Skip to main content Accessibility help

The Decline of the Africanists' Africa and the Rise of New Africas

  • William Martin and Michael West


Our thesis may be simply stated: There is a specter hanging over African studies: the specter of irrelevance both within and outside the academy. Indeed, African studies, as constructed in the North American academy over the past four decades, is dying.



Hide All


1 For our purposes here, we would provisionally define “Africanists” as those located in Euro-North American institutions of higher learning and self-defined as specialists on continental Africa.

2 Michaels, Marguerite, “Retreat from Africa,” Foreign Policy, vol. 72, no.l, 93108.

3 Richard D. Lambert, Language and Area Studies Review, Philadelphia: The American Academy of Political and Social Science, monograph no. 17, 1973.

4 Bay, Edna G., “African Studies,” in National Council of Area Studies Associations, Prospects for Faculty in Area Studies, Stanford, CA: American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, 1991, pp. 118.

5 Bates, Robert, Mudimbe, V.Y. and O'Barr, Jean, eds., Africa and the Disciplines: the Contributions of Research in Africa to the Social Sciences and Humanities, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993, pp. xiii-xiv.

6 Ibid., p. xxi.

7 Hodder-Williams, Richard, “African Studies: Back to the Future,” African Affairs, vol. 85, no. 341 (October 1986), pp. 593604 ; McCracken, John, “African History in British Universities: Past, Present, and Future,” African Affairs, vol. 92, no. 367 (April 1993), pp. 239353 ; Twaddle, Michael, “The State of African Studies,” African Affairs, vol. 85, no. 340 (July 1986) pp. 439-45.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

African Studies Review
  • ISSN: 1548-4505
  • EISSN: -
  • URL: /core/journals/african-studies-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed