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Sources and Methods for African History and Culture: Essays in Honour of Adam Jones

Geert Castryck (U Leipzig, Germany), Silke Strickrodt (U Birmingham, UK), Katja Werthmann (U Leipzig, Germany) (eds.)
Publication Date 2016
Publisher Leipziger Universitätsverlag
Language English


The conversation with sources is at the heart of the historical profession. Men and women of past times have left messages and traces in a variety of forms – orally transmitted, written, material, visual etc. Men and women of today try to interpret these sources in an attempt to understand human action in its historical context. What may, at first sight, seem like a straightforward dialogue between source and historian, hardly ever is. Neither the messages and traces, nor the historical interpretation, nor the availability and accessibility of the source itself turn out to be self-evident. This volume provides practical examples of and methodological reflections on working with sources for African history and culture. It includes cases from across the continent, from pre-colonial times to the present, from history and other disciplines drawing on the conversation with sources, and it includes transregional relations, conceptual reflections and attention for politics of history. The organization of the volume reflects the research interests of Adam Jones and underscores that his academic trajectory provides a relevant backdrop for a volume about the use of sources and methods for African history and culture.

Biographical Note:

Geert Castryck (U Leipzig, Germany)
Geert Castryck has been employed at the Centre for Area Studies since April 2010. He studied history, Oriental languages, and cultures (Islam/Judaism) at Ghent University, and received his PhD in history from the same university in 2006, with a dissertation about the Muslim communities of colonial Bujumbura. From 2006 to 2010, he conducted peace research in Brussels. His academic specializations are: African, Islamic, colonial, urban, and global history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Silke Strickrodt (U Birmingham, UK)
Silke Strickrodt is a historian of West Africa with a particular interest in the precolonial and early colonial periods. Her research focuses on the history of Afro-European encounters in the context of trade, Christian missions and scientific exploration, as well as the economic, political, social and cultural changes which these encounters have entailed for African societies and individuals.

Katja Werthmann (U Leipzig, Germany)
Katja Werthmann is professor of society, politics and economics of Africa at the Institute for African Studies (U Leipzig, Germany). As of 2016, she is part of the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 1199: “Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition” and leading the project B06: “Gold Mining and New Regulations of (Sub)National Spaces in Africa.”