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Until the advent of African independence, Africans were not considered fitting subjects for historical research and their words, voices, and experiences were largely absent from the continent's history.
In 13 lively and provocative essays focusing on all areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, oral sources are seen as a way to restore African expression to African history. African Words, African Voices evokes the richness and relevance of oral sources for understanding a complex past for readers at all levels.
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.
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About the Author
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.
Table of Contents
Preliminary Table of Contents:
Introduction: Voices, Words, and African History David William Cohen, Stephan F. Miescher, and Luise White
Part 1. Giving Africa a History1. The Construction of Luo Identity and History Bethwell Allan Ogot2. Reported Speech and Other Kinds of Testimony Megan Vaughan3. John Bunyan, His Chair, and a Few Other Relics: Orality, Literacy, and the Limits of Area Studies Isabel Hofmeyr4. The Dialogue Between Academic and Community History in Nigeria E. J. Alagoa5. The Birth of the Interview: The Thin and the Fat of It Abdullahi A. Ibrahim
Part 2. African Lives6. Conversations and Lives Corinne A. Kratz7. The Life Histories of Boakye Yiadom (Akasease Kofi of Abetifi, Kwawu): Exploring the Subjectivity and "Voices" of a Teacher-Catechist in Colonial Ghana Stephan F. Miescher8. Lives, Histories, and Sites of Recollection Tamara Giles-Vernick9. Senegalese Women in Politics: A Portrait of Two Female Leaders, Arame Diène and Thioumbé Samb, 1945-1996 Babacar Fall
Part 3. African Imaginations10. Nana Ampadu, the Sung-Tale Metaphor, and Protest Discourse in Contemporary Ghana Kwesi Yankah11. Voice, Authority, and Memory: The Kiswahili Recordings of Siti binti Saadi Laura Fair12. In a Nation of White Cars . . . One White Car, or "A White Car," Becomes a Truth David William Cohen13. True Stories: Narrative, Event, History, and Blood in the Lake Victoria Basin Luise White
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