Writing African History

By on March 3, 2010

Writing African History is an essential work for anyone who wants to write, or even seriously read, African history. It will replace Daniel McCall’s classic Africa in Time Perspective as the introduction to African history for the next generation and as a reference for professional historians, interested readers, and anyone who wants to understand how African history is written.
Africa in Time Perspective was written in the 1960s, when African history was a new field of research. This new book reflects the development of African history since then. It opens with a comprehensive introduction by Daniel McCall, followed by a chapter by the editor explaining what African history is (and is not) in the context of historical theory and the development of historical narrative, the humanities, and social sciences. The first half of the book focuses on sources of historical data while the second half examines different perspectives on history. The editor’s final chapter explains how to combine various sorts of evidence into a coherent account of African history. Writing African History will become the most important guide to African history for the 21st century.

CONTRIBUTORS: BALA ACHI, ISAAC OLAWALE ALBERT , DIEDRE L. BADÉJO, DOROTHEA BEDIGIAN, BARBARA M. COOPER, HENRY JOHN DREWAL, CHRISTOPHER EHRET, TOYIN FALOLA, DAVID HENIGE, JOSEPH E. HOLLOWAY, JOHN HUNWICK, S.O.Y. KEITA, WILLIAM G. MARTIN, DANIEL MCCALL, SUSAN KEECH MCINTOSH, DONATIEN DIBWE DIA MWEMBU, KATHLEEN SHELDON, JOHN THORNTON, AND MASAO YOSHIDA

John Edwards Philips is professor of international society, Hirosaki University, and author of Spurious Arabic: Hausa and Colonial Nigeria (Madison, University of Wisconsin African Studies Center, 2000).

Contents
1        What is African History?
John Edward Philips
2        Archaeology and the Reconstruction of the African Past
Susan Keech McIntosh
3        Writing African History from Linguistic Evidence
Christopher Ehret
4        Physical Anthropology and African History
Shomarka Keita MD
5        The Importance of Botanical Data to Historical Research on Africa
Dorothea Bedigian
6        Oral Tradition as a Means of Reconstructing the Past
David Henige
7        Oral Sources and the Challenge of African History
Barbara Cooper
8        Arabic Sources for African History
John O. Hunwick
9        European Documents and African History
John K. Thornton
10      Mission and Colonial Documents
Toyin Falola
11      Data Collection and Interpretation in the Social History of Africa
Isaac Olawale Albert
12      African Economic History: Approaches to Research
Masao Yoshida
13      Signs of Time, Shapes of Thought: The Contributions of Art History and Visual Culture to Historical Methods in Africa
Henry John Drewal
14      Methodologies in Yoruba Oral Historiography and Aesthetics
Deidre L. Badejo Ph.D.
15      Local History in Post-Independent Africa
Bala Achi
16      Africa and World-Systems Analysis: A Post Nationalist Project?
William G. Martin
17      What Africa Has Given America: African Continuities in the North American Diaspora
Joseph E. Holloway
18      History and Memory
Donatien DIBWE dia
19      Writing About Women: Approaches to a Gendered Perspective in African History
Kathleen Sheldon
20      Writing African History
John Edward Philips

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