Monday, December 6, 2010

Perception of African pasts, politics and cultures

Here is a short recommendation to listen to the podcast Africa Past and Present, where the latest issue had an interview with historian Paul Landau who has been reviewing the African historiography and draws the conclusion that much of this body has been formulated in a non-fitting terminology. (feed)

Landau is not the first to point out in podcast that it is hard for historians to find a proper language and framework for grasping African history. We have also had a lecture by Joseph Miller at Virginia Tech which took a step back from historiography and pointed out that in order to describe the history of Africa, one must work outside the box.

To give but one example: Western thought has imposed upon the African reality a social structure using the word Tribe and with it carrying a lot of implications Landau and Miller attempt to show that are not applicable. This causes the reader, the viewer and even the researcher to view divisions where there are none really and interpret connections where they are anthropologically misconstrued.

More Africa Past and Present:
After the Cup,
Podcast Review: Africa Past and Present.
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