- David William Cohen
David William Cohen (born 1943) is professor of history and anthropology and director of the International Institute at the University of Michigan. He specializes in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda) and is a leader in the emerging field of historical anthropology.
Cohen received his PhD from the University of London. He taught at Johns Hopkins University, and was later professor of anthropology and history and director of the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University.
With E. S. Atieno Odhiambo, he wrote on the multiple investigations into the 1990 disappearance and death of Kenya’s Foreign Minister, Robert Ouko.
- The Historical Tradition of Busoga: Mukama and Kintu (Oxford: Clarendon, 1972).
- Neither Slave Nor Free: The Freedmen of African Descent in the Slave Societies of the New World, edited with Jack P. Greene, with an introduction by David William Cohen and Jack P. Greene (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1972).
- Womunafu's Bunafu: A Study of Authority in a Nineteenth Century African Community (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977). Repr. New York: ACLS History E-Book, 2004.
- Towards a Reconstructed Past: Historical Texts from Busoga, Uganda (London: The British Academy and Oxford University Press, 1986).
- Siaya: A Historical Anthropology of an African Landscape (London: James Currey; Nairobi: Heinemann Kenya; Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 1989), with E. S. Atieno Odhiambo.
- Burying SM: The Politics of Knowledge and the Sociology of Power in Africa (Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Heinemann; London: James Currey, 1992), with E. S. Atieno Odhiambo.
- The Combing of History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994).
- The Risks of Knowledge: Investigations into the Death of the Hon. Minister John Robert Ouko in Kenya, 1990 (Oxford, Ohio: Ohio University Press; 2004), with E. S. Atieno Odhiambo.
- African Words, African Voices: Critical Practices in Oral History (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2001), ed. with Luise White and Stephan F. Miescher.
Peer-reviewed journal articles
- "The Cwezi Cult," Journal of African History, ix, 4 (1968), 651-57.
- "Luo History Without Court Chronicles," Journal of African History, ix, 3 (1968), 480-82.
- "A Survey of Interlacustrine Chronology," Journal of African History, xi, 2 (1970), 177-201.
- "Agenda for African Economic History," The Journal of Economic History, xxxi, 1 (March, 1971), 208-21.
- "Precolonial History as the History of Society," African Studies Review, 17, 2, (1974), 467-72.
- "Trends in African Historical Studies," American Anthropologist, 80 (1978), 101-105.
- “The Political Transformation of Northern Busoga: 1600-1900," Cahiers d'Études africaines, 23 (3-4), 87-88 (1982), 465-88.
- "Ayany, Malo, and Ogot: Historians in Search of a Luo Nation," with E. S. Atieno Odhiambo, Cahiers d'Etudes Africaines, 107-108, xxcii-3-4, 1987, 269-286.
- "The Cultural Topography of a `Bantu Borderland': Busoga, 1500-1850," Journal of African History, 29, 1, 1988, 57-79.
- "The Undefining of Oral Tradition," Ethnohistory, 36, 1, Winter, 1989, 9-18.
- "Luo Camps in Seventeenth Century Eastern Uganda: The Use of Migration Tradition in the Reconstruction of Culture," SUGIA: Sprache und Geschichte in Afrika, 5 (1983), 145-75.
- "Natur und Kampf--Uberfluss und Armut in der Viktoriasee-Region in Afrika von 1880 bis zur Gegenwart," SOWI: Sozialwissenschaftliche Informationen fur Unterricht und Studium, 14, 1 (March) 1985, 10-22.
He has also compiled
- Selected Texts, Busoga Traditional History, 3 vols., limited xerox and bound edition deposited in Africana collections in North America, Europe, and Africa: 1969, 1970, 1973)
and written the sections
- "The River-Lake Nilotes from the Fifteenth to the Nineteenth Century," Zamani: A Survey of East African History, eds. B. A. Ogot and J. A. Kieran (Nairobi and New York: Longmans, New Edition, ed. B. A. Ogot, (Nairobi: Longmans, 1974).
- "Peoples and States of the Great Lakes Region," in J. F. A. Ajayi, ed., General History of Africa, VI: Africa in the Nineteenth Century until the 1880s (London: Heinemann; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989), 270-93).1968);
He also contributed chapters to many collected works, as well as written a number of essays and books reviews.
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