African Studies – Authoritative Research Guide – Oxford Bibliographies

Editor in Chief: Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, Vice Chancellor (President) and Professor of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the United States International University Africa, Nairobi

  • Concise treatment of large topics such as “Slavery in Africa” or “Famine” to quickly get you up to speed on topics outside of your area of expertise
  • Expert recommendation on the best works available in African Studies whether it be a chapter, a book, a journal article, a Website, blog, or data set – streamline the research process
  • Each subject area has an Editor in Chief, an Editorial Board and peer reviewers, ensuring balanced perspective with scholarly accuracy, authority, and objectivity
  • Each article is an authoritative guide to the current scholarship on a topic with original commentary and annotations by top scholars
  • A robust update program keeps researchers informed of advances in their field
  • Intuitive linking and discoverability tools help users quickly locate full text content to prevent dead ends

The birth of independent African nations, the rise of the Civil Rights movement and African-American Studies in the U.S., and the end of the Cold War all prompted the emergence of African Studies as an important area of inquiry in Africa, Europe, and North America. Founded as Africa was emerging from centuries of the slave trade and foreign domination, the field has sought to displace racist foreign notions to explore African perspectives on art, culture, economics, geography and the environment, ancient and modern history, literature, music, politics, religion, science and thought, and society.

Over more than half a century, the field has emerged as a diverse multidisciplinary effort that spans multiple epistemologies and methodologies, making it challenging for students and scholars to be informed about every applicable area. And given the diversity of African environments and peoples it is difficult to appreciate both its broad similarities and complex specificities. We have thus combined broad introductions to such subjects as African society, politics, or literature with specific studies of individual peoples, states, or literary traditions to enable the user to appreciate Africans’ distinctiveness as well as their diversity.

Since the literature on African Studies is diverse, fast moving, controversial, and scattered among unfamiliar sources, we have asked leading scholars to identify the most significant themes and areas of study in their fields, recommend the best sources for exploring them, and discuss these works conceptual and empirical significance to provide a series of guided studies through the diverse approaches to a wide array of complex subjects. A great deal of this work has moved online with the most recent scholarship, research, and statistics appearing in online databases. With advances in online searching and database technologies, researchers and practitioners can easily access library catalogs, bibliographic indexes, and other lists that show thousands of resources that might also be useful to them. In this situation what is most needed is expert guidance. Researchers and practitioners at all levels need tools that help them filter through the proliferation of information sources to material that is reliable and directly relevant to their inquiries. Oxford Bibliographies in African Studies offers a trustworthy pathway through the thicket of information overload.

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