Reviews and testimonials

Paul Lovejoy, York University

Paul Lovejoy, York University

Abina and the Important Men is an excellent introduction to history and society through an innovative mix of primary text, annotated transcription and highlighted in cartoon form that captures the imagination of new students. It is a must for adoption in first year courses.

Jeremy Rich, Middle Tennessee State University

Jeremy Rich, Middle Tennessee State University

This is a very strong and original work. All three sections (the inclusion of the primary source, the historical context section and the reading guide) allow for a broad range of discussion topics. Students can compare the graphic novel section to the court transcript and discuss how historians develop historical narratives.

Jonathan T. Reynolds, Northern Kentucky University

Jonathan T. Reynolds, Northern Kentucky University

Trevor Getz has pushed the envelope of Africanist Scholarship. With Abina and the Important Men he offers unique insight into such contentious topics as personhood, gender, slavery, and colonialism. Along the way, he provides teachers and readers with a powerful tool for investigating the process of giving meaning to historical documents and narratives. This is exactly the sort of work that will help African history escape the dark and dusty halls of academia and help make it relevant to a wider audience. This is GENIUS.

Jason Ripper, Everett Community College

Jason Ripper, Everett Community College

Academia has finally woken up to the interests of students and Oxford University Press is a willing partner in this awakening. Bravo! This book takes college-level course material in a fresh and invigorating direction. The story – images included – is engrossing, addresses themes regularly featured in our courses, and provides needed insight into a people who still get too little treatment even in world history courses. Also, the author’s added commentary on the source material and the general historical context ensure that when students have the book with them at home, they will still recognize the academic qualities of the volume.

Erin O’Connor, Bridgewater State University

Erin O’Connor, Bridgewater State University

This is an innovative approach to teaching social history and colonialism in Africa. The graphic history contains beautiful and compelling artwork, and the text closely follows historical documentation. Furthermore, the inclusion of the actual document transcription and historical context make it possible to teach this book on many different levels, getting students to think deeply about and probe the process of how history is made (both in the past and by historians). It would work well in courses on either African history or world history.

Tiffany F. Jones, Cal State-San Bernardino

Tiffany F. Jones, Cal State-San Bernardino

This is a pioneering work in the narration and representation of African History and will appeal to students of all levels. The book engages in the actual historical process and makes it very evident for students the processes historians go through when compiling such a document. The fact that Abina and the Important Men highlights the difference between primary and secondary documents, and talks in detail about representation and translation, makes it particularly valid for all history classes.

Alicia D. Decker, Purdue University

Alicia D. Decker, Purdue University

This is an excellent project! It is fresh, engaging, and historically sound. I would definitely use this text in my Modern Africa and African Women’s History classes. I really like the way that the author and illustrator have divided the book into sections for different levels of analysis. Beginning students can focus on the graphic novel, while more advanced students can also discuss the production of historical knowledge and the larger historiography.

Paul S. Landau, University of Maryland

Paul S. Landau, University of Maryland

This is an important departure for Oxford University Press and an excellent combination of research and pedagogy. It is a fine work and I will use it in my teaching…. Students today do not easily grasp the difference between a primary and secondary source. This text merges that appreciation — for how historians work — into the fabric of the book.