This edited collection of 17 essays examines the many ways African women pushed the borders individually and collectively, of "acceptable" behavior to produce changes in the gendered dynamics of power and a reconfiguration of broader moral and social orders. The book bridges the gap between studies of women and studies of gender by demonstrating how gender relations are produced, reproduced, and transformed through the everyday ideas and agency of women and men interacting with local and translocal structures and processes. With rich attention to the interplay between agency, power, and structure, this superb collection challenges common stereotypes of African women as either victims or unrestrained resisters.
Hodgson and McCurdy have assembled an impressive and multidisciplinary group of contributors. Some are senior scholars who have published widely in social history. Others are junior or mid-ranking scholars who already have substantial and have publications in the leading journals in their fields. The editors themselves provide a superb introduction that unifies the collection and offers novel theoretical and methodological insights into the study of women in Africa. This is a long overdue anthology that should become a required text every course that explores the experiences of African women and in every African Studies and African history course that takes gender seriously.