Writing African History in a Global World

The Intercultural Paradigm

Authors

  • Jean Luc Enyegue Hekima University College

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/isit.19435

Keywords:

Elridge Mohammadou, Engelbert Mveng, historiography, nationalism, pedagogy, postcolonialism

Abstract

In addressing the question of the relevance of neocolonialism and race as an epistemological framework for the writing and teaching of African history today, this article argues that history has a role to play in bridging parallel historiographies. Using the historiography of Cameroonian Engelbert Mveng and that of his main critique Elridge Mohammadou, the article challenges traditional methods of Western historiographies of Africa and warns against the reductionisms of monocultural and nationalist histories and their traumatic effects. It concludes that interculturality can help historians unleash the healing powers of history as an academic and a taught discipline. For history to not repeat the same errors from the past, historians should not only respect the diversity of perspectives in interconnected yet multi-cultural settings, but also overcome monocultural and nationalistic histories in the classroom. Researching and writing African history today should therefore be global, intercultural and pedagogical processes.

References

Adam, Thomas. 2013. “New Ways to Write the History of Western Europe and the United States: The Concept of Intercultural Transfer.” History Compass 11(10): 880–892. https://doi.org/10.1111/hic3.12087

Allen, John L. 2013. The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution. New York: Image.

Bloch, Marc. 1953. The Historian’s Craft. New York: Knopf.

Bowden, Henry Warner. 1985. “Ends and Means in Church History.” Church History 54(1): 74–88. https://doi.org/10.2307/3165751

Burke, Peter. 1990. The French Historical Revolution: The Annales School, 1929–1989. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Colloquium on Black Civilization and Education (1977 : Lagos, Nigeria). 1977. Colloquium Proceedings. Lagos : Federal Military Government of Nigeria.

Comaroff, Jean and John Comaroff. 1991. Of Revelation and Revolution: Christianity, Colonialism, and Consciousness in South Africa. Volume One. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226114477.001.0001

Comaroff, Jean and John Comaroff. 1997. Of Revelation and Revolution: The Dialectics of Modernity on a South African Frontier. Volume Two. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Cornis-Pope, Marcel. 2003. “Arguments for a Cross-Cultural Literary History: Theoretical and Practical Implications.” Arcadia Band 38: 389–393. https://doi.org/10.1515/arca.38.2.389

Diop, Alioune. 1947. “Niam n’goura Ou Les Raisons d’être de Présence Africaine.” Présence Africaine 1(December): 7–14. https://doi.org/10.3917/presa.001.0007

Diop, Alioune, Thyster Tchikaya, Alphonse M’Bwaki, Théophile Obenga, Harris Memel-Fote, Christophe Wondji, J. C. Bahoken, Ibrahima B. Kake, Cheikh Anta Diop, and R. P. Engelbert Mveng. 1972. “Table Ronde Sur l’Enseignement de l’Histoire En Afrique Noire / Round-Table on the Teaching of History in Black Africa.” Présence Africaine (81): 49–132.

Enyegue, Jean Luc. 2014. “Engelbert Mveng, Nouvelles Pistes Pour Une Épistémologie de l’histoire.” In Engelbert Mveng: Chantre de La Libération Du Muntu, edited by François-Xavier Akono, 193–209. Yaoundé: Presses de l’université catholique d’Afrique centrale.

Fanon, Frantz, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Constance Farrington. 1963. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove.

Frend, W. H. C. 2001. “Church Historians of the Early Twentieth-Century: Adolf von Harnack, 1851-1930.” The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 52(1): 83–102. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022046900005893

Gaddis, John Lewis. 2002. The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Georgiadis, Fokion, and Zisimos Apostolos. 2009. “‘Border Crossing’ of History Education in Multicultural School Contexts in Greece: An Intercultural Approach.” The International Journal of Learning 16(1): 153–167. https://doi.org/10.18848/1447-9494/CGP/v16i01/46088

Getz, Trevor R., and Liz Clarke. 2012. Abina and the Important Men: A Graphic History. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hassan, Salah D. 1999. “Inaugural Issues: The Cultural Politics of the Early ‘Présence Africaine,’ 1947–1955.” Research in African Literatures 30(2): 194–221. https://doi.org/10.1353/ral.2005.0060

Hebga, P. Meinrad. 1956. “Christianisme et Négritude.” In Des Prêtres Noirs s’interrogent, 189–203. Paris: Présence Africaine.

Heitzenrater, Richard P. 2011. “Inventing Church History.” Church History 80(4): 737–748. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0009640711001193

Hunt, Lynn. 2014. Writing History in the Global Era. New York: W.W. Norton.

International Congress of African Historians. 1971. Perspectives Nouvelles Sur l’histoire Africaine, Comptes Rendus Du Congrès International d’historiens de l’Afrique, University College, Dar Es Salaam, Octobre 1965. Paris.

Jerusalem Congress on Black Africa and the Bible. 1973 [1972]. The Jerusalem Congress on Black Africa and the Bible, April 24–30, 1972: Proceedings. Congrès de Jerusalem Sur l’Afrique Noire et La Bible, 24–30 Avril.

Kadima-Nzugi, Mukala. 2010. “Alioune Diop, Présence Africaine et La Modernité Africaine.” Présence Africaine 181(182): 171–177. https://doi.org/10.3917/presa.181.0169

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

Ketchoua, Thomas. 1961. Contribution à l’histoire Du Cameroun de 450 Avant Jésus-Christ à Nos Jours. https://www.worldcat.org/title/contribution-a-lhistoire-du-cameroun-de-450-avant-jesus-christ-a-nos-jours/oclc/4852003/editions?referer=di&editionsView=true

Kom, Ambroise, and Ruthmarie H. Mitsch. 1991. “Writing under a Monocracy: Intellectual Poverty in Cameroon.” Research in African Literatures 22(1): 83–92.

