Special to the Journal
Dr. Emmanuel Konde, a professor of history at Albany State University, has recently published a book entitled “Bassa