The Neolithic Revolution and Bantu Origins

Jan Vansina, “New Linguistic Evidence and the ‘Bantu Expansion,’” Journal of African History 36, no. 2 (1995):  173-195.

Christopher Ehret, An African Classical Age:  Eastern and Southern Africa in World History, 1000 BC to AD 400 (Charlottesville, VA:  University of Virginia Press, 1998).

Graham Connah, African Civilizations:  An Archaeological Perspective (New York:  Cambridge University Press, 1987; 2001).

Susan K. McIntosh, “The Holocene Period of West Africa, 10,000 to 1000 BP,” in Emmanuel Kwaku Akyeampong, ed., Themes in West Africa’s History (Oxford:  James Currey, 2006).

Christopher Wrigley, “Early African History and Why it Matters” in African Affairs 6.343 (1987) pp 255-272

 Swahili Origins and Identities

Derek Nurse and Thomas Spear, The Swahili:  Reconstructing the History and Language of an

African Society, 800-1500 (Philadelphia:  University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985).

 Randall L. Pouwels, Horn and Crescent: Cultural Change and Traditional Islam on the East African Coast, 800-1900 (New York:  Cambridge University Press, 1987).

John Middleton, The World of the Swahili:  An African Merchantile Civilization (New Haven, CT:  Yale University Press, 1992).

 Michael N. Pearson, Port Cities and Intruders: The Swahili Coast, India, and Portugal in the Early Modern Era (Baltimore:  Johns Hopkins, 1998).

Alamin M. Mazrui and Ibrahim Noor Shariff.  The Swahili:  Idiom and Identity of an African People.  Trenton:  Africa World Press, Inc., 1994.

Ecology and Environmental History 

 Jeffrey C. Stone, Africa and the Sea (Aberdeen:  Aberdeen University Press, 1984).

 George E. Brooks, Landlords and Strangers:  Ecology, Society, and Trade in Western Africa, 1000-1630 (Boulder, CO:  Westview Press, 1993).

 Ivor Wilks. Forests of Gold:  Essays on the Akan and the Kingdom of Asante.  Athens:  Ohio University Press, 1993.

 Slavery and the Slave Trade

Frederick Cooper, “The Problem of Slavery in African Studies,” Journal of African History 20, 1 (1979):  103-126.

 Patrick Manning, Slavery and African Life:  Occidental, Oriental, and African Slave Trades (New York:  Cambridge University Press, 1990).

Claude Meillassoux, “Introduction” and “The Historical Dimension of Slavery in West Africa,” in Meillassoux, The Anthropology of Slavery:  The Womb of Iron and Gold (Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1991).

 Janet Ewald, “Slavery in Africa and the Slave Trades from Africa,” American Historical Review 97, 2 (1992):  465-86.

 John Thornton, Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1680 (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1992; 1998).

 Joseph C. Miller.  Way of Death:  Merchant Capitalism and the Angolan Slave Trade, 1730-1830.  Madison:  University of Wisconsin Press, 1988.

Lovejoy and Richardson “The Business of Slaving:  Pawnship in Western Africa c. 1600-1800” in Journal of African History 42.1 (2001) pp 67-90

Robin Law.  From Slave Trade to ‘Legitimate Commerce:’  The Commercial Transition in Nineteenth-Century West Africa.  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1995.

West Africa to 1800

 Mervyn Hiskett, The Development of Islam in West Africa (New York:  Longman, 1984).

Robin Law, The Slave Coast of West Africa, 1550-1750:  The Impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade on an African Society (New York:  Oxford University Press, 1991).

Ivor Wilks, Forests of Gold:  Essays on the Akan and the Kingdom of Asante (Athens, OH:  Ohio University Press, 1993).

 Central and Southern Africa to 1800

 Robert Harms, River of Wealth, River of Sorrow:  The Central Zaire Basin in the Era of the Slave and Ivory Trade, 1500-1891 (New Haven, CT:  Yale University Press, 1981).

Richard Elphick and Hermann Giliomee, eds., The Shaping of South African Society, 1652-1840 (Middletown, CT:  Wesleyan University Press, 1979; 1988).

