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How to Write about Africa's Past   

ONLINE: A Zoom invitation link will be sent one day before each class session begins.

There may be few – or no – documents. Maybe there are oral traditions, maybe some archaeological remains, some clues from linguistics, and the texts of an historian’s interviews. In 1966, David William Cohen began what is now a six-decade-long effort to reconstruct the past of one district of Uganda, Busoga, located at the spot where the waters of Lake Victoria flow into the White Nile. Two figures from the 19th century, Tibulya and her purported brother Lufu are, in important ways, helping Dr. Cohen complete a book of writings on Busoga’s past. In this presentation we will look back through this curious collaboration. David William Cohen is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and History at the University of Michigan. His writings on Busoga include The Historical Tradition of Uganda (1972), Womunafu’s Bunafu (1977), and Towards a Reconstructed Past (1986). His 1966-1972 research in Uganda is the subject of an edited volume, Enkaana, published in 2022.

 

 

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