Toyin Falola is the Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professor in History at the University of Texas, Austin. His books include The Power of African Cultures (2003), Economic Reforms and Modernization in Nigeria, 1945–1965 (2004) and A Mouth Sweeter than Salt: An African Memoir (2004).
Matthew M. Heaton is a Patrice Lumumba Fellow at the University of Texas, Austin. He has co-edited multiple volumes on health and illness in Africa with Toyin Falola, including HIV, Illness and African Well-Being and Health Knowledge and Belief Systems in Africa (2007).
While the focus of this volume is on historical knowledge, the effort to make African scholarship "more African" is fundamentally interdisciplinary. The essays in this volume employ several innovative methods in an effort to study Africa on its own terms. The book is divided into four parts. Part 1, "Africanizing African History," offers several diverse methods for bringing distinctly African modes of historical discourse to the foreground in academic historical research. Part 2, "African Creative Expression in Context," presents case studies of African art, literature, music, and poetry. It attempts to strip away the exotic or primitivist aura such topics often accumulate when presented in a foreign setting in order to illuminate the social, historical, and aesthetic contexts in which these works of art were originally produced. Part 3, "Writing about Colonialism," demonstrates that the study of imperialism in Africa remains a springboard for innovative work, which takes familiar ideas about Africa and considers them within new contexts. Part 4, "Scholars and Their Work," critically examines the process of African studies itself, including the roles of scholars in the production of knowledge about Africa.
This timely and thoughtful volume will be of interest to African studies scholars and students who are concerned about the ways in which Africanist scholarship might become "more African."
The essays in this volume center on Africa and Africans participating in international political discourses, but with an emphasis on various forms of expression and philosophies, as these factors heavily influence Africa's role as a participant in global politics. The reader will find a variety of essays that permeate surface discussions of politics and political activism by inserting African culture, rhetoric, philosophies into the larger discussion of international politics and Africa's role in worldwide political, social, and economic debates.
Nigerians are proud of their diverse culture comprising more than 250 ethnic groups. Important changes in their economy and political system are helping them cope with challenges in the modern world. Culture and Customs of Nigeria illuminates a dynamic society--how Nigerians today live, work, worship, interact, relax, and express themselves. Numerous photos, a chronology, and a glossary complement the text.