May is ending, and that means it’s time to kick off one of our favorite traditions here at TMC: the seventh annual African Politics Summer Reading Spectacular! Every Friday, we’ll post reviews, author Q&As, and guest essays on some of the best books published on African politics in 2019 and 2020.

We define African politics broadly, meaning the series includes not just the best new research in political science, but also novels, memoirs, journalistic accounts and historical accounts. In the summer, we’ll learn how Pentecostal preachers in Kenya and South Africa affect voting, about the politics of street vending in Tanzania and the roles female leaders have always played in West African marketplaces. We’ll read an exquisite novel set against the backdrop of Ethiopia’s struggle to resist Italy’s invasion and a thoughtful investigation of the ways American ideals about LGBTQ+ identities and liberation don’t always match African realities.

After the most unusual spring term in recent memory, we’re ready for summer. We’ve canceled vacations and research trips and are looking forward to having plenty of time to read and relax. Join us by reading some or all of these books! Many of the titles we’ve selected this year are available as e-books so you can read along from wherever you are.

Here’s the schedule:

July 3: Break

July 17: “The Shadow King: A Novel” by Maaza Mengiste

We look forward to hearing your thoughts and observations on our reads. Join the conversation on all your favorite social media platforms using the hashtag #APSRS20.

Posts in last year’s series: