Best African History in 2022

The Unitary Model and Interdisciplinary Approaches to African History

The history of Africa begins with the emergence of archaic and anatomically modern humans in East Africa and continues into the present day with the emergence of varied nation states. This article will explore the key historical concepts and methods for analyzing Africa's past. It will also highlight the importance of oral traditions in understanding the past and the differences between oral tradition and written sources. In addition, it will address the Unitary model versus interdisciplinary approaches.

Oral tradition

Although oral history has been historically disregarded by white historians and others, it has now become a recognized alternative for African history. It provides equal weight to the lived experiences of ordinary people and corrects the mistakes of colonialism, while filling in the institutional gaps created by post-colonial African governments. Oral tradition can be found in the archives of numerous African nations. Today, it is widely used in academia, filmmaking, and the arts.

Unlike written history, oral traditions are alive, continuing to evolve and enliven the present as well as the past. One original element of this tradition is the djembe, an African drum. A key symbol in West African culture, the djembe is held at the highest pedestal and is a common sight at most community gatherings. It is a powerful way to connect past and present and learn about the cultures and communities of Africa.

In many societies in Africa, oral tradition is the primary means of transmitting culture, feelings, and attitudes. Oral tradition is not only used to communicate traditional values, but it also provides insight into the meaning of life on earth. This is especially important in Africa, where oral tradition has been used to teach traditional values for centuries. Oral tradition is also used to explain the mysteries of the universe and the meaning of life on earth. There are also numerous examples of oral traditions that tell how people lived in communities and their daily lives.

Oral tradition has a more complex structure than written histories in other preliterate societies. It is shaped by a complex system of social controls, which often ensure the reliability of historical accounts. Griots and "palace historians" often occupy hereditary positions, where special events provide opportunities for perfecting oral traditions. Moreover, if a historical account is distorted, stringent punishments are attached to it. Punishments and crimes are communal in nature.

Written sources

Documentary sources are the most important types of historical documents. They are the easiest to use in reconstructing African history because they can be easily transported from one location to another. In contrast, non-documentary sources can be destroyed or misplaced, leaving historians with little or no documentation. In addition, historical events are often poorly explained or recorded, making it impossible to use written sources alone to understand the past. To avoid such challenges, historians need to rely on oral and visual sources in addition to archival material.

Another source of African history are letters. Letters written to colonial authorities and governments often reflect the viewpoint of individuals and are not considered to be an official record. They do not represent community ideology or an official milieu. They represent the personal perspectives and opinions of individuals, revealing a very personal side to a historical event. They also contain valuable details about African life. This kind of material provides a unique perspective on the history of Africa.

The written sources in Africa were created through different processes. Some societies preserved their history through oral traditions, art, and inscriptions. In western Sudan, the jeliw (sing. jeli) has epics that detail the political history of that region, corroborating contemporaneous Arabic texts. In western Sudan, the Kuba have maintained royal chronologies, often referring to an eclipse of the sun in 1680 and Halley's comet in 1835 as crucial moments in the development of the Kuba kingdom.

Oral tradition has also been a key source of African history. Oral traditions are passed down from generation to generation, and are often rooted in folklore, taboos, and myths. These traditions are also passed down by word of mouth, making them an excellent source for historians. In addition, oral tradition is free of bias. Despite its limitations, oral tradition has enabled historians to reconstruct much of Africa's history.

Unitary model

The Unitary model in African history is one of the most important developments in the study of African history. It is a paradigmatic shift from the traditional colonial view of Africa. It complements the post-colonial histories of the 1950s and 1960s and may offer a new framework for curriculum reform and decolonisation debate. It has numerous benefits. Let us look at some of them. In the first place, it helps explain the role of Africa in the world.

The Unitary model was introduced during the 1950s, in conjunction with the emergence of the African continent from colonial rule. It provided an antidote to imperial historiography that dismissed Africa as a dark continent without a history. Yet, this was only the first step in an intellectual journey. A more complex model is required to understand the challenges that arise during unification. This paper outlines the pros and cons of Unitary Model in African History

Nigeria is a prime example. In 1963, a three-centrifugal ethnoregional federal system was established, but the country has faced structural problems ever since. Ethnic marginalization and resource control are just two of the problems the unitary model is unable to solve. In addition, the unitary model does not work well in countries with large geographical areas and common values. As Africa is a vast continent, a Unitary model is unlikely to work well in the majority of African nations. The AU has failed in this endeavor.

The Unitary Model of History has been challenged by the results of recent research. Although this model is often touted as the ideal framework, research conducted in rural households rejects it. Rural households, for instance, are largely self-employed, with production activities linked to interactions between members of the household. Men respond to their wives' increased income-earning potential by spending less time in towns. This study, however, shows that the Unitary Model of History has serious shortcomings.

Interdisciplinary approach

For its 2022 Special Section, History in Africa invites contributions examining the interdisciplinarity of African history in new ways. Interdisciplinarity, in this sense, involves the use of methods from other fields or the development of new fields. In addition to following traditional approaches to history, a new approach must respond to movements of the twenty-first century. Submissions are welcome on any theme. For more information, please visit the special section's website.

The interdisciplinary approach to history began with the Annales School of historiography. This interdisciplinary approach is generally considered the most important development in twentieth-century history writing. In 1929, the journal 'Annales of Economic and Social History' formally established the Annales School. It stressed the importance of breaking disciplinary boundaries when examining the past. For instance, one study examined the position of the qadi, a high-ranking British official in Bathurst.

Students can also pursue a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies of Africa at UMKC. Students will gain a background in the interdisciplinary approach to Africa and gain a solid foundation for a number of careers in business, humanitarianism, and education. Students will gain skills in journalism, museum curation, and social media management. The program provides a solid foundation in both history and the humanities. The emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches to Africa and the African diaspora helps students build bridges across disciplines and enhance their career prospects.

An interdisciplinary approach to African history requires students to study the region from a variety of perspectives. They will examine issues such as politics, economic development, governance, and conflict management. The program recognizes the continent as a dynamic area of political and social change. It also encompasses some of the world's fastest-growing economies. The African diaspora is an essential part of the world's future. For students who are interested in interdisciplinary studies, this program offers a valuable opportunity to explore the history of Africa in a more comprehensive way.

Conflict between Eurocentric and Africanist approaches

The conflicts between the Eurocentric and Africanist approaches to Africa's history can be seen in almost every area of history, from ancient Greece to the present. For example, Afrocentric scholars object to the idea that all Africans are the same ethnic group. According to Wright, the conflation of the different continents and the black diaspora is a "profoundly unnatural construction of identity."

The anthropologist Richard Dawkins has argued that blacks in the diaspora are retaining their "African essence" even if they are white. This claim ignores the reality of African ancestry, including the African continent. Indeed, Crouch's work suggests that the African Diaspora is a culture of cultural isolation, suspicion, and antagonism.

In the twentieth century, indigenous African historical scholarship began to emerge. Colonial powers established institutions of higher learning in various African states. As a result, African history was rediscovered. Unfortunately, however, this trend meant that African universities ceased to teach their own histories, and the history of the African continent was overshadowed by the histories of European powers. African nationalists opposed this trend in higher education by developing courses on African history.

However, this new representation of Africa will undoubtedly have to compete with persistently Eurocentric approaches. Moreover, the historians writing these world histories will be mostly European or American. Therefore, the conflict between Eurocentric and Africanist approaches to African history will continue to have a lasting impact on the discipline of history. The future of African history is now more important than ever. So, let's take a look at the main issues and how to resolve it.



Aida Fernandez

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