Martin Hall, Farmers, Kings, and Traders:  The People of Southern Africa, 200-1860 (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987; 1990).

Leonard Thompson, A History of South Africa (New Haven, CT:  Yale University Press, 1990).

 Jan Vansina, Paths in the Rainforest:  Toward a History of the Political Tradition in Equatorial Africa (Madison, WI:  University of Wisconsin Press, 1990).



Jan Vansina, Living with Africa (Madison, WI:  University of Wisconsin Press, 1994).

Joseph C. Miller, “History and Africa/Africa and History,” American Historical Review 104, 1 (1999):  1-32.

Frederick Cooper, Colonialism in Question:  Theory, Knowledge, History (Berkeley:  University of California Press, 2005).

Nineteenth-Century Africa and Imperialism

 Henri Brunschwig, French Colonialism, 1871-1914:  Myths and Realities (London:  Pall Mall Press, 1966).

Adu Boahen, African Perspectives on Colonialism (Baltimore:  Johns Hopkins, 1987).

J.B. Peires, The Dead Will Arise:  Nongqawuse and the Great Xhosa Cattle-Killing Movement of 1856-1857 (Bloomington, IN:  Indiana University Press, 1989).

African Resistance

Terence Ranger, Revolt in Southern Rhodesia, 1896-1897:  A Study in African Resistance (London:  Heinemann, 1967).

James Scott, Weapons of the Weak:  Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1985).

—, Domination and the Arts of Resistance:  Hidden Transcripts (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1990).

Frederick Cooper, “Conflict and Connection:  Rethinking Colonial African History,” American Historical Review 99, no. 5 (December 1994):  Pp. 1516-1545.

 Culture and Resistance in South Africa

Tim Couzens, The New African:  A Study of the Life and Work of H.I.E. Dhlomo (Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1985).

 Leroy Vail and Landeg White, Power and the Praise Poem:  Southern African Voices in History (Charlottesville, VA:  The University Press of Virginia, 1991).

Rob Nixon, Homelands, Harlem and Hollywood:  South African Culture and the World Beyond (New York:  Routledge, 1994).

 Encounters with Missionaries

 Jean Comaroff, Body of Power, Spirit of Resistance:  The Culture and History of a South African People (Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1985).

 Richard Elphick, “Mission Christianity and Interwar Liberalism,” in Jeffrey Butler, Richard

Elphick, and David Welsh, eds., Democratic Liberalism in South Africa:  Its History and Prospect (Middletown, CT:  Wesleyan University Press, 1987).

Robert Hefner, ed., Conversion to Christianity:  Historical and Anthropological Perspectives on a Great Transformation (Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1993).

Paul Landau, The Realm of the Word:  Language, Gender, and Christianity in a Southern African Kingdom (Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann, 1995).

Sandra E. Greene, Sacred Sites and the Colonial Encounter:  A History of Meaning and Memory in Ghana (Bloomington, IN:  Indiana University Press, 2002).


Colonial Subjects and Subjectivities: Education, Medicine, and Daily Life in the Home

 Shula Marks, ed., Not Either an Experimental Doll:  The Separate Worlds of Three South African Women (Durban:  University of Natal Press, 1987).

Megan Vaughan, Curing their Ills:  Colonial Power and African Illness (Cambridge:  Polity, 1991).

Bob W. White, “Talk about School: Education and the Colonial Project in French and British Africa (1860–1960),” Comparative Education 32 (1996):  9-25.

Kathleen Sheldon, “‘I Studied with the Nuns, Learning to Make Blouses’:  Gender Ideology and Colonial Education in Mozambique.” The International Journal of African Historical Studies 31, no. 3 (1998):  595-625.

Ann Laura Stoler, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power:  Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule (Berkeley:  University of California Press, 2002).

 African Economic History

 Anthony G. Hopkins, An Economic History of West Africa (London:  Longman, 1973).

 Richard Sandbrook, Closing the Circle:  Democratization and Development in Africa (London:  Zed, 2000).

 Joseph E. Inikori, Africans and the Industrial Revolution in England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).

 Keletso E. Atkins, The Moon is Dead!  Give Us Our Money!  The Cultural Origins of an African Work Ethic, Natal, South Africa, 1843-1900 (Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann, 1993).