Mbembe, Achille. 2001. On the Post-Colony. Berkeley: University of California Press.

McGarrah Sharp, Melinda. 2012. “Globalization, Colonialism, and Postcolonialism.” In The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Practical Theology, edited by Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, 422–431. Malden: Blackwell.

Messina, Jean-Paul. 2003. Engelbert Mveng : La Plume et Le Pinceau: Un Message Pour l’Afrique Du IIIème Millénaire, 1930-1995. Yaoundé: Presses de l’université catholique d’Afrique centrale.

Mohammadou, E., and A. Bassoro. 1977. L’histoire de Garoua, Cité Peule Du XIXe Siècle. Garoua: Institut des sciences humaines (ONAREST).

Mohammadou, Elridge. 1965. “Histoire Du Cameroun Du R.P. Mveng.” Abbia March: 171–91.

———. 1975. Le Royaume Du Wandala Ou Mandara Au XIXe Siècle. Garoua: ONAREST.

———. 1978. Les Royaumes Foulbe Du Plateau de l’Adamawa Au XIXe Siècle. Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa.

Mveng, E., and V. Megang. 1983. “Rapport Général Colloque Alioune Diop.” Présence Africaine 125: 374–378. https://doi.org/10.3917/presa.125.0374

Mveng, Engelbert. 1963. Histoire Du Cameroun. First Edition. Paris: Presence Africaine.

———. ed. 1971. Perspectives Nouvelles Sur l’histoire Africaine, Compte Rendu Du Congrès International d’historien de l’Afrique. Paris: Présence Africaine.

———. 1972a. Balafon: Poèmes. Yaoundé: CLE.

———. 1972b. Les Sources Grecques de l’histoire Négro-Africaine Depuis Homère Jusqu’à Strabon. Paris: Présence Africaine.

Mveng, Engelbert. 1990. L’Eglise Catholique Au Cameroun: 100 Ans d’évangélisation 1890-1990. Rome: Grafiche Dehoniane.

Mveng, Engelbert, and Beling-Nkoumba. 1969. Manuel d’histoire Du Cameroun. Yaoundé: Centre d’e?dition et de production de Manuels et d’auxiliaires de l’enseignement.

Nkanza, Ntima. 2005. “Engelbert Mveng: La Poésie Comme Antidote Contre La Domination de l’homme Par La Machine.” Telema 120: 28–48.

Onomo Etaba, Roger. 2005. “Maximum Illud, de Benoît XV, et l’oeuvre Missionnaire Au Cameroun (1890–1935): Entre Anticipations, Applications et Contradictions.” Présence Africaine 172: 125–145. https://doi.org/10.3917/presa.172.0125

Pope, Benedict XV. 1919. “Maximum Illud. De Fide Catholica per Orbem Terrarum Propaganda.” 11(November): 440–55.

Pope, Pius XI. 1926. “Rerum Ecclesiae.” Acta Apostolicae Sedis 18(February): 65–83.

Reid Andrews, George. 1994. “Comparative History.” In Encyclopedia of Social History. Edited by Peter N. Stearns, First Edition. 1:162–65. New York: Garland.

Robert, Dana L. 2002. “The First Globalization: The Internationalization of the Protestant Missionary Movement Between the World Wars.” International Bulletin of Missionary Research 26(2): 50. https://doi.org/10.1177/239693930202600201

———. 2009. Christian Mission: How Christianity Became a World Religion. Malden: Blackwell.

Said, Edward W. 2003. Orientalism. 25th Anniversary Edition. New York: Vintage.

Sanneh, Lamin O. 1989. Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis.

Sanneh, Lamin O. 1993. Encountering the West: Christianity and the Global Cultural Process : The African Dimension. Christianity and the Global Cultural Process. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195189605.001.0001

Sanneh, Lamin O. 2008. Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Siegrist, Hannes. 2006. “Comparative History of Cultures and Societies. From Cross-Societal Analysis to the Study of Intercultural Interdependencies.” Comparative Education 42(3): 377–404. https://doi.org/10.1080/03050060600890245

Smith, H. F. C. 1962. “Ninetenth-Chntury Arabic Archives of West Africa.” The Journal of African History 3 (2): 333–336. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021853700003224

Socpa, Antoine. 1999. “L’hégémonie Ethnique Cyclique Au Nord Cameroun.” Africa Development / Afrique et Développement 24(1–2): 57–81. https://doi.org/10.4314/ad.v24i1.22117

Stearns, Peter N., ed. 1994. Encyclopedia of Social History. New York: Garland. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203306352

Trouillot, Michel-Rolph. 1995. Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. Boston: Beacon.

Vansina, Jan. 1974. “The Power of Systematic Doubt in Historical Enquiry.” History in Africa 1: 109–127. https://doi.org/10.2307/3171764

———. 1996. “Sources vs. Text: An ‘Integrated Edition of Sources.’” History in Africa 23: 461–465. https://doi.org/10.2307/3171956

———. 1997. “The Doom of Early African History?” History in Africa 24: 337–343. https://doi.org/10.2307/3172034

———. 2006. “Linguistic Evidence for the Introduction of Ironworking into Bantu-Speaking Africa.” History in Africa 33: 321–361. https://doi.org/10.1353/hia.2006.0022

Published

2021-07-22

How to Cite

Enyegue, J. L. . (2021). Writing African History in a Global World: The Intercultural Paradigm. Interreligious Studies and Intercultural Theology, 5(1-2), 33–54. https://doi.org/10.1558/isit.19435

Issue

Section

African Theologies: Methodological Considerations for a Growing Field