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Agricultural History
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3322-7848
Number of Authors: 12024 (English)In: Oxford Bibliographies in African Studies / [ed] Thomas Spear, Oxford University Press , 2024Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This overview of literature on the agricultural history of sub-Saharan Africa focuses on works that contribute to our understanding of changes in farming systems, crops, and tools. The time period considered here is after the introduction of farming and before colonialism, thus roughly corresponding to 500 to 1900 CE. Agrarian change during this period remains very little studied in comparison with other continents. Many works on African history take their point of departure in a timeless description of precolonial agriculture. Agriculture is then often described on the basis of late 19th- and early-20th-century ethnographic observations, and it is common to assume that little had changed since the introduction of farming. The few works that carry the title “Agrarian history of” or “Agricultural history of” different regions in Africa are, in contrast to similar works covering countries and regions in, for example, Europe and Asia, mainly short papers or pamphlets that focus on either colonial development or sketch a program toward a precolonial agricultural history. The precolonial agricultural history of sub-Saharan Africa is a true interdisciplinary endeavor, and the ideal researcher would have to master Arabic and Portuguese texts, agronomy, palaeobotany, archaeology, linguistics, and oral history. It is to a large extent on the cutting edge between two or more of these specialties that interesting new results have emerged. Works that give a significant empirical contribution to the understanding of agriculture in the period and region under study are included in this article.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press , 2024.
Series
Oxford Bibliographies
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Geography with Emphasis on Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-227093DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199846733-0229OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-227093DiVA, id: diva2:1841778
Available from: 2024-02-29 Created: 2024-02-29 Last updated: 2024-04-16Bibliographically approved

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Widgren, Mats

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