Nationalist Historians in Search of a Nation: The ‘New Historiography’ in Dar es Salaam

The diligence and determination of past and present members of the History Dept, at Dar es Salaam has produced a substantial corpus of Tanzanian and East African history. Before independence there was a ‘colonial-minded’ historiography of Africa with often a strong element of racial arrogance, The ‘Dar es Salaam school’ of historiography have written history which can be described as nationalist, That commitment inclines the school towards rhetoric in defence of narrowly selected themes and interpretations, and the stereotyping and total rejection of alternative views. The basic assumption regarding the continuity and impact of national movements is asserted rather than demonstrated. It is ideological history. After having examined the characteristics of Tanzanian ‘nationalist’ history, the author considers some publications of the Dar es Salaam ‘school’. Annex a short bibliography of main East African works discussed or mentioned, See Also; 1971, 278, p. 50-61: T. Ranger, The ‘new historiography’ in Dar es Salaam? an answer. 1971, 280, p. 287-288: D. Denoon & A. Kuper, The ‘new historiography’ in Dar es Salaam: a rejoinder.

Title: Nationalist Historians in Search of a Nation: The ‘New Historiography’ in Dar es Salaam
Authors: Denoon, Donald
Kuper, Adam
Year: 1970
Periodical: African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society
Volume: 69
Issue: 277
Period: October
Pages: 329-349
Language: English
Geographic term: Tanzania
External link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/720209
Abstract: The diligence and determination of past and present members of the History Dept, at Dar es Salaam has produced a substantial corpus of Tanzanian and East African history. Before independence there was a ‘colonial-minded’ historiography of Africa with often a strong element of racial arrogance, The ‘Dar es Salaam school’ of historiography have written history which can be described as nationalist, That commitment inclines the school towards rhetoric in defence of narrowly selected themes and interpretations, and the stereotyping and total rejection of alternative views. The basic assumption regarding the continuity and impact of national movements is asserted rather than demonstrated. It is ideological history. After having examined the characteristics of Tanzanian ‘nationalist’ history, the author considers some publications of the Dar es Salaam ‘school’. Annex a short bibliography of main East African works discussed or mentioned, See Also; 1971, 278, p. 50-61: T. Ranger, The ‘new historiography’ in Dar es Salaam? an answer. 1971, 280, p. 287-288: D. Denoon & A. Kuper, The ‘new historiography’ in Dar es Salaam: a rejoinder.