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Mahdist Omdurman  

Robert S. Kramer

Online publication date:
Oct 2017
It is tempting to seek an auspicious beginning for the Sudanese city of Omdurman, given its eventual significance, but there is none to be found. From its humble origins as a watering ... More

The Making of the Maghrib: 600–1060 CE  

Allen Fromherz

The history of North Africa from the coming of Islam to the rise of the Almoravid Empire in the 11th century is a crucial period in the making of the Islamic Maghrib. From 600 ce to 1060 ... More

Mariama Ba  

Souad T. Ali

Online publication date:
Jun 2019
Mariama Ba was a renowned feminist, author, and advocate for women’s rights in her home country of Senegal, Africa, and globally. After attending and thriving at the French École Normale ... More

The Marine Fisheries of South Africa  

Lance van Sittert

Online publication date:
Feb 2017
The South African fisheries are environmentally bifurcated by the different current regimes on the west (Benguela) and east (Agulhas) coasts. Limited precolonial subsistence use of the ... More

Mass Media in North Africa: From Print to Digital  

Emilio Spadola

The emergence, spread, and transformation of media technologies in North Africa has attracted much attention over the past decade. Yet the disruptive effects of technological mass media ... More

Material Culture as a Historical Source  

Robert Ross

Online publication date:
Aug 2018
Over the last couple of centuries, there has been a profound shift in the things which Africans have around them, or in other words their material culture. At differing speeds and to ... More

Mbeki, Govan  

Colin Bundy

Online publication date:
Mar 2019
Govan Mbeki was a South African politician, writer, long-term political prisoner, and father of President Thabo Mbeki. His political career was distinctive among African leaders of his ... More

Mental Illness, Psychiatry, and the South African State, 1800s to 2018  

Julie Parle

Online publication date:
May 2019
Definitions of and explanations for mental illness differ between societies and have changed over time. Current use of the term arises from secular and materialist epistemologies of the ... More

Climatology: Methods  

Sharon E. Nicholson

Environmental constraints have large impacts on populations, especially in semi-arid regions such as Africa. Climate and weather have long affected African societies, but unfortunately the ... More

Methods in the Study of African Historical Geography, Landscapes, and Environmental Change  

Katherine Homewood

Increasingly, methods not traditionally used by historians are becoming available for the study of African historical geography, landscapes, and environmental change. Starting with an ... More

Migration History and Historiography  

Benedetta Rossi

Migration has been a central factor in African history. It is likely that the human species started spreading on the planet within and outside of Africa between 2 and 2.5 million years ... More

Money and Currency in African History  

Jane I. Guyer and Karin Pallaver

Online publication date:
May 2018
African peoples have managed multiple currencies, for all the classic four functions of money, for at least a thousand years: within each society’s own circuits, in regional exchange, and ... More

Nana Asma’u  

Alaine Hutson

Online publication date:
Jul 2019
Asma’u bint Shehu Usman dan Fodio (1793–1865) was an Islamic scholar, poet, and educational leader in what is now Northern Nigeria. She is best known as Nana Asma’u. A daughter of Shehu ... More

Nationalism and Decolonization in Cameroon  

Joseph Takougang

The union between the former French Cameroun and the British Southern Cameroons on October 1, 1961, to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon was a unique experiment in nation building and ... More

Newspapers as Sources for African History  

Emma Hunter

Newspapers have become increasingly important as a source for African history, and the range of historical questions newspapers have been employed to address has expanded dramatically. ... More

North Africa and France: Imperialism, Colonialism, and Women, 1830–1962  

Julia Clancy-Smith

The workings of modern empire can better be viewed through the lens of gender because gendered hierarchies illuminate broad, intersecting aspects of the colonial project. ... More

Numerical Data and Statistical Sources  

Leigh Gardner

The use of numerical data and statistical sources in African history has expanded in recent decades, facilitated by technological advances and the digitization of primary sources. This ... More

Oral History and Life History as Sources  

Mary Dillard

Online publication date:
Nov 2018
Historians, anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, and independent scholars have used oral history and life history, two slightly different but complementary methods, in order to ... More

Oral Traditions as Sources  

Stephen Belcher

Online publication date:
Feb 2018
The use of oral tradition is a distinctive and essential element in many fields of African studies. History must acknowledge it; literature sees it as the medium for much of the indigenous ... More

The Origins and Spread of Pastoralism in Southern Africa  

John Kinahan

Online publication date:
Aug 2019
Pastoralist societies arose in the arid and semi-arid western regions of southern Africa over the last 2000 years. These were both Bantu-speaking and Khoekhoe-speaking groups who practiced ... More

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