Essential Texts on African and African Diaspora Histories: a Reading List

What follows is an inevitably incomplete list of texts that St Andrews historians view as ‘essential reading’ on African and African diaspora histories. In many ways, the list reflects our own research interests and areas of expertise as well as, of course, the notable gaps in these. As such it is intended as a ‘work in progress’ and we welcome suggestions from students and colleagues for additions to this list. As a result of the compiling of this list, we have added eleven new books on African and African diaspora histories to our library shelves. We hope that many more will follow.

Theories of Race and Racism in Historical Perspective

Kwame Anthony Appiah, ‘Is the Post—in Postmodernism the Post—in Postcolonial?’, Critical Inquiry 17.2 1991, 336–57.

Homi K. Bhabha ‘Of Mimicry and Men: The Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse’, October 28 1984 125–33.

James Campbell and James Oakes, “The Invention of Race: Rereading White Over Black,” Reviews in American History 21 1993, 172-83.

Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000)

Angela Davis Women, Race and Class (London, Women’s Press, 1982).

Franz Fanon (Charles Lam Markmann trans.) Black Skin, White Masks (London: Pluto, 1986 c1967)

Walter Johnson “On Agency,” Journal of Social History, Vol. 37.1, Fall 2003 113-124.

Ania Loomba, Colonialism/Postcolonialism (London & New York: Routledge, 1998)

Ania Loomba et. al (eds.) Postcolonial Studies and Beyond (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005)

Brian Meeke ed. Culture, Politics, Race and Diaspora: the thought of Stuart Hall (Kingston, Miami: Ian Randle Publishers; London: Lawrence & Wishart, 2007).

Andrew Pilkington Racial Disadvantage and Ethnic Diversity in Britain (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)

Laura Tabili “Race is a relationship, and not a Thing,” Journal of Social History, Vol. 37.1, Fall 2003, 125-130.

Patrick Williams and Laura Chrisman (eds.) Colonial Discourse And Post-Colonial Theory: A Reader (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994)

African Histories

Hakim Adi Pan-Africanism and Communism: The Communist International, Africa and the Diaspora, 1919-1939 (Africa World Press, 2013)

Glen Bowersock, The Throne of Adulis: Red Sea Wars on the Eve of Islam, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)

François-Xavier Fauvelle, The Golden Rhinoceros: Histories of the African Middle Ages. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, forthcoming December 2018)

George Hatke, Aksum and Nubia: Warfare, Commerce and Political Fictions in Ancient Northeast Africa, (New York: New York University Press, 2013)

P. Lorcin, Imperial Identities: stereotyping, prejudice and race in colonial Algeria (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014)

Giovanni R. Ruffini, Medieval Nubia: a Social and Economic History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)

Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History

Afro-Middle Eastern Histories

Jane Hathaway, The Chief Eunuch of the Ottoman Harem: From African Slave to Power-Broker (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018)

Afro-Caribbean Histories

Laurent Dubois, A Colony of Citizens. Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean 1787-1804 (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 2004)

A. Ferrer Insurgent Cuba: race, nation and revolution 1868-1898 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999)

A Ferrer Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014)

Charles Forsdick and Christian Høgsbjerg The Black Jacobins Reader (Durham: Duke University Press, 2017)

C.L.R. James The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (London: Penguin, 2001 [1938])

Diana Paton The Cultural Politics of Obeah: Religion, Colonialism and Modernity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Diana Paton and Pamela Scully eds. Gender and Slave Emancipation in the Atlantic World (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005).

Mary Prince (Sara Salih ed.) The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave (London: Penguin Books, 2000).

Christopher Schmidt-Nowara Empire and Antislavery. Spain, Cuba and Puerto Rico, 1833-1874 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999).

R. Scott Slave Emancipation in Cuba. The Transition to Free Labour, 1860-1899 Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985).

Afro-European Histories

Andrew S. Curran, The Anatomy of Blackness: Science and Slavery in an Age of Enlightenment (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press 2011). (See also discussion of this book online)

T.F. Earle and K.J.P. Lowe eds. Black Africans in Renaissance Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

Steven A. Epstein ed. Speaking of Slavery: color, ethnicity, and human bondage in Italy, (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2001).

Catherine Fletcher The Black Prince of Florence: The Spectacular Life and Treacherous World of Alessandro de’ Medici (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016)

Felice Gambin ed. Alle radici dell’Europa: mori, giudei e zingari del Mediterraneo occidentale, (Florence: Seid, 2008-10).

Kate Lowe “’Representing’ Africa: Ambassadors and Princes from Christian Africa to Renaissance Italy and Portugal, 1402-1608.” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society vol 17 2007 101-128.

Kate Lowe “Visible Lives: Black Gondoliers and Other Black Africans in Renaissance Venice.” Renaissance Quarterly, vol. 66, no. 2, 2013, pp. 412–452.

