The objective of the Africa in World History series is to publish accessible books written for an audience that may know relatively little about the continent, in contrast to narrowly focused monographs intended for specialists in the field.
Books in the series feature familiar topics, such as soccer, cuisine, diamonds, or slavery, but in an African context and in a way that draws readers into substantive engagement with the complex histories of Africa and its peoples. Some books examine a single topic as it unfolds across the continent, while others focus on a particular setting or region to illustrate broader developments and dynamics. The volumes challenge common misunderstandings and misperceptions about Africa’s past and its connection to the present, while adhering to rigorous standards of scholarship to ensure responsible handling of the histories they explore.
Books in the series speak to current images of Africa in popular culture, making them ideal texts for African and world history courses and for other classes that seek to reflect more accurate understandings of Africa. They are especially useful for undergraduate and graduate instruction; for training foreign service, NGO, and media personnel; and for readers interested in deepening and expanding their knowledge of Africa’s interlinked past, present, and future.
Todd Cleveland, University of Arkansas
David Robinson, Michigan State University
Elizabeth Schmidt, Loyola University Maryland
In Converging on Cannibals, Jared Staller demonstrates that one of the most terrifying discourses used during the era of transatlantic slaving—cannibalism—was coproduced by Europeans and Africans. When these people from vastly different cultures first came into contact, they shared a fear of potential cannibals. Some Africans and European slavers allowed these rumors of themselves as man-eaters to stand unchallenged.
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.
Swahili was once an obscure dialect of an East African Bantu language. Today more than one hundred million people use it: Swahili is to eastern and central Africa what English is to the world. From its embrace in the 1960s by the black freedom movement in the United States to its adoption in 2004 as the African Union’s official language, Swahili has become a truly international language.
A story with the power to change how people view the last years of colonialism in East Africa, The Boy Is Gone portrays the struggle for Kenyan independence in the words of a freedom fighter whose life spanned the twentieth century's most dramatic transformations. Born into an impoverished farm family in the Meru Highlands, Japhlet Thambu grew up wearing goatskins and lived to stand before his community dressed for business in a pressed suit, crisp tie, and freshly polished shoes.
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.
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.
Stirring the Pot offers a chronology of African cuisine beginning in the sixteenth century and continuing from Africa’s original edible endowments to its globalization, tracing cooks’ use of new crops, spices, and New World imports. It highlighting the relationship between food and the culture, history, and national identity of Africans.