- The Oxford Handbook of Modern African History
- List of Contributors
- Introduction African Histories: Past, Present, and Future
- Ecology and Environment
- Demography and Disease
- African Slave Trades in Global Perspective
- States and Statelessness
- Ethnicity and Identity
- Warfare and the Military
- The African Diaspora
- African Colonial States
- Law, Crime, and Punishment in Colonial Africa
- Work and Migration
- Between the Present and History: African Nationalism and Decolonization
- Indigenous African Religions
- New Religious Movements
- Education and Literacy
- Women and Gender
- Urbanization and Urban Cultures
- Health and Healing
- Economic Growth
- Visual Cultures
- Music in Modern African History
- African Literary Histories and History in African Literatures
- Communications and Media in African History
Abstract and Keywords
Urbanization and the creation of distinctive urban cultures are amongst the most dramatic social transformations in modern African history. This chapter considers the emergence of the field of African urban studies in the late colonial period, as sociologists began to research new forms of town life, and traces the development of a fully fledged urban history of the continent through to current concerns with ‘urban imaginaries’. The cosmopolitan nature of African towns and cities is traced from the nineteenth century to the colonial and postcolonial cities of the twentieth century by way of the key themes in urban history: built environments and urban networks, social and economic life, urban politics, and the arts.
John Parker teaches African history at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is the author of Making the Town: Ga State and Society in Early Colonial Accra (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2000); Tongnaab: The History of a West African God (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005), with Jean Allman; and African History: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), with Richard Rathbone.
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