Call for Contributions: Online Encyclopaedia and Archive of Igbo Studies

Louisa Uchum Egbunike's picture
Call for Contributions: Online Encyclopaedia and Archive of Igbo Studies 

The Igbo Studies Archive seeks to build up a free and robust online resource in the field of Igbo studies. We seek subject specialists to write articles of varying lengths (500 to 3000 words) on topics spanning Igbo studies including Igbo culture, history, arts and politics.

The Igbo Studies Archive is run by a small team who are working together to develop the first ever free encyclopaedia and virtual archive of Igbo studies. This is the latest project of the Igbo Studies Initiative.

The Igbo Studies Archive is a lifetime digital project that seeks to provide detailed, scholarly information on key topics in all areas of Igbo studies. The archive will be an extensive resource, with contributions from the Igbo community at home and abroad as well as experts in Igbo studies around the world.

The online archive will involve the digitisation of existing content and the creation of new content by specialists in Igbo studies. It will include digital objects such as text, and audiovisual material relating to Igbo studies. The archive will consist of a broad range of content, including the Igbo diaspora, oral histories as well as profiles of on every town in Igboland.

The Igbo Studies Archive is an open access resource and will be available free of charge to internet users worldwide.

We see this as an exciting, important and innovative contribution to the field of Igbo Studies. While there are several monographs and edited collections which focus on many of aspects of Igbo history, culture and heritage, an Igbo Studies encyclopaedia which maps the broader landscape is currently missing: our project intends to remedy that. In opting for a digital format, this allows for greater accessibility both in terms of contributing material to the digital archive as well as accessing this resource.

This project is quite ambitious, but for its inception we have identified approximately 250 potential index entries and so we encourage potential contributors to see if there is a topic suitable for them to write about. We are keen for the encyclopaedia to be as inclusive and broad-based as possible and we are therefore seeking a mix of contributors, from all parts of the Igbo studies global research community.

The topic list is not exhaustive and if you think there is a significant omission about which you like to write, then please email There are a few instances where we are actively seeking suggestions for entries on specific topics (e.g History of the Igbo people or film and media representation of the Igbo people in the Americas, Europe, Asia and elsewhere in Africa).
If you are interested in accessing the keywords list, please go to

We expect the first set of entries for the online encyclopaedia to be published in October 2017 so we are currently requesting that first drafts of entries be sent to by 21st August 2017.
Please send your synopsis and bio to We will aim to get back to you as soon as possible.

An encyclopaedic entry is a *summary* of the research on a particular topic and is thus more a literature review than an opportunity to talk about an original piece of research (although this can be done if it is both brief and contextualised within the existing research in the field). Full bibliographical information on material referenced in the piece should be included in the endnotes, using the Chicago citation style.

*Length *
Entries will be of different lengths, ranging from long overview essays of around 2,000 -3,000 words down to smaller entries of around 500 words. We have identified a suggested length for each entry in the topic list but if you would like to write more or less, then please suggest an alternative length along with a brief explanation regarding the need for a longer/shorter word count.

This is a voluntary project, and as such there is no payment available for contributors. Our main contributors will have their bio and pictures shown on the contributor’s sections.

*Next steps*
If you are interested in writing an entry, please provide:
1) a <200-word synopsis of what you intend to cover:, key authors, themes, etc.
2) a <150-word biographical statement to include current institutional affiliation (if any) and your job title.

We anticipate that a number of topics will attract multiple expressions of interest and in such cases, we will make decisions taking account of the overall balance of contributors in order to have the most diverse group of scholars. If that happens, we may suggest an alternative but related topic.

About the Igbo Studies Initiative

For the past six years, the Igbo Studies Initiative has hosted the Annual International Igbo Conference at SOAS, University of London in association with the Centre of African Studies. The Igbo Conference has carved out a unique space, serving as a bridge between the community and academia. The aim of the Igbo Conference is to encourage and promote Igbo studies in the UK. Whilst there are limited Igbo language and cultural studies available in British Universities, the Igbo Conference seeks to provide a forum for intellectual and cultural exchange between scholars, students and members of the community. Visit for more information.