Global History and Area Histories
Against the backdrop of the development of Africanist historiography over the last fifty years, this article asks whether global history could be seen as the latest turn in African history: To what extent does the emergent field of global history shape African history, and is shaped by it? This contribution refers to a long tradition of placing Africa in the long sweep of global history, as exemplified by W.E.B. Du Bois 1946 essay The World and Africa. On the other hand, it emphasizes, that to historians in Africa, global history appears to be yet another western imposition on the writing of history, that stresses Africa as a site of damage – because Africa is mainly prominent in global history writings through references to the slave trade – and it devalues local knowledge and sources.