African Words, African Voices: Critical Practices in Oral History (African Systems of Thought)

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9780253214683: African Words, African Voices: Critical Practices in Oral History (African Systems of Thought)
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Until the 1960s and the advent of African independence, African history was rarely concerned with African lives. Africans were not considered fitting subjects or authoritative sources for historical research and their voices and experiences were largely absent from the continent's history. Efforts to restore African expression to African history have characterised of much of postcolonial historical research and writing, but questions about the use of oral sources in the quest for truth continue to plague interpreters and interpretations of the African past. African Words, African Voices shows African historians involved with and committed to developing unique methodologies for dealing with history on their own terms. African historians from North America, Europe, and Africa, confront questions such as the relationship between a community's oral and written history, the role of personal histories, the effects of racism and colonialism, the suppression of facts, and how historians should mediate and interpret research data. Focusing on all areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, the essays brought together here reflect the extraordinary range of engagement that represents the state-of-the-art of African history writing. For readers at all levels, African Words, African Voices is a lively and provocative volume that evokes the richness and relevance of oral sources for understanding a complex past. Contributors include E. J. Alagoa, David William Cohen, Laura Fair, Babacar Fall, Tamara Giles-Vernick, Isabel Hofmeyr, Abdullahi A. Ibrahim, Corinne A. Kratz, Stephan F. Miescher, Bethwell Allan Ogot, Megan Vaughan, Luise White and Kwesi Yankah.

Über den Autor:

Luise White teaches African history at the University of Florida. She is author of The Comforts of Home: Prostitution in Colonial Nairobi (for which she won the Herskovits Prize) and Speaking with Vampires: Rumor and History in Colonial Africa.Stephan F. Miescher Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is co-editor (with Lisa Lindsay) of Men and Masculinities in Modern Africa and is preparing a book on the construction of masculinities in twentieth-century Ghana.David William Cohen is Professor of History and Anthropology at the University of Michigan. He is author of The Historical Tradition of Busoga, Uganda: Mukama and Kintu; Womunafu s Bunafu; and Towards a Reconstructed Past: Historical Texts from Busoga, Uganda. He is co-author of Siaya: A Historical Anthropology of an African Landscape; Burying SM: The Politics of Knowledge and the Sociology of Power in Africa; and The Combing of History (all with E. S. Atieno Odhiambo). With E. S. Atieno Odhiambo, he is writing on the multiple investigations into the disappearance and death of Kenya s Foreign Minister, Robert Ouko."

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