African Studies: History

Frederick Cooper

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    African and African-American intellectuals long sought to counter primitivizing ideologies of their times by pointing to narratives of African state building. The real breakthrough in writing African history occurred as colonial rule was crumbling and the quest for a usable past - notably a usable national past - attracted young scholars in Africa and beyond. If the 1960s witnessed an emphasis on the particularity of African societies, disillusionment with Africa's present brought about a wider consideration of its past, especially the ways the slave trade and colonization constrained the continent's possibilities. Scholars attempt to document varied forms of imagination and communication, of networks and institutions, in different temporal and spatial frameworks.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
    PublisherElsevier Inc.
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
    ISBN (Print)9780080970868
    StatePublished - Mar 26 2015


    • Civilizing mission
    • Colonialism
    • Decolonization
    • Diaspora
    • Historiography
    • Islam
    • Kingship
    • Kinship
    • Migration
    • Modernization
    • Nation-state
    • Oral tradition
    • Slave trade
    • State building
    • World War II

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Social Sciences


    Dive into the research topics of 'African Studies: History'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this