Olivette Otele Afro-Europeans: A Short History (Hurst: forthcoming 2018)

Patrizia Palumbo ed. A Place in the Sun. Africa in Italian colonial culture from post-unification to the present, (Berkeley & Los Angeles, University of California Press, 2003)

Sue Peabody and Tyler Stovall (eds.), The Color of Liberty. Histories of Race in France (Durham and London: Duke University Press 2003)

Matteo Salvadore The African Prester John and the Birth of Ethiopian-European Relations, 1402-1555, (New York: Routledge, 2016)

Jonathan Spicer, ed. Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe (Baltimore: Walkers Art Museum, 2012)

Ann L. Stoler, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule, (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002)

Natalie Zemon Davis, Trickster Travels: A Sixteenth-Century Muslim Between Worlds (London: Faber, 2007)

Steve Murdoch, John Brown: A Black Female Soldier in the Royal African Company

Black British Histories

Hakim Adi West Africans in Britain 1900-1960: Nationalism, Pan-Africanism and Communism (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1998)

Caroline Bressey Empire, Race and the Politics of Anti-Caste (London: Bloomsbury, 2015)

Christopher Leslie Brown Moral Capital. Foundations of British Abolitionism (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006)

Vincent Carretta ed. Unchained Voices: An Anthology of Black Authors in the English-speaking World of the Eighteenth Century (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2004)

Linda Colley, The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh. A Woman in World History (London: Harper Collins, 2007)

Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself (London, 1789)

James Nott, ‘Race and the Dance Hall’ in Going to the Palais: A Social and Cultural History of Dancing and Dance Halls in Britain, 1918-1960 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 246-278.

Stuart Hall with Bill Schwartz Familiar stranger: a life between two islands (Durham: Duke University Press, 2017).

Stuart Hall, ‘New Ethnicities’, in Black Film, British Cinema, ICA Documents 7, London: Institute of Contemporary Arts (1989)

Colin Holmes, John Bull’s Island: Immigration and British Society, 1871-1971 (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1988)

Miranda Kaufmann Black Tudors: The Untold Story (Oneworld: 2017)

P. Kirkham and D. Thomas (eds) War culture: social change and changing experience in World War Two Britain (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1995)

H.L. Malchow, “Frankenstein’s Monster and Images of Race in Nineteenth-Century Britain,” Past & Present, No. 139 (May, 1993), pp. 90-130.

David Olusoga, Black and British. A Forgotten History. (Pan, 2017)

Panikos Panayi, Immigration, ethnicity, and racism in Britain, 1815-1945 (Manchester & New York: Manchester University Press, 1994)

Panikos Panayi An immigration history of Britain: multicultural racism since 1800 (Harlow & New York: Pearson Longman 2010)

David Reynolds, ‘The Churchill government and Black American Troops in the Second World War’ in Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Vol 35, p. 113-133.

Sonya O. Rose, Which People’s War?: National Identity and Citizenship in Wartime Britain 1939-1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2003), Ch. 3 & 7

Sonya O. Rose, ‘Race, empire and British wartime national identity, 1939-45,’ in Historical Research, no 184 (May 2001), 224.

Laura Tabili Global Migrants, Local Culture: Natives and Newcomers in Provincial England, 1841-1939 (London & Basingstoke: Palgrave 2011)

Chris Waters ‘”Dark Strangers” in Our Midst: Discourses of Race and Nation in Britain, 1947-1963’, Journal of British Studies, Vol. 36, No. 2, Twentieth-Century British Studies (Apr., 1997), pp. 207-238.

African American histories

Mia Bay The White Image in the Black Mind: African-American Attitudes towards White People, 1823-1925 (New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)

Kathleen Brown “Gender and Race in Early America,” Reviews in American History 26 (March 1998), 96-123.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me: Notes on the First 150 Years in America (New York, Spiegel & Grau, 2015)

Glenda Gilmore, Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896-1920 (Chapel Hill, 1996)

Winthrop D. Jordan White Over Black: American Attitudes Towards the Negro, 1550-1812 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968)

Maghan Keita Race and the Writing of American History: Riddling the Sphinx (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)

Ethan Kytle and Blain Roberts, Denmark Vesey’s Garden: Slavery and Memory in the Cradle of the Confederacy (New Press, 2018)

Danielle L. McGuire and John Dittmer (eds), Freedom Rights: New Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement (Lexington: Kentucky UP, 2011)

Lauren Sklaroff, Black Culture and the New Deal: The Quest for Civil Rights in the Roosevelt Era (Chapel Hill: North Carolina UP, 2009)

Thomas Sugrue, The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit (Princeton, 1996)

Brian Ward, Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness and Race Relations (London: Routledge, 2004)

Jenny Woodley, Art for Equality: The NAACP’s Cultural Campaign for Civil Rights (Lexington: Kentucky UP, 2014)

About standrewshistory
With over forty fulltime members of staff researching and teaching on European, American and Asian history from the dawn of the Middle Ages to the present day, the School of History at the University of St Andrews has one of the finest faculty and diverse teaching programmes of any School of History in the English speaking world. The School boasts expertise in Mediaeval and Modern History, from Scotland to Byzantium and the Americas to South Asia. Thematic interests include religious history, urban history, transnationalism, historiography and nationalism. The School of History prides itself on small group teaching, allowing for in-depth study and supervision tailored to secure the best from each student. Cutting edge research combined with teaching excellence offer a dynamic and intellectually stimulating environment for the study of History.

One Response to Essential Texts on African and African Diaspora Histories: a Reading List

  1. Pingback: Summer and Autumn Round Up | St Andrews School of History

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