African History seeks to publish scholarly writing on the history of Africa. It welcomes submissions on the history of any part of the continent and its islands. Works could range from the earliest epochs through to the recent past. Particularly welcome are studies that bring to light new archival materials, offer new interpretations of established sources or arguments, and that are interdisciplinary in method but historically-grounded.
We are keen to have the publications in this series widely available on the African continent and therefore pursue co-publishing arrangements with local publishers.
The Africa Yearbook has won the ASA 2012 Conover-Porter Book Award!
The Africa Yearbook covers major domestic political developments, the foreign policy and socio-economic trends in sub-Sahara Africa – all related to developments in one calendar year. The Yearbook contains articles on all sub-Saharan states, each of the four sub-regions (West, Central, Eastern, Southern Africa) focusing on major cross-border developments and sub-regional organizations as well as one article on continental developments and one on European-African relations. While the articles have thorough academic quality, the Yearbook is mainly oriented to the requirements of a large range of target groups: students, politicians, diplomats, administrators, journalists, teachers, practitioners in the field of development aid as well as business people.
With this Series, the African-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies (AEGIS) provides a venue for the publication of works drawn from the lively and expanding community of scholars with interests in Africa and its Diaspora. The AEGIS Series aims to publish books within the broad fields of study within the humanities and social sciences that would bring new approaches or innovative perspectives to the topics discussed. Titles comprise works that could also reflect established debate within African Studies if they provide new insights. Both individually-authored works and edited collections on focused themes will be considered.
The Afrika-Studiecentrum Series aims to present the best of African studies in the field of social sciences in the Netherlands. Publication in the series is open to all Dutch africanists and also to African scholars who are affiliated to a Dutch academic institution. Publications can be either monographs or edited volumes, in various disciplines and across all African nations, either on a single country or comparing different countries.
The aim of
Sources for African History is to establish a series of critical editions of narrative sources of non-African origin for the history of sub-Saharan Africa, accessible to scholars and students in Africa and elsewhere.
Sources for African History complements the
African Sources for African History series in that it provides worthwhile views of non-Africans and non-African institutions on the history of Africa.
Islam in Africa is designed to present the results of scholarly research into the many aspects of the history and present-day features of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The series will take up issues of religious and intellectual traditions, social significance and organization, and other aspects of the Islamic presence in Africa. It includes monographs, collaborative volumes and reference works by researchers from all relevant disciplines.
John Hunwick (1936-2015)
Professor John Owen Hunwick, a leading scholarly authority on the history of Islam in West Africa, passed away on 1 April 2015, after a lengthy illness.
Born in 1936 in Somerset, England, John Hunwick came into contact with Africa as a conscript soldier in British Somaliland from 1955. Back in Britain, he studied Arabic and Islamic history at the School of Oriental and African Studies, graduating in Arabic in 1959. He then went to Ibadan in Nigeria to teach Arabic and the University College there. After several years in Nigeria, he became Associate Professor of History at the University of Ghana, before finally coming to Northwestern University in Evanston, USA (from 1991), where he taught African history and Islamic studies until his retirement in 2004.
Professor Hunwick was an authority of a wide variety of topics and periods of the history of Islam in Africa, in particular in the medieval and early modern periods. He will perhaps be most remembered for his relentless efforts to show that Africa’s past was replete with written sources, and not just the “oral history” that earlier generations of historians assumed. He worked both to collect manuscripts but not least to catalogue and disseminate knowledge about them. In Timbuktu, which came to be at the centre of his attention from the mid-1990s onwards, he will in particular be remembered as the instigator for the UNESCO-initiated Centre de Documentation et de Recherches Ahmed Baba. The centre, now Institute for Studies and Research (IHERI), is a repository of locally produced Arabic manuscripts of a wide variety of topics. Hunwick committed himself to disseminating knowledge of the rich literary heritage in Arabic from Africa, not least through the multi-volume bio-biographical dictionary Arabic Literature of Africa (Leiden: Brill from 1990, edited together with R.S. O’Fahey). He also initiated several journals for this purpose, from Research Bulletin of the Centre of Arabic Documentation in his Ibadan period, through the Fontes Historiae Africanae bulletin, to Sudanic Africa: A Journal of Historical Sources, where he published a large number of documents and biographical studies on important Muslim scholars.
Professor Hunwick published several monographs, the most important being a study of the sixteenth-century Moroccan scholar al-Maghili’s influence on Songhay and Hausaland, Shari’a in Songhay (his Ph.D. Oxford University Press 1985), and a commented translation of al-Saʿdī’s Taʾrīkh al-sūdān: Timbuktu and the Songhay Empire (Brill 1999). However, already from the early 1960s he produced a series of important articles that set the pattern for the study of Islam in West Africa from the medieval to the modern, including an important discussion on the early history of Gao in the Almoravid period, on Islamic law in Songhay, and on issues pertaining to Sufism and slavery. He emphasized the importance of Africa’s contacts across the Sahara, and coined the phrase that “Arabic is the Latin of Africa.” In 2005, the African Studies Association recognized his extraordinary achievements by endowing him with the Distinguished Africanist Award.
Professor Hunwick’s lasting contribution to the study of Islam and Africa includes the establishment of the first academic centre exclusively devoted to the Islamic intellectual tradition in Africa: the Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa (ISITA), founded in 1999 under the umbrella of Northwestern University’s Program of African Studies (PAS). He was able to attract significant grants for ISITA and built an impressive scholarly network around its activities. Always fond of puns, Hunwick used to say, “IS IT A good program? Yes, it is!” Indeed, the role of ISITA in promoting the study of Islam in Africa cannot be overestimated. For Brill Academic Publishers, Hunwick will—in addition to his publications mentioned above—be noted as the founder of the book series Islam in Africa (ISAF).
Professor Hunwick was an generous, welcoming and compassionate scholar, who made all effort to support scholars working in West African Islamic history, and in particular his many students, from Africa and elsewhere. He was for many of us the ultimate authority on any question relating to the use of Arabic in Africa, to issues of Shari’a in the African Maliki tradition, and to scholarliness in general. A veritable pioneer and trailblazer has left us, and those who used to stand on the shoulders of this giant will miss him dearly.
Professor Knut S. Vikør, University of Bergen, Norway
Professor Rüdiger Seesemann, University of Bayreuth, Germany
African Dynamics is an annual publication of the Africa Studies Centre, Leiden, the Netherlands. Every year, a different theme is discussed from various perspectives by scholars from all over the world.
The Africa Studies Centre was founded in 1948, making it one of the oldest African Studies Centres in the world. Its main objectives are:
- to promote and undertake scientific research on Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in the field of the social sciences and humanities.
- to function as a national centre in the field of African studies and to contribute to the education and teaching in these sciences; and to promote the dissemination of knowledge and an understanding of African societies in the wider public sphere.
The aim of
African Sources for African History is to establish a series of critical editions of indigenous African narrative sources for the history of sub-Saharan Africa, accessible to scholars and students in Africa and elsewhere.
African Sources for African History intends to give African viewpoints a more central place in the writing of African history, by making African perspectives more easily available. Its stress on indigenous African sources is also hoped to inspire individual researchers to search actively for African sources and to make these available to the wider academic community.
In this series Brill publishes monographs that illuminate issues of social change, broadly understood, in Africa south of the Sahara. Coherently edited volumes may also be considered. Brill invites original, empirical, work that makes an essential conceptual contribution to its field, and has a particular interest in work by younger scholars. Brill welcomes proposals from every branch of the social sciences and humanities that also appeal to a non-specialist audience. Studies of source materials for African history, African linguistics, and religion in Africa each have their own series and will not be included in this series. Wherever appropriate, authors are invited to suggest African publishers with whom their work might be published in partnership with Brill.