In this book, Oluwatoyin Oduntan offers a critical intervention in the scholarly fields of Nigerian, and West African history, as well as towards understanding the intellectual ideas by which modern African society was formed, and how it functions.
The book traces the shifting dynamics between various segments of the African elite by critically analyzing existing historical accounts, traditions and archival documents. First, it explores the lost world of native intellectual thoughts as the perspective through which Africans experienced the colonial encounter. It thereby makes Africans central to contemporary debates about the meanings and legitimacy of colonial empires, and about the African cultural experience. It shows that the resettlement of liberated and Westernized Africans in Abeokuta and after them, European missionaries, merchants and colonial agents from the 1840s, did not dismantle preexisting power structures and social relations. Rather, educated Africans and Europeans entered into and added their voices to ongoing processes of defining culture and power.
By rendering a continuing narrative of change and adaptation which connects the pre-colonial to the post-colonial, Power, Culture and Modernity in Nigeria leads Africanist scholarship in new directions to rethink colonial impact and uncover the total creative sites of changes by which African societies were formed.
Table of Contents
List of Maps and Figures
Introduction: Colonialism and the African Modern
Chapter 1: Before the Modern: The Burden of Origins and Traditions
Chapter 2: Incipient order: settlers and returnees making the nation (1850-1880)
Chapter 3: Making Modern Monarchy: The Ambiance of a King, 1893-1920.
Chapter 4: Making a Nation: Colonialisms Unlimited, 1918-1940.
Chapter 5: "Rulers know their Bounds": Disease and Death in Abeokuta, 1937-1950.
Chapter 6: A Nation Unfulfilled: Local Rivalries, Nigerian Nationalism and
Global Ideas, 1950-
Tunde Oduntan is an Assistant Professor at Towson University, USA.