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General Bibliography

This general bibliography should be read alongside the more extensive reading lists provided for each seminar topic.

Key introductory texts

The following books provide useful introductions to key themes and issues explored on the module and you will find them useful for preparing for seminars, essays and presentations. The library has copies of all of these texts but you may wish to purchase your own copy of one of these texts:

Frederick Cooper, Africa since 1940: The Past of the Present (Cambridge, 2002). Ebook. Highly recommended.

Bill Freund, The Making of Contemporary Africa: The Development of African Society Since 1800 (3rd Edition, 2016).

John Iliffe, Africans: The History of a Continent (Cambridge, 2007). Ebook. Highly recommended.

Paul Nugent, Africa Since Independence: A Comparative History (2nd edition, London, 2012). Ebook.

Richard Reid, A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the Present (Oxford, 2009). Ebook. Highly recommended.

General texts

These texts are also available in the library and you may find them useful in preparing for seminars, essays and presentations:

J.F.A. Ajayi et al., UNESCO General History of Africa, vols 6, 7, and 8 (Oxford, 1989, 1990, and 1993).

Molefi Kete Asante, The history of Africa: the quest for eternal harmony (New York, 2007). Available as an e-book.

Ralph Austen, African Economic History: internal development and external expediency (London, 1987).

Michael Brett, Approaching African history (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2013). Available as an e-book.

Philip Curtin et al., African History: from earliest times to independence (London, 1995).

Christopher Ehret, The Civilizations of Africa: a history to 1800 (Charlottesville, 2002). Available as an e-book.

Toyin Falola (ed.), Africa (Durham, 2000).

R. Oliver and A. Atmore. Africa since 1800 (Cambridge 1981).

John Parker & Richard Rathbone, A Very Short Introduction to African History (Oxford, 2007). Ebook

John Parker and Richard Reid, The Oxford Handbook of Modern African History (Oxford, 2013). Ebook

John Edward Philips (ed.), Writing African History (Rochester, 2007). Ebook

Collections of Primary Sources

You may wish to use primary sources in your essays or presentation. The following are published collections of primary sources (note that many more primary sources are available via the External Resources page):

Robert O. Collins, Central and South African History: Vol. II of African History: Text and Readings (2015)

Nancy J. Jacobs, African History through Sources: Volume 1, Colonial Contexts and Everyday Experiences, c. 1850-1946 (2014).

John A. Williams, From the South African Past: Narratives, Documents, and Debates (1997)

William Worger, Nancy L. Clark and Edward A. Alpers, Africa and the West: A Documentary History: Volume 1: From the Slave Trade to Conquest, 1441-1905 (2010)

William Worger, Nancy L. Clark and Edward A. Alpers, Africa and the West: A Documentary History: Volume 2: From Colonialism to Independence, 1875 to the Present (2010)


The following works of literature are available to borrow from the library and will enhance your understanding of Africa's past and its cultures. These books represent only a very small selection of a growing body of contemporary African literature:

Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah (London, 2001)
Chinua Achebe, Arrow of God (London, 1964)
Chinua Achebe, Things fall apart (London, 2001)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun (London, 2006)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus (Chapel Hill, 2012)
Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions (London, 1988)
J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace (London, 2000)
Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible (London, 2000)
Ben Okri, The famished road (London, 1992)
Ngũgĩ wa Thiongo, A grain of wheat (London, 1986)
Ngũgĩ wa Thiongo, Petals of blood (London, 1986)
Ngũgĩ wa Thiongo, The river between (London, 1965)
Alan Paton, Cry, The beloved country (London, 1949)
Yvonne Vera, The stone virgins (New York, 2003)

Warwick also holds a subscription to the African Writers Series, which includes over 250 literary works by such authors as Chinua Achebe, Ama Ata Aidoo, Steve Biko, Doris Lessing, Nelson Mandela, and Christopher Okigbo.