"Nelson’s great strength is that he can provide a close reading of the images, as well as examine the teleuk within the established canon of architectural history . . . . [His] scholarship is informed by post-structuralism, feminism, and psychoanalytic theory; however, his writing remains refreshingly free from obfuscatory rhetoric and accessible to upper division undergraduates. In addition to Africanists and architectural historians, this book also will appeal to students of gender studies, popular culture, and post-colonial studies."
(Karen Mason Art Libraries Society of North America Reviews
"[Nelson's work] can be read as a case study of the ways in which architecture funcitons as a template for the representation of self and non-self. With this appealing new way of looking at the built environment . . . Nelson makes a substantial contribution to the long neglected field of architectural anthropology."
(Kerstin Pinther African History
"A valuable contribution toward correcting the paucity of scholarly attention to such an extraordinary architectural tradition. It is noteworthy in its approach, recognizing the multiple meanings that can be ascribed to the same architectural creation depending on the viewer and context."
(Mark D. Delancey International Journal of African Historical Studies
"The book makes a convincing argument that architecture has the capacity not only to reinvent its own meanings, but also to act as a repository for all the large ideas flowing through postcolonial and cultural studies: modernity, the primitive, the colonial subject, agency, memory."
(Sidney Littlefield Kasfir African Studies Review
About the Author
Steven Nelson is assistant professor of African and African American art history at the University of California, Los Angeles.