Giacomo Macola

Giacomo Macola is senior lecturer in African history at the University of Kent and research fellow in the Centre for Africa Studies of the University of the Free State. The author of Liberal Nationalism in Central Africa: A Biography of Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula, he has also coedited (with Derek Peterson) Recasting the Past: History Writing and Political Work in Modern Africa.

Listed in: Social History · History · African History · African Studies




The Gun in Central Africa · A History of Technology and Politics
By Giacomo Macola

Examining the history of warfare and political development through a technological lens, Macola relates the study of military technology to the history of gender. A lively analysis of the social forms and political systems of central Africa, this work focuses on the question of why some societies embraced the gun while others didn’t, and how the technology shaped them in the precolonial years.

“Giacomo Macola makes a serious contribution to our understanding of nineteenth-century African history, and specifically to the history of warfare and military organization in Africa. Few scholars have positioned firearms at the centre of their work in quite this manner, making this an innovative and distinctive intervention.”

Richard Reid, professor of African history, SOAS




Recasting the Past · History Writing and Political Work in Modern Africa
Edited by Derek R. Peterson and Giacomo Macola

The study of intellectual history in Africa is in its infancy. We know very little about what Africa’s thinkers made of their times. Recasting the Past brings one field of intellectual endeavor into view. The book takes its place alongside a small but growing literature that highlights how, in autobiographies, historical writing, fiction, and other literary genres, African writers intervened creatively in their political world.

“As a group, the contributors and editors of Recasting the Past constitute one of the most impressive cohorts of scholars brought together in a collective volume project in the past three decades. This work will be required reading for any individual venturing into serious study of Africa’s past.”

David William Cohen, The University of Michigan