T. Dunbar Moodie with Vivienne Ndatshe, Going for Gold:  Men, Mines, and Migration (Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1994).

Patrick Harries, Work, Culture, and Identity:  Migrant Laborers in Mozambique and South Africa, c. 1860-1910 (Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann, 1994).

Phyllis M. Martin, Leisure and Society in Colonial Brazzaville (Cambridge:  Cambridge, 1995).

Frederick Cooper, Decolonization and African Society:  The Labor Question in French and British Africa (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1996).  Ch. 1-2.

 Tradition and the Colonial State

 Martin Chanock, Law, Custom, and Social Order:  The Colonial Experience in Malawi and Zambia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).

 Crawford Young, The African State in Comparative Perspective (New Haven, CT:  Yale University Press, 1994).

 Mahmood Mamdani, Citizen and Subject:  Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism (Princeton, NJ:  Princeton University Press, 1996).

Rebellion, Anticolonialism, and Nationalism

 Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (London:  Pluto, 1952; 1986).

David Lan, Guns and Rain:  Guerillas and Spirit Mediums in Zimbabwe (London:  Currey, 1985).

 Bruce Berman and John Lonsdale, Unhappy Valley:  Conflict in Kenya (Athens, OH:  Ohio, 1992).

Caroline Elkins, Imperial Reckoning:  The Untold Story of the End of Empire in Kenya (New York:  Henry Holt, 2005).

 Colonialism and African Women’s Lives

 Belinda Bozzoli and Mmantho Nkotsoe, Women of Phokeng:  Consciousness, Life Strategy, and Migrancy in South Africa, 1900-1983 (Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann, 1991).

 Yvette Abrahams, “Disempowered to Consent:  Sara Bartman and Khoisan Slavery in the

Nineteenth-Century Cape Colony and Britain,” South African Historical Journal 35 (November 1996):  89-114.

Jean Allman, “Rounding Up Spinsters:  Gender, Chaos, and Unmarried Women in Colonial Asante,” Journal of African History 37, no. 2 (1996):  195-214.

Heidi Gengenbach, “‘What My Heart Wanted’:  Gendered Stories of Early Colonial Encounters

in Southern Mozambique,” in Jean Allman, et. al., Women in African Colonial Histories (Bloomington:  Indiana University Press, 2002).

Lynn Thomas, Politics of the Womb:  Women, Reproduction, and the State in Kenya (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003).

Jean Marie Allman and Victoria Tashjian.  “I Will Not Eat Stone:”  A woman’s History of Colonial Asante.

 Colonialism and African Men’s Lives

 Catherine Burns, “‘A Man is a Clumsy Thing Who does not Know How to Handle a Sick Person’:  Aspects of the History of Masculinity and Race in the Shaping of Male Nursing in South Africa, 1900-1950,” Journal of Southern African Studies 24, no. 4 (1998):  695-717.

 Marc Epprecht, “The ‘Unsaying’ of Indigenous Homosexualities in Zimbabwe:  Mapping a Blindspot in an African Masculinity,” Journal of Southern African Studies 24, no. 4, (1998):  631-651.

Robert Morrell, “Of Boys and Men:  Masculinity and Gender in Southern African Studies,” Journal of Southern African Studies 24, no. 4 (1998):  605-630.

—, Robert Morrell, ed., Changing Men in Southern Africa (Pietermaritzburg:  University of Natal Press, 2001).

Lindsay Clowes, “‘Are You Going to be MISS (or MR) Africa?’ Contesting Masculinity in Drum Magazine, 1951-1953,” Gender & History 13, no. 1(April 2001):  1-20.

 Lisa A. Lindsay, Working with Gender:  Wage Labor and Social Change in Southwestern Nigeria (Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann, 2003).

Lisa A. Lindsay and Stephan F. Miescher, eds., Men and Masculinities in Modern Africa (Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann, 2003).

Lahoucine Ouzgane and Robert Morrell, eds., African Masculinities:  Men in Africa from the Late Nineteenth Century to the Present (Pietermaritzburg:  University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2005).

