Socio-Environmental History of African Colonialism and Decolonization

Eric Martin Discussion


FROM THE EDITOR: The following the first of four requests for bibliographic feedback from graduate students in Northeastern University’s World History program focused on various aspects of imperial/colonial histories. The original posting came with all four bibliographies together, with an additional request for sources that might connect all four lists together. I have separated them out into four distinct postings with the hopes that this will increase both focus and discussion. 


Socio-Environmental History of African Colonialism and Decolonization, Amy Cooper

My focus is on African colonial experience and environmental history. The location that I am most interested in is central Africa, specifically the Congo, although I am broadly interested in African responses and experiences during colonialism regardless of location. I am specifically interested in the ways in which identity is entangled with the understanding of and relationship to the environment. I want to look at how transformations in the environment and forced alteration in African peoples’ interactions with their environment shaped a colonial and anti-colonial identity. I would like to get at this by looking at issues of gender, labor, class, ethnicity, ecology, religion, nutrition and education.

1.     Abu Boahen, African Perspectives on Colonialism

2.     Frederick Cooper, Colonialism in Question: Theory, Knowledge, History

3.     Mahmood Mamdani, Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism

4.     Samuel Henry Nelson, Colonialism in the Congo Basin, 1880-1940

5.     Adam Hochschild. King Leopold’s Ghost,

6.     Brian J. Peterson. Islamization From Below: The Making of Muslim Communities in Rural French Sudan, 1880 – 1960.

7.     Philip Curtin, Disease and Empire: The Health of European Troops in the Conquest of Africa 1998

8.     Caroline Elkins, Imperial Reckonings: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya    

9.     Deborah Neill, Networks in Tropical Medicine : Internationalism, Colonialism, and the Rise of a Medical Specialty, 1890–1930.

10.  Jean Allman; Victoria Tashjian. 'I Will Not Eat Stone': A Women's History of Colonial Asante

11.  Luise White. Speaking with Vampires: Rumor and History in Colonial Africa

12.  Katherine Luongo, Witchcraft and colonial rule in Africa

13.  Michael Watts, Silent Violence: Food, Famine and Peasantry in Northern Nigeria

14.  Osumaka Likaka, Naming colonialism : history and collective memory in the Congo, 1870-1960  

15.  Cynthia Brantley. Feeding Families: African Realities and British Ideas of Nutrition and Development in Early Colonial Africa

16.  James Fairhead and Melissa Leach. Misreading the African Landscape: Society and Ecology in a Forest-Savanna Mosaic

17.  Carol Summers. Colonial Lessons: Africans' Education in Southern Rhodesia, 1918-1940

18.  Okwui Enwezo. The Short Century : Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa 1945-1994.

19.  Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

20.  Frederick Cooper. Decolonization and African Society: The Labor Question in French and British Africa

21.  Robert Young, Postcolonialism: A Historical Introduction