Historians of Africa, trained as area specialists, often write primarily for one another in specialized discourse difficult for outsiders to comprehend. Teachers and scholars of history—even the best-intentioned—often approach Africa in naïve terms that have the effect of reinforcing the very exoticism that they intend to overcome by incorporating the continent in their work and teaching.

Our objective in this series is to produce accessibly written books by African specialists for audiences who know very little about Africa. The books examine issues that arise for nonspecialists as they seek to include Africa in their teaching of other regions of world history. Books in the series draw attention to the parallels in human experience in Africa and in other parts of the world and present local documentation—oral, cultural, and written—where available.

Intended for undergraduate survey courses, the volumes in the Africa in World History series speak to current (and future) images of Africa in the popular culture and in educated, but nonspecialist, circles. Volumes on some topic areas within the Africanist field will be of use among specialists, for undergraduate instruction, and for graduate teaching.


Todd Cleveland, University of Arkansas
Joseph C. Miller, University of Virginia
David Robinson, Michigan State University

Making Money · Life, Death, and Early Modern Trade on Africa’s Guinea Coast

By Colleen Kriger

A new era in world history began when Atlantic maritime trade among Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas opened up in the fifteenth century, setting the stage for massive economic and cultural change. In Making Money, Colleen Kriger examines the influence of the global trade on the Upper Guinea Coast two hundred years later—a place and time whose study, in her hands, imparts profound insights into Anglo-African commerce and its wider milieu.

Stones of Contention · A History of Africa’s Diamonds

By Todd Cleveland

Stones of Contention explores the major developments in the remarkable history of Africa’s diamonds, from the earliest stirrings of international interest in the continent’s mineral wealth in the first millennium A.D. to the present day.

African Soccerscapes · How a Continent Changed the World’s Game

By Peter Alegi

From Accra and Algiers to Zanzibar and Zululand, Africans have wrested control of soccer from the hands of Europeans, and through the rise of different playing styles, the rituals of spectatorship, and the presence of magicians and healers, have turned soccer into a distinctively African activity. African Soccerscapes explores how Africans adopted soccer for their own reasons and on their own terms.