Luise White, “Separating the Men from the Boys:  Constructions of Gender, Sexuality, and Terrorism in Central Kenya, 1939-1959,” The International Journal of African Historical Studies 23, no. 1 (1990):  1-25.

 African Urban History

 Frederick Cooper, On the African Waterfront:  Urban Disorder and the Transformation of Work in Colonial Mombasa (New Haven:  Yale University Press, 1987).

 Luise White, The Comforts of Home:  Prostitution in Colonial Nairobi (Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1990).

Paul Maylam and Iain Edwards, eds., The People’s City:  African Life in Twentieth-Century Durban (Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann, 1996).

Charles van Onselen, New Babylon, New Nineveh:  Everyday Life on the Witwatersrand, 1886- 1914 (Johannesburg:  Jonathan Ball Publishers, 2001).

Abdou Maliq Simone, For the City Yet to Come:  Changing African Life in Four Cities (Durham, NC:  Duke University Press, 2004).

Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, The History of African Cities South of the Sahara:  From the Origins to Colonization (Princeton, NJ:  Markus Weiner, 2005).

 Rural Life

 Colin Bundy, Rise and Fall of the South African Peasantry (Berkeley, CA:  University of California Press, 1979).

 John Iliffe, The African Poor:  A History (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1987).

Megan Vaughan, The Story of an African Famine:  Gender and Famine in 20th Century Malawi (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1987).

Steven Feierman, Peasant Intellectuals:  Anthropology and History in Tanzania (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1990).

Allan Isaacman, “Peasants and Rural Social Protest in Africa,” African Studies Review 33, no. 2 (1990):  1-120.

Charles van Onselen, The Seed is Mine:  The Life of Kas Maine, a South African Sharecropper, 1894-1985 (New York:  Hill and Wang, 1996).

Postcolonial Memory

 Paul Richards, Fighting for the Rain Forest:  War, Youth, and Resources in Sierra Leone (Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann, 1996).

 Carolyn Hamilton, Terrific Majesty:  The Powers of Shaka Zulu and the Limits of Historical Invention (Cambridge, MA:  Harvard University Press, 1998).

 James Ferguson, Expectations of Modernity:  Myths and Meanings of Urban Life on the Zambian Copperbelt (Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1999).

Luise White, Speaking with Vampires:  Rumor and History in Colonial Africa (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2003).

Takyiwaa Manuh, ed., At Home in the World?  International Migration and Development in Contemporary Ghana and West Africa (Accra:  Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2005).

 African Americans in Africa

 Kenneth J. King, Pan-Africanism and Education: A Study of Race Philanthropy and Education in the Southern States of the United States of America (1971).

 James T. Campbell, Songs of Zion: The African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States and South Africa (1995).

Brenda G. Plummer, Rising Wind: Black Americans and U.S. Foreign Policy, 1935-1960 (1996).

 Penny M. Von Eschen, Race Against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism, 1937- 1957 (1997).

 James Hunter Meriwether, Proudly We Can Be Africans: Black Americans and Africa, 1935-1961 (2002).

 Francis Njubi Nesbitt, Race for Sanctions: African Americans against Apartheid, 1946-1994 (2004).

 Kevin Gaines, American Africans in Ghana: Black Expatriates and the Civil Rights Era (2006).

James T. Campbell. Middle Passages: African American Journeys to Africa, 1787-2005. New York: Penguin Press, 2006.

 General Histories of Africa

 Paul Bohannan and Philip Curtin. Africa and Africans. Waveland, IL: Prospect Heights, 1995.

 Philip Curtin, Steven Feierman, Leonard Thompson, Jan Vansina. African History: From Earliest Times to Independence. Boston: Little, Brown, 1995.

 Kevin Shillington. History of Africa.

Basil Davidson. Africa in History. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991.

Nehemia Levtzion and Randall L. Pouwells, eds. The History of Islam in Africa. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2000.

Toyin Falola and Christopher Jennings, eds. Sources and Methods in African History: Spoken, Written, Unearthed. Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2003 

This list was compiled in consultation with the doctoral candidates in the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University under the guidance of Professor Akyeampong and Howard University doctoral candidate Myra Houser.

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