Summer School on Research Methods in African Economic History

The study of Africa’s economic past have in recent years received considerable scholarly attention, leading prominent scholars like Prof. Gareth Austin to talk about a renaissance for the study of African economic history (2014). After being increasingly marginalized in the 1980s and 1990s as part of the rise of neo-liberalism and the cultural turn in history the study of Africa’s economic history it is now considered as fundamental for our understanding of Africa’s development challenges and how to address them. Much of the recent research has been conducted by western scholars based at western universities, while scholars from African universities are, to a very limited extent, part of this renaissance (Fourie 2019). This is not to suggest that no economic history researches have been taking place. Indeed, as Erik Green and Pius Nyambara (2015) have demonstrated, there is a lot of Economic History research and teaching taking place in Africa. The economic history research is, however, not finding its way into mainstream economic history journals, with the consequence that the research conducted at African universities are not receiving the recognition it deserves. Part of the reason for such has to do with differences in methodological approaches. Economic history researches in Africa tend to be largely qualitative and single case study oriented while the mainstream economic history journals have a bias towards quantitative and comparative research.

From our preliminary investigations, researchers on African Economic history at African universities have limited capacity where quantitative research methodologies are concerned. It is within this context that a capacity building summer school will be held at the University of Zimbabwe from 21 June to 3 July 2021 in partnership with the Young Scholars Initiative, the Economic History Department at Lund University and the African Economic History Network.

How to participate
It is envisaged that 15 participants from different parts of Southern Africa, constituting of largely early career PhD holders and post-graduate students will be engaged for 10 days under the tutelage of senior scholars. The participants should be already in a University system and to qualify they should submit their CV and a statement of purpose demonstrating how they seek to deploy quantitative methodologies in their ongoing researches. Submissions should be made to [email protected] and [email protected]. Due date for application is 28 February 2021.

YSI Africa, African Economic History Network (AEHN), University of Zimbabwe and Lund University (Economic History Departments)
Organisers: Ushehwedu Kufakurinani AND Erik Green

Professor Gareth Austin (Cambridge University)
Associate professor Karin Pallaver (University of Bologna)
Associate professor Erik Green (Lund University)
Associate professor Jutta Bolt (Lund University)
Dr. Ushehwedu Kufakurinani (University of Zimbabwe)