African History into the 19th century
Office: Harris Hall #303
David Schoenbrun (PhD UCLA, 1990) specializes in African history into the 19th century and in non-traditional sources for writing history. He has received awards from the Social Science Research Council, Fulbright, the National Humanities Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies. His first book, The Historical Reconstruction of Great Lakes Bantu Cultural Vocabulary: Etymologies and Distributions, appeared in 1997. His second book, A Green Place, A Good Place: Agrarian Change, Gender, and Social Identity in the Great Lakes Region to the 15th Century, was named a 1999 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title. He has also published articles in the Uganda Journal, Azania, Sprache und Geschichte in Afrika, Journal of African History, International Journal of African Historical Studies, History Compass, History and Theory, African Archaeological Review, Comparative Studies in Society and History, and the American Historical Review. He has worked in Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (ex-Zaire), Ghana, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and England. He collaborated with Kearsley Stewart (Anthropology) and Harlan Wallach (Academic Technologies) in producing the film "Controlling the Fire: The Value of the Bead in Ghana" which was Jury Selected to screen at the Royal Anthropological Institute's Biennial Ethnographic Film Festival, London, June 24, 2011. These days he is preparing a new etymological dictionary of Mashariki Bantu in support of a history of the significance of the aftermaths of violence to major transformations in political culture in East Africa's Great Lakes region from 900 to 1850. In 2009-2010, he was an NEH Fellow at the National Humanities Center. He is a former Interim Director of the Program of African Studies at Northwestern (2001-2003) and of the African Studies Program at the University of Georgia (1996-1997) and a member of the Editorial Advisory Boards of the Journal of African History and the International Journal of African Historical Studies.
“A Mask of Calm: Emotion and Founding the Kingdom of Bunyoro in the 16th Century,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 55, 3 (2013), 634-64. doi: 10.1017/S0010417513000273
“Mixing, Moving, Making, Meaning: Possible Futures for the Distant Past,” African Archaeological Review 29, 2 (2012), 293-317. doi:10.1007/s10437-012-9120-1
“The Vicissitudes of Language in Writing Precolonial African History,” H-Net, (2010), 32 paragraphs.
“African Pasts for African Futures in a Time of Radical Environmental Change: Notes on History and Policy in Africa’s Reconstruction.” Program of African Studies Working Papers 17 (2009). 43pp.
“Geography of Meaning, Topography of Struggle: in a Kinyarwanda Dictionary,” African Studies Review 51, 1 (2008), 119-125.
“Violence, Marginality, Scorn, and Honour: Language Evidence of Slavery to the 18th century,” in Henri Médard and Shane Doyle (eds.) Slavery in the Great Lakes Region (Oxford: James Currey Publishers, 2007), 38-75.
“Conjuring the Modern in Africa: Durability and Rupture in Histories of Public Healing Between the Great Lakes of East Africa,” American Historical Review, 111, 5 (December, 2006), 1403-1439.