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HIS 131 - Modern Africa - Professor Christolyn Williams: Pathways to Research

Find research recommendations for your individual and group research projects right here!

Ways of Approaching African History

 

Major Timeline Markers - Events 

Kinship - Kingships - Empires (Tribes)

Religion - Islamic Africa; Christian Africa

Independence Movements & Decolonization/Reconfiguration 

Wars - Insurgencies - Terrorism

Ideologies - Pan-Africanism, Post-Colonialism, Socialism, Aparthied 

Social & Economic

  • Population studies  
  • Gender 
  • Education
  • Stateless, displaced persons and minority groups
  • Agriculture & Environment
  • Tourism
  • Natural Resources 
  • Poverty, Famine, Disease 
  • Global economies - exports, transnational business
  • Microeconomies
  • Access to technology

A Geography or Region - Sub-Saharan, West/East Coast

Interactions with Colonizers - French, German, Dutch, British 

Leaders and Thinkers  - Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana), Shaka Zulu 

African History

Considerations for Researchers: 

  • "No single periodizaton" (Middleton, New Encyclopedia of Africa) of African history. This means the European/Colonial way of looking at history by century may not apply.  
  • Historiography and Resources affected by Eurocentric Dominance and Racisim:
  • Eurocentric Re-telling of the History of Civilization ("Black Athena" theory - Martin Bernal). There has been a lack of scholarly focus on Africa and in the Historical Canon. What did historians miss? 
     

CONSULT A TIMELINE. 

CONSULT A REFERENCE WORK FOR INFORMATION ON A PERSON, COUNTRY, EVENT, ETHNIC GROUP, CONFLICT, ETC: 

A Student's Guide to History

Geography Databases