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Anthropological and Ethnographic Methods and Sources  

Constance Smith

For scholars of African history, anthropology offers a number of valuable and invigorating methodological avenues, from engaging directly in ethnographic fieldwork to analyzing ... More

Anthropology and the Study of Africa  

Jessica Johnson

Online publication date:
Nov 2018
Anthropology is the study of human societies and cultures. It developed from the 19th century with a focus on the study of societies located outside Europe, often colonized peoples. It has ... More

Archaeobotany: Methods  

Louis Champion and Dorian Q. Fuller

Online publication date:
Dec 2018
Archaeobotany’s goals are to investigate the interactions between human societies and the plant world in the past from the botanical remains preserved in archaeological sites, including ... More

The Archaeology of Gender in Sub-Saharan Africa  

Lyn Wadley

Online publication date:
Jun 2018
The meaning and context of gender is contested even in the 21st century. No generalizations about gender are applicable through time or across space. Even where gender roles are defined by ... More

Archaeozoology: Methods  

Veerle Linseele

Online publication date:
Aug 2018
Archaeozoology is the study of animal remains, mainly bones and other hard parts, from archaeological sites. It contributes to a more complete understanding of various aspects ... More

Atlantic Slavery and the Slave Trade: History and Historiography  

Daniel B. Domingues da Silva and Philip Misevich

Online publication date:
Nov 2018
Over the past six decades, the historiography of Atlantic slavery and the slave trade has shown remarkable growth and sophistication. Historians have marshalled a vast array of sources and ... More

Banda, Hastings Kamuzu  

Joey Power

Online publication date:
Jul 2019
Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda was an American- and British-trained medical doctor born in Nyasaland at the turn of the last century. He became leader of the Nyasaland African Congress (NAC) ... More

The Bantu Expansion  

Koen Bostoen

The Bantu Expansion stands for the concurrent dispersal of Bantu languages and Bantu-speaking people from an ancestral homeland situated in the Grassfields region in the borderland between ... More

Berbers and the Nation-State in North Africa  

Bruce Maddy-Weitzman

Online publication date:
Jul 2017
Throughout history, North Africa’s native Berber-speaking populations have been central to the mix of political, social, cultural, and linguistic attributes that rendered the region ... More

Bodily Ways of Knowing: Anthropological and Historical Approaches to Affect and the Senses  

Kathryn Linn Geurts

Online publication date:
Mar 2018
For centuries, European and Global North observers of non-Western societies have been fascinated by African bodily expressivity and power. Artistic and ritual displays of bodily ways of ... More

Boko Haram: History and Context  

Hilary Matfess

Online publication date:
Oct 2017
Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, better known as “Boko Haram,” is the most violent phenomenon of the Nigerian Fourth Republic. It is responsible not only for a regional food ... More

Business Records as Sources for African History  

Dmitri van den Bersselaar

Online publication date:
Mar 2018
Business records are documents routinely produced by employees and management of commercial businesses. They may be part of internal processes or produced to communicate with stakeholders ... More

The Cameroon Grassfield States in the Broader History of Nigeria and Cameroon  

Mark Dike DeLancey

Online publication date:
Jul 2019
The Grassfields constitutes a dynamic area covering primarily the Northwest and West regions of Cameroon. Considered by many to be the birthplace of the Bantu languages and a primary ... More

Cannabis and Tobacco in Precolonial and Colonial Africa  

Chris S. Duvall

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Cannabis and tobacco have longstanding roles in African societies. Despite botanical and pharmacological dissimilarities, it is worthwhile to consider tobacco and cannabis together because ... More

Central Africa and the Atlantic World  

Roquinaldo Ferreira

Online publication date:
Oct 2019
Central Africa became deeply intertwined in the Atlantic world with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1482, which opened up a new world of connections between African societies and European ... More

Ceramics, Foodways, and Consumption: Methods  

Liza Gijanto

Online publication date:
Sep 2017
Analysis of ceramics in archaeological contexts has provided a range of information regarding African history. Archaeologists have approached ceramics as a craft as well as an indicator of ... More

Christian History and Historiography  

Joel Cabrita

Online publication date:
Jan 2018
Christian presence in Africa has a long and varied history. African congregations represented some of the world’s earliest churches, with lively Coptic and Orthodox communities in both ... More

Christian Missions and the State in 19th and 20th Century Angola and Mozambique  

Teresa Cruz e Silva

Online publication date:
May 2017
Christian missionary work in Angola and Mozambique during the colonial and postcolonial eras was shaped by a complex of factors related to religion, education, and politics. Missionaries’ ... More

Colonial History and Historiography  

Marie-Albane de Suremain

The colonial condition in Africa has been revisited by all of the main historiographic currents of thought, from a heroizing, highly political and military history of colonization ... More

Communism in South Africa  

Irina Filatova

Online publication date:
Feb 2017
The history of communism in South Africa began with the formation in 1921 of the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA). The party was entirely white, as was the majority of organized ... More

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