Igbo historiography: Parts I, II, and III
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Work11 pages
journal articles postprints
Citation of Original PublicationGloria Chuku, Igbo historiography: Parts I, II, and III, History Compass, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1111/hic3.12489
RightsThis item may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. It is made available by UMBC for non-commercial research and education. For permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the author.
Files become available on 8/15/2020.
Igbo historical studies
origin of Igbo people
Dispersal of Igbo people
Settlement of Igno people
Igbo sociopolitical institutions and organization
Igbo economic systems
Igbo transatlantic slave trade
Igbo colonial economy
Igbo in precolonial and modern Nigeria
Igbo intellectual history
Critique of Igbo historical studies
Igbo historiography has advanced since the publication of the epic narrative of Olaudah Equiano in 1789 and its different versions, especially that of Paul Edwards, a British literary historian in 1969. The main objective of this essay is to demonstrate the vitality and diversity of Igbo historical studies and provide informative and thoughtful interpretations of its strengths and weaknesses. In three parts, the essay examines the origin, dispersal, and settlement of the people; sociopolitical institutions and organization; economic systems, including slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, and the colonial economy; Igbo religion, Islam, Christianity, and Western education; colonial encounter; the Igbo in precolonial and modern Nigeria with focus on intergroup relations, ethnicity, and the Nigeria–Biafra War; and Igbo intellectual history. The essay makes a spirited critique of areas of overemphasis and the conceptual and methodological issues. It suggests important neglected themes that require further historical investigations. Its primary goal is to nudge Igbo historiography in new and challenging directions and inspire historians interested in Igbo studies to adopt a historiographical approach that emphasizes currency, relevance, and usability.