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African Studies

Editor in Chief | Editorial Board | Articles and Contributors | Graduate Award

The birth of independent African nations, the rise of the Civil Rights movement and African-American Studies in the U.S., and the end of the Cold War all prompted the emergence of African Studies as an important area of inquiry in Africa, Europe, and North America. Founded as Africa was emerging from centuries of the slave trade and foreign domination, the field has sought to displace racist foreign notions to explore African perspectives on art, culture, economics, geography and the environment, ancient and modern history, literature, music, politics, religion, science and thought, and society.

Over more than half a century, the field has emerged as a diverse multidisciplinary effort that spans multiple epistemologies and methodologies, making it challenging for students and scholars to be informed about every applicable area. And given the diversity of African environments and peoples it is difficult to appreciate both its broad similarities and complex specificities. We have thus combined broad introductions to such subjects as African society, politics, or literature with specific studies of individual peoples, states, or literary traditions to enable the user to appreciate Africans’ distinctiveness as well as their diversity.

Since the literature on African Studies is diverse, fast moving, controversial, and scattered among unfamiliar sources, we have asked leading scholars to identify the most significant themes and areas of study in their fields, recommend the best sources for exploring them, and discuss these works conceptual and empirical significance to provide a series of guided studies through the diverse approaches to a wide array of complex subjects. A great deal of this work has moved online with the most recent scholarship, research, and statistics appearing in online databases. With advances in online searching and database technologies, researchers and practitioners can easily access library catalogs, bibliographic indexes, and other lists that show thousands of resources that might also be useful to them. In this situation what is most needed is expert guidance. Researchers and practitioners at all levels need tools that help them filter through the proliferation of information sources to material that is reliable and directly relevant to their inquiries. Oxford Bibliographies in African Studies offers a trustworthy pathway through the thicket of information overload.


Editor in Chief

Thomas Spear is Professor of African History Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where in addition to teaching, he was Director of the African Studies Program and Chair of the History Department. He is a leading scholar of pre-colonial and East African history, and has published a large number of books and articles on the subject, including The Kaya Complex: A History of the Mijikenda Peoples of the Kenya Coast to 1900 (1978), Kenya’s Past: An Introduction to Historical Method in Africa (1981), The Swahili: Reconstructing the History and Language of an African Society, 800-1500 (with Derek Nurse, 1985), Mountain Farmers: Moral Economies of Land and Agricultural Development in Arusha and Meru (1997), Being Maasai: Ethnicity and Identity in East Africa (ed, with Richard Waller, 1993) and East African Expressions of Christianity (ed. with Isaria Kimambo, 1999). He has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Social Science Research Council, served as editor of the Journal of African History, and taught previously at La Trobe University and Williams College.



The City College of New York
Indiana University
Emory University
Northwestern University
Marywood University
University of California, Los Angeles


University of New Hampshire
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva
University of South Carolina
Dartmouth College
The City College of New York
Emory University
Indiana University
Northwestern University
Marywood University
University of Cape Town
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Victoria


