Skip to main content
Search Mobile Navigation

In Pursuit of History

By Edited by Carolyn Keyes Adenaike, Edited by Jan Vansina

    The accounts are refreshingly personal, often brutally honest, and cover an impressive range of issues—from practical matters of daily life ... to methodological concerns about "truth," "falsehood," and all that comes in between. Overall, the contributions are well written, jargon-free, and easily accessible.
    —Jean Allman, University of Minnesota

A fascinating collection of ten papers on fieldwork in Africa-defined as a long stay in a single community-mostly from younger scholars who have conducted research within the past decade. Whereas the methods for using different kinds of sources...

Special Offer: Save 30% off our list price automatically when you buy 15 or more.

Paperback

In Stock

List Price: $46.00

Web/School Price: $36.80

Quantity

Full Description

    The accounts are refreshingly personal, often brutally honest, and cover an impressive range of issues—from practical matters of daily life ... to methodological concerns about "truth," "falsehood," and all that comes in between. Overall, the contributions are well written, jargon-free, and easily accessible.
    —Jean Allman, University of Minnesota

A fascinating collection of ten papers on fieldwork in Africa-defined as a long stay in a single community-mostly from younger scholars who have conducted research within the past decade. Whereas the methods for using different kinds of sources for African history has been well studied in recent years, the input of field experience itself has been neglected, although it shapes the resulting historical writing in critical ways and often has a profound personal impact on the researcher.

The accounts presented here cover a surprising range of issues, from practical questions of daily life (where to live, what to cook) to methodological concerns about what is true, and true for whom? The individual stories are both entertaining and instructive. One researcher had a newly laid roof stolen in the middle of the night, while another was shadowed by the security police. One woman was initiated into a secret society, while yet another faced a trial after having been accused of witchcraft.

In her introduction, Carolyn Adenaike summarizes the particular challenges faced by recent history researchers in Africa. The epilogue by Jan Vansina-in many ways the pioneer of oral history methods-places the evolution of research practices in the broad context of European commercial expansion.

Additional Resource Information

(click any section below to continue reading)