Nigeria, Nationalism, and Writing History
Title Details

350 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

Imprint: University of Rochester Press

Nigeria, Nationalism, and Writing History

by Toyin Falola and Saheed Aderinto

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
The book traces the history of writing about Nigeria since the nineteenth century, with an emphasis on the rise of nationalist historiography and the leading themes.

The second half of the twentieth century saw the publication of massive amounts of literature on Nigeria by Nigerian and non-Nigerian historians. This volume reflects on that literature, focusing on those works by Nigerians in thecontext of the rise and decline of African nationalist historiography. Given the diminishing share in the global output of literature on Africa by African historians, it has become crucial to reintroduce Africans into historicalwriting about Africa. As the authors attempt here to rescue older voices, they also rehabilitate a stale historiography by revisiting the issues, ideas, and moments that produced it. This revivalism also challenges Nigerian historians of the twenty-first century to study the nation in new ways, to comprehend its modernity, and to frame a new set of questions on Nigeria's future and globalization.
In spite of current problems in Nigeria and its universities, that historical scholarship on Nigeria (and by extension, Africa) has come of age is indisputable. From a country that struggled for Western academic recognition in the 1950s to one that by the 1980s had emerged as one of the most studied countries in Africa, Nigeria is not only one of the early birthplaces of modern African history, but has also produced members of the first generation of African historians whose contributions to the development and expansion of modern African history is undeniable. Like their counterparts working on other parts of the world, these scholars have been sensitive to the need to explore virtually all aspects of Nigerian history. The book highlights the careers of some of Nigeria's notable historians of the first and second generation.

Toyin Falola is Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities and University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
Saheed Aderinto is Assistant Professor of History at Western Carolina University.

Part One: The Foundation of Knowledge
1. A Preface to Academic Historiography
2. K. O. Dike and the National Archives of Nigeria

Part Two: Varieties of History
3. Political History
4. Economic History
5. Social History
6. Women's History and the Reconfiguration of Gender

Part Three: Nationalist Historians and Their Work
7. Adiele Afigbo: Igbo, Nigerian, and African Studies
8. J. F. Ade Ajayi: Missionaries, Warfare, and Nationalism
9. J. A. Atanda: Yoruba Ethnicity
10. Bolanle Awe: Yoruba and Gender Studies
11. Obaro Ikime: Intergroup Relations and the Search for Nigerians
12. G. O. Olusanya: Contemporary Nigeria
13. Tekena N. Tamuno: Pan-Nigeriana
14. Yusufu Bala Usman: Radicalism and Neocolonialism

Part Four: Reflections on History and the Nation-State
15. Nigeria in the World of African Historiography
16. Fragmented Nation and Fragmented Histories

Selected Bibliography

TOYIN FALOLA is Professor of History, University Distinguished Teaching Professor, and the Jacob and Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin.

"A highly detailed and rich survey of the complex web of tradions that have played a hand in shaping how Nigerians think about and write about their past." H-AFRICA
"A must-read for students and teachers of Nigerian history and anyone who is interested in Nigerian, and indeed African historiography." AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY
"Falola and Aderinto's work on the lives and works of these nationalist historians constitutes another chapter in the long history of cultural innovation in Nigeria, as African intellectuals continue to seek out and exploit new opportunities for empowering and enriching their communities. --" Lynn Schler, Ben Gurion University
"[A] successful attempt to map the Nigerian historical historiography since the middle of the twentieth century...for historians of Nigeria, this volume can be become an excellent tool as it can help them assess the political and historiographical debates underpinning the publication of Nigerian historical studies. --" Vincent Hiribarren, Leeds African Studies Bulletin



January 2011


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Title Details

350 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

Imprint: University of Rochester Press