African World Histories: Reversing the Gaze

AHA Session 204
World History Association 3
Saturday, January 8, 2011: 2:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room 104 (Hynes Convention Center)
Joseph C. Miller, University of Virginia
Roger B. Beck, Eastern Illinois University

Session Abstract

World history in the United States was born of an ethos of inclusivity  that led its practitioners to attack “Eurocentric” Western  Civilization narratives and to replace them with global narratives  that included regions of the world previously marginalized or excluded  from professional “History”. Recent contributions of Africanists to  the development of world history have been significant and well  documented. Despite of this, African scholars, intellectuals and  popular thinkers are yet to be seen as serious participants on debates  that shape current understandings of world history. There is now,  however, a slow growth of contacts between African scholars and the  institutions of “world history”.  Yet to what degree will these  exchanges reshape the epistemologies, methodologies, and philosophies  of world history? This moment calls for an assessment of what a  “globalized” world history movement and world history classroom might  look like if African scholarly and popular perspectives, historical  consciousnesses, and narratives took center stage.

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