CONTRIBUTOR:

Robert E. Smith

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Independent Scholar

BIOGRAPHY:

Smith earned his B.A. in history at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, and his M.A., also in history, at Claremont Graduate University in California, where his thesis was on the use of oral tradition as an historical source. He undertook further graduate study in African History at the University of Wisconsin and the University of California, Los Angeles. For some twenty-four years he taught history to African secondary school students in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Over eleven years, when on periodic home leave, and afterwards, Smith was Adjunct Instructor, and later Adjunct Assistant Professor of History at Wittenberg University, Ohio, teaching courses in African history, Africa Today, and African culture and history through novels by Africans. He also taught courses in the Development of Western Civilization. When not in the classroom in Congo (formerly Zaïre), he carried out historical research on the colonial period of Congo, emphasizing African perceptions of events. He conducted oral interviews in the Kituba language in the villages, and researched the archives of the Bandundu Province in southwestern Congo, and the National Archives in Kinshasa. Resulting from this research have been numerous articles in French and English language journals. He also co-authored a book on Congo’s history and sociology with a Congolese, Dr.Diawaku Dia Nseyila.