This is just a quick note to announce that the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History has just published a 12,000-word article on the history of cities in Africa that I drafted earlier this year. This was, assuredly, the most difficult article I have ever written, mostly because I am trained as a geographer, not an historian. Surveying the spread and development of urbanization across the continent from earliest times (pre-dynastic Egypt) until the post-colonial present was hard enough to write up in 6,500 words. More daunting was the 3,500 word discussion of the historiography of this sub-field of African Studies, and the 1,400 word presentation of the various sources (archaeological, documentary, archival, actuarial and oral) historians use when undertaking research in Africa’s urban history. I still think this article should have been written by a well-published historian, but somehow the task fell to me!
So, for better or worse, here it is, free and on-line:
Eric Ross. “African Urban History and Historiography.” In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History, Oxford University Press, 2018. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190277734.013.58