Jan Vansina



Professor emeritus in African History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA; Award of the Alexander-von-Humboldt-Stiftung. Leading historian and cultural anthropologist of Africa, author of seminal methodological and interdisciplinary works which have had a decisive influence on African studies in the humanities for decades up to the present. Numerous individual studies on Central Africa which have often addressed the particular history of Angola and which have stimulated revisions of historical “truths”. Monographs of particular importance for the planned symposium are, among others:

Prof. Emeritus
Department of History
University of Wisconsin
3211 Humanities Building
455 North Park Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53706


Selected Bibliography:

   De la tradition orale. Tervuren 1961.

   Kingdoms of the Savanna: a History of the Central African States until European Occupation. Madison 1966;

   The Bells of Kings, Journal of African History, 10, 1969: pp. 187-197.

   The Tio Kingdom of the Middle Kongo: 1880–1892. London 1973.

   The Children of Woot. A History of the Kuba Peoples. Madison 1978.

   Art History in Africa. London 1984.

   Oral Tradition as History. Madison 1985.

   Paths in the Rainforests. Toward a History of Political Tradition in Equatorial Africa. Madison 1990.

   New Linguistic Evidence and ‘The Bantu Expansion’, Journal of African History 36 (2), 1995, pp. 173-195.

   Government in Kasai Before the Lunda, International Journal of African Historical Studies 1998, 31 (1), pp. 1-22.

   Raffia Cloth in West Central Africa, 1500–1800, in: Maureen Fennell Mazzaoui (ed.), Textiles: Production, Trade and Demand. Aldershot etc. 1998, pp. 263-281.

   It Never Happened: Kinguri’s Exodus and its Consequences, History in Africa 25, 1998, pp. 387-403.

   (and Eva Sebestyén) Angola’s Eastern Hinterland in the 1750s: A Text Edition and Translation of Manoel Correia Leitão’s ‘Voyage’(1755–1756), History in Africa 26, 1999, pp. 299-364.

   Du nouveau sur les Lunda, Congo-Afrique 341, 2000: pp. 45-48.

   Portuguese vs Kimbundu: Language Use in the Colony of Angola (1575-c. 1845), Bulletin des Séances de l’Académie royale des Sciences d’Outre-Mer 47(3), 2001: 267-281.

   Confinement in Angola’s Past. In: Florence Bernault (ed.), A History of Prison and Confinement in Africa. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann, 2003: pp. 55-68.

   A Coming Together. Governance in West Central Africa before 1600. Virginia University Press 2004 (in print).