* = recently published

Thomas Spear
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Harold Scheub
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Wyatt MacGaffey
Haverford College
Alice N. Sindzingre
National Centre for Scientific Research
Phillip Naylor
Marquette University
W. Martin James
Henderson State University
Aida Bamia
University of Florida
Ann B. Stahl
University of Victoria
Pierre de Maret
University College London
Patrick McNaughton
Indiana University Bloomington
Diane Pelrine
Indiana University Art Museum
Allen F. Roberts
University of California, Los Angeles
Mary Jo Arnoldi
Smithsonian Institution
Kathryn M. de Luna
Georgetown College
Matthew G. Stanard
Berry College
John D. Holm
Cleveland State University
Timothy H. Parsons
Washington University in St. Louis
Patricia Daley
Oxford Universiity
Benedict Nantang Jua
South Carolina State University
Isabel Rodrigues
University of Massachustts Dartmouth
Richard Bradshaw
Centre College
Juan Fandos-Rius
Steve Howard
Ohio University
Evan Mwangi
Northwestern University
Ian Walker
COMPAS, University of Oxford
John Yoder
Whitworth University
J. Jeffrey Hoover
University of Lubumbashi
Brett Logan Carter
Harvard University
John F. Clark
Florida International University
Heidi G. Frontani
Elon University
Richard Waller
Bucknell University
Thomas Turner
Independent Scholar
Robert E. Smith
Independent Scholar
Andrew B. Smith
University of Cape Town
Robert Launay
Northwestern University
Graham Connah
Australian National University
Susan Keech McIntosh
Rice University
David C. Conrad
State University of New York at Oswego
Corrie Decker
University of California, Davis
Farha Ghannam
Swarthmore College
A. T. Grove
University of Cambridge
Gregory H. Maddox
Texas Southern University
Dan Connell
Boston University
David H. Shinn
George Washington University
Crawford Young
University of Wisconsin
Daniel Maxwell
Tufts University
Merry Fitzpatrick
Tufts University
Desiree Lewis
University of the Western Cape
Ayodeji Olukoju
University of Lagos
Jeremy Rich
Marywood University
Donald R. Wright
State University of New York, Cortland
Heidi G. Frontani
Elon University
Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst
University of Cologne
Mohamed Saliou Camara
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Jónína Einarsdóttir
Háskóli Íslands
Kalala Ngalamulume
Bryn Mawr College
Funso Afolayan
University of New Hampshire
Jonathan Reynolds
Northern Kentucky University
Nwando Achebe
Michigan State University
Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa
University of Port Harcourt
Atei Mark Okorobia
University of Port Harcourt
George M. La Rue
Clarion University
Edward A. Alpers
University of California, Los Angeles
Martin J. Murray
University of Michigan
Dana Kornberg
University of Michigan
Thomas Spear
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Rachel MacLean
John H. Hanson
Indiana University
Mia Fuller
University of California, Berkeley
Sue Kossew
Monash University
Jelmer Vos
Old Dominion University
John M. Janzen
The University of Kansas
Lameen Souag
University of London
Philip J. Jaggar
University of London
Scott Rosenberg
Wittenberg University
Adebayo Oyebade
Tennessee State University
Silvia Marsans-Sakly
New York University
Evan Mwangi
Northwestern University
Patrick Vinck
Harvard University
Phuong N. Pham
Harvard University
Niamh Gibbons
Harvard University
Owen Kalinga
North Carolina State University
Susanna Wing
Haverford College
Jo Ellen Fair
University of Wisconsin-Madison
John Lamphear
University of Texas, Austin
Evan Mwangi
Northwestern University
Dale Eickelman
Dartmouth College
Elizabeth MacGonagle
The University of Kansas
Nate Plageman
Wake Forest College
Andries Walter Oliphant
University of South Africa
Chris Saunders
University of Cape Town
Evan Mwangi
Northwestern University
Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa
Atei Mark Okorobia
University of Port Harcourt
Allen Fromherz
Georgia State University
Allen Fromherz
Georgia State University
Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst
University of Cologne
Allen Fromherz
Georgia State University
Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst
University of Cologne
Peter D. Little
Emory University
Rod Alence
University of the Witwatersrand
Augustine Agwuele
Texas State University –San Marcos
Odile Frank
Public Services International
Norrie MacQueen
University of St Andrews
John W. Harbeson
The City University of New York
Rebecca Shumway
University of Pittsburgh
Noel Twagiramungu
Tufts University
Gerhard Seibert
Universidade da Integração Internacional da Lusofonia Afro-Brasileira
Linda Beck
University of Maine Farmington
Mark Pires
Long Island University
E.S.D. Fomin
Herbert Lewis
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Mohamed Diriye Abdullahi
Chris Saunders
University of Cape Town
John Wright
University of Cape Town
Simon Hall
University of Cape Town
Jay Spaulding
Kean University
Thomas Spear
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ann Biersteker
Yale University
Alena Rettová
University of London
Gregory Maddox
Texas Southern University
Rhiannon Stephens
Columbia University
Curtis Keim
Moravian College
Paul Spencer
University of London
Richard Allen
Framingham State University
Andrew Walsh
University of Western Ontario
John McPeak
Syracuse University
Ghislaine Lydon
University of California, Los Angeles
Silvia Marsans-Sakly
New York University
Shane Doyle
University of Leeds
Aidan Stonehouse
University of Leeds
Garth Myers
Trinity College Hartford Connecticut
Kathleen Sheldon
University of California, Los Angeles
Kathleen Sheldon
University of California, Los Angeles
Aili Mari Tripp
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Claire C. Robertson
The Ohio State University
Karin Barber
University of Birmingham
Karen Tranberg Hansen
Northwestern University
David M. Gordon
Bowdoin University


