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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Writing and teaching African women's history: problems and prospects
Author:Ikpe, Eno BlanksonISNI
Periodical:Afrika Zamani: revue annuelle d'histoire africaine = Annual Journal of African History (ISSN 0850-3079)
Geographic terms:Africa
gender studies
Abstract:Researching and teaching African women's history is still in its infancy in Africa, even though a lot has been written about African women. Most often, what is written has an ethnographic, anthropological and sociological character lacking in time perspective, which is the bedrock of historical writing. This article, therefore, examines the viability of the category - women - for a statement of problems in historical studies. The article is based on personal experience in teaching African women's history at two Nigerian universities - the University of Lagos and the University of Uyo - at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It also uses information derived from library and internet resources. The main conclusion is that there is a problem in establishing a time perspective in African women's history. This could be remedied through original research in the archives, personal libraries, and travel literature of Europeans and Arabs stored in archives in Europe, America and Africa, which would give new insights into the lives and experiences of African women. Especially, ancient archives such as that of Timbuktu could be studied for more information. Oral evidence and oral tradition should be gathered more intensively and utilized for analysis. Moreover, the category 'women' for problem statement and historical interpretation is very important for a holistic knowledge of the history of African peoples. Lastly, the repositioning and reintegration of African women's history in different epochs are crucial to the enrichment of African history so that women's history will not remain a parochial curiosity in historical studies. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]