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).