Agricultural History
Mats Widgren
Stockholm University
Archaeology of Eastern Africa
Matthew Davies
University of Cambridge
Archaeology of Northeastern Africa
Steven Andrew Brandt
Archaeology of Southern Africa
Peter Mitchell
Antoni Folkers
Arts of Eastern Africa
Elsbeth Court
Arts of Southern Africa
William Dewey
Penn State University
Asante and the Akan and Mossi States
Pashington Obeng
Wellesley College
Atlantic Slave Trade
Herbert S. Klein
Columbia University
Benin (Dahomey)
Mathurin Houngnikpo
Boko Haram and Nigeria
Ousmane Oumar Kane
Ayodeji Brian Ogunnaike
Buchi Emecheta
Tuzyline Allan
Burkina Faso (Upper Volta)
Mahir Saul
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Lily G.N. Mabura
Cinema and Television
Charles Ambler
Ken Menkhaus
Davidson College
Claire Metelits
Economics and the Study of Africa
Gareth Austin
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Equatorial Guinea
Alicia Campos Serrano
French Colonial Rule
Ruth Ginio
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Jennifer Sessions
University of Iowa
Tea Virtanen
Genetics and Population Biology
Krishna Veeramah
Naomi Chazan
Benedetta Rossi
Brooke Grundfest Schoepf
Human Origins
Fred Smith
Ivor Jankovic
Islamic Politics
Ken Menkhaus
Davidson College
Maren Milligan
Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire)
Joseph Hellweg
Godfrey Muriuki
Labor History
Andreas Eckert
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Law and the Study of Africa
Emily Burrill
Phoebe Musandu
Christopher Ehret
University of California, Los Angeles
Jane Hooper
David C. Conrad
Stephen Belcher
Mau Mau and Colonialism in Kenya
David Anderson
Medieval Europe and Africa
Allen Fromherz
Georgia State University
Philosophy and the Study of Africa
Dismas A Masolo
University of Louisville
Popular Music
Carol Muller
University of Pennsylvania
Religion and the Study of Africa
Robert Baum
Martha Saavedra
The Yoruba States, Benin, and Dahomey
Babatunde Lawal
Virginia Commonwealth University
Alexander Keese
Traditional Music
Andrew Eisenberg
New York University in Abu Dhabi
Gordon Pirie
University of Cape Town
Women, Gender, and the Study of Africa
Beverly J. Stoeltje
Indiana University
Yoruba Diaspora
Kristin Mann



The Oxford Bibliographies Graduate Student Article Award is an annual, invitation-only award that offers experienced doctoral candidates an opportunity to contribute to Oxford Bibliographies in African Studies, to draw attention to their work, and to add a peer-reviewed publication to their CVs. Invitation is by faculty nomination only. Nominations are now being accepted.

“Graduate students are by necessity deeply and critically engaged in the literature within emerging areas of research. This knowledge puts them in an ideal position to write for Oxford Bibliographies. I am particularly excited about the potential of this award as a pathway to including articles on cutting-edge topics, and I think it is an important acknowledgement of the significant contribution graduate students routinely make to the production of new scholarship.”

--Damon Zucca, Reference and Online Publisher, Oxford University Press

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