Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

History of Africa

Supervisors for theses at the Chair of African History:

Prof. Dr. Andreas Eckert
Prof. Dr. Baz Lecocq
PD Dr. Geert Castryck
Dr. Chanfi Ahmed (currently not on duty)


The courses offered in the discipline history in Africa focus mainly on West, East, and Southern Africa. They focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but reach back to the 15th century and up to most contemporary times. African History is here understood as a social science and as historical anthropology. It is not concerned with event history or even political history, but with an understanding of experiences and memories in Africa.

History in Africa is part of an interdisciplinary approach to societies and cultures in Africa. African pasts are to be recovered and conveyed with the disciplinary means of history. In this regard it is important to make students acquainted with historical methodology, theory, and debates. From the first year, therefore, source work is a central concern. Berlin provides a variety of possibilities, from working in the archives to conducting interviews.

Currently, the discipline focuses on the following themes:
  • History of Anglophone Western Africa of 19./20.century
  • African Diaspora
  • Precolonial trade relations in Western Africa
  • Sports and youth cultur in Western Africa
  • Gender relations