Mutual Discoveries and First Encounters
In Europeans and Africans Michał Tymowski analyses the first contacts between the Portuguese and other Europeans and Western Africans in the 15th and early 16th centuries, the cultural and psychological as well as the organizational aspects of contacts. The territorial scope of the research encompasses the West African coast. Michał Tymowski describes and analyses the feelings and emotions which accompanied the contacts, of both Africans and Europeans, analyses the methods in which both parties communicated and organized the first encounters as well as the influence of these contacts on the cultures of both sides. The work is based on a variety of source material, written sources and works of African art, in which Africans’ opinions and emotions are reflected.
Studies in the history of medieval astronomy in the Iberian Peninsula and the Maghrib
Author: Julio Samsó
In On Both Sides of the Strait of Gibraltar Julio Samsó studies the history of medieval astronomy in al-Andalus (Muslim Spain), the Maghrib and the Christian kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. He proves that the Arabic, Latin, Hebrew, Castilian and Catalan sources belong to the same tradition whose origin can be dated in the 11th century due to the changes in Ptolemy’s astronomical theory introduced by the Toledan astronomer Ibn al-Zarqālluh/Azarquiel.
The book also analyses the role of al-Andalus and the Iberian Peninsula in the transmission of Islamic astronomy to Europe and justifies the fact that Eastern Islamic works published after ca. 950 CE were not accessible to medieval European scholars because they had not reached al-Andalus.
Author: Tizian Zumthurm
Tizian Zumthurm uses the extraordinary hospital of an extraordinary man to produce novel insights into the ordinary practice of biomedicine in colonial Central Africa. His investigation of therapeutic routines in surgery, maternity care, psychiatry, and the treatment of dysentery and leprosy reveals the incoherent nature of biomedicine and not just in Africa. Reading rich archival sources against and along the grain, the author combines concepts that appeal to those interested in the history of medicine and colonialism. Through the microcosm of the hospital, Zumthurm brings to light the social worlds of Gabonese patients as well as European staff. By refusing to easily categorize colonial medical encounters, the book challenges our understanding of biomedicine as solely domineering or interactive.
Author: Matthieu Pignot
In The Catechumenate in Late Antique Africa (4th-6th centuries) Matthieu Pignot explores how individuals became Christian in ancient North Africa. Before baptism, converts first became catechumens and spent a significant time of gradual integration into the community through rituals and teaching. This book provides the first historical study of this process in African sources, from Augustine of Hippo, to canon of councils, anonymous sermons and 6th-century letters. Pignot shows that practices varied more than is generally assumed and that catechumens, because of their liminal position, were a disputed and essential group in the development of Christian communities until the 6th century at least. This book demonstrates that the catechumenate is key to understanding the processes of Christianisation and conversion in the West.
Mobilizing Labor and Land in the Lake Kivu Region, Congo and Rwanda (1918-1960/62)
In Dissimilar Coffee Frontiers Sven Van Melkebeke compares the divergent development of coffee production in eastern Congo and western Rwanda during the colonial period. The Lake Kivu region offers a remarkable case-study to investigate diversity in economic development. In Rwanda, on the eastern side of the lake, coffee was mainly cultivated by smallholder families, while in the Congo, on the western side of the lake, European plantations were the dominant mode of production.

Making use of a wide array of largely untapped archival sources, Sven Van Melkebeke convincingly succeeds in moving the manuscript beyond a case-study of colonizers to a more nuanced history of interaction and in presenting an innovative new social history of labor and land processes.
The Things of Others: Ethnographies, Histories, and Other Artefacts deals with the things mainly, but not only, mobilized by anthropologists in order to produce knowledge about the African American, the Afro-Brazilian and the Afro-Cuban during the 1930s. However, the book's goal is not to dig up evidence of the creation of an epistemology of knowledge and its transnational connections. The research on which this book is based suggests that the artefacts created in fieldwork, offices, libraries, laboratories, museums, and other places and experiences – beyond the important fact that these places and situations involved actors other than the anthropologists themselves – have been different things during their troubled existence. The book seeks to make these differences apparent, highlighting rather than concealing the relationships between partial modes of making and being ‘Afro’ as a subject of science. If the artefacts created in a variety of situations have been different things, we should ask what sort of things they were and how the actors involved in their creation sought to make them meaningful. The book foregrounds these discontinuous and ever-changing contours.
L’œuvre d’un historien guinéen à l’époque coloniale / The Work of a Guinean Historian during the Colonial Period
Authors: Elara Bertho and Marie Rodet
Essai d’histoire locale fut écrit par un acteur-clé de l’historiographie de l’Afrique de l’Ouest pourtant encore méconnu: Djiguiba Camara. Rédigé en 1955, ce texte est centré sur l’histoire de la Haute Guinée, avec une attention particulière portée sur l’empire de Samori Touré et la résistance anticoloniale.
Ce texte, Essai d’histoire locale, illustre la fabrique de l’histoire locale par un intermédiaire colonial guinéen et un intellectuel, à partir du point de vue spécifique de la famille Camara, qui fut engagée dans les armées de Samori. Ce texte n’a été connu que parce qu’il est devenu l’une des sources majeures de l’historien français Yves Person pour sa monumentale thèse Samori, Une Révolution Dyula (1968-1975). Avec l'édition annotée de cette source primaire, Essai d’histoire locale de Djiguiba Camara devient enfin accessible à un lectorat plus vaste. Elara Bertho et Marie Rodet ont démontré grâce à cette publication que Essai d’histoire locale est une source essentielle pour la compréhension de l’histoire de la Guinée et de la fabrique de l’historiographie en générale, et du travail d’Yves Person en particulier.

Although a key figure in West African historiography, Djiguiba Camara has remained almost completely unknown. Completed in 1955, Essay on Local History focuses on the history of Upper Guinea with an emphasis on the Empire of Samori Touré and anticolonial resistance.
Everywhere in Essay on Local History we can see not only the highly developed craft of the local historical writing of a Guinean colonial intermediary and scholar, but the view he gave is from the particular perspective of the Camara family, who had served in Samori’s armies. Djiguiba Camara’s own work had been known only by reputation as a source for the monumental thee-volume Samori – Une Révolution Dyula (1968-1975) by the French historian Yves Person. Now however, in this fully annotated text edition, Djiguiba Camara’s Essay on Local History becomes available to a wider audience for the first time. Elara Bertho and Marie Rodet have demonstrated through this publication that Essay on Local History is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand both the history of Guinea and the making of historiography in general, but also Yves Person’s modus operandi.
Nationalism, as an ideology coupling self-conscious peoples to fixed territories, is often seen as emerging from European historical developments, also in postcolonial countries outside Europe. André van Dokkum’s Nationalism and Territoriality in Barue and Mozambique shows that this view is not universally true. The precolonial Kingdom of Barue in what is now Mozambique showed characteristics generally associated with nationalism, giving the country great resilience against colonial encroachment. Postcolonial Mozambique, on the other hand, has so far not succeeded in creating national coherence. The former anti-colonial organization and now party in power Frelimo has always stressed national unity, but only under its own guidance, paradoxically producing disunity.
Transnational Histories touched by National Socialism and Apartheid
Author: Barbara Henkes
This book is situated at the cutting edge of the political-ethical dimension of history writing. Henkes investigates various responsibilities and loyalties towards family and nation, as well as other major ethical obligations towards society and humanity when historical subjects have to deal with a repressive political regime. In the first section we follow pre-war German immigrants in the Netherlands and their German affiliation during the era of National Socialism. The second section explores the positions of Dutch emigrants who settled after the Second World War in Apartheid South Africa. The narratives of these transnational agents and their relatives provide a lens through which changing constructions of national identities, and the acceptance or rejection of a nationalist policy on racial grounds, can be observed in everyday practice.
The Importance of Biography in African Historical Studies
This volume investigates the development of biographical study in African history and historiography. Consisting of 10 case studies, it is preceded by an introductory prologue, which deals with the relationship between historiography and different forms of biographical study in the context of Western history-writing but especially African (historical and anthropological) studies. The first three case studies deal with the methodological insights of biographical studies for African history. This is followed by three case studies dealing with personas living through fundamental societal transitions, and four case studies focusing on the discursive dimensions of biographical subjects (including religion, cosmology and ideology). Countries or regions discussed include South Africa, Zambia, Gold Coast, Cameroon, Tanganyika, Congo-Kinshasa and the Central African Republic in colonial times.

Contributors are Lindie Koorts, Elena Moore, Iva Peša, Paul Glen Grant, Jacqueline de Vries, Duncan Money, Morgan Robinson, Eve Wong, Klaas van Walraven, Erik Kennes.