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Local Intellectuals Series

The aim of this strand of the journal is to introduce and analyse texts – whether oral, manuscript or print – produced by authors outside the literary or academic mainstream. Such texts might include notebooks, diaries, letters, local works of history, philosophy or literature, performed or written poetry, newspaper serials and a host of other forms.

This rich seam of intellectual work is increasingly becoming a focus of attention by historians, anthropologists and literary scholars. Texts such as these constitute an archive of local thought and experience, experiment and commentary. They shed a fascinating light on life ‘on the ground’ in Africa, past and present. But the texts themselves are rarely accessible outside the local context of their production. As the series develops, the journal will be building up an on-line repository of texts to which scholars and researchers can return over the years.

The preferred format is an introductory essay of approximately 5,000 words and a sample text (with translation if relevant) also of approximately 5,000 words, for the print version of the journal; plus a longer text – there is no formal word limit – appropriately edited and annotated by the contributing scholar, for the online archive.

The texts we have published have been in Swahili, Tiv, and Yoruba as well as English and French. The aim is to bring edited and annotated editions of such works – with English translation where appropriate - to a new audience, with an introductory essay explaining the context and value of the work. In making such texts available to scholars and a wider public, our aim is to bring out their inherent qualities and to show how they can illuminate the time and place in which they were created. The short scholarly essay introducing the work should entice the reader into exploring the sample text, and the sample text should in turn draw the reader towards the complete text in the online journal, and to any other materials we have included online. The essay should be informative, analytical and thought-provoking, but we do not necessarily expect it to propose an extended academic argument as in a normal full-length journal article. The standard of editing, translation and annotation needs to be exemplary, as the whole series of Local Intellectuals contributions constitutes a permanent and freely accessible archive available to present and future scholars.

For further details, contact africa@internationalafricaninstitute.org

In the published list of articles below, local intellectuals' texts are included as 'Supplementary Materials' which can be accessed from each article page by clicking the 'Supplementary Materials' tab.

Local intellectuals

Local Intellectuals

Local intellectuals

Local Intellectuals

Research Article

Local intellectuals

Research Article

Local Intellectuals: Akiga's History of the Tiv