpose or effect of aiding the African struggle for independence in any part of the continent. The anti-occupation resistance movements were often driven by song, as were the searing critique of colonial regimes, the rising tide of latter-day nationalism and the armed struggles. And, indeed, communities, popular recording artists and guerrilla choirs welcomed the end of colonial rule in song. What might sonic histories of the African liberation struggles teach us about that most important, epochal African agency in the continent’s recent history? Looking back, what sonic archives, memories and afterlives have these voices produced?


Please submit a 300-word abstract and a brief bio by March 20, 2020. Email to Those whose abstracts are accepted will be asked to submit first chapter drafts of up to 6000 words by September 1st, 2020. African authors and artists are strongly encouraged to contribute.

Contact Information

Mhoze Chikowero, History Department

University of California, Santa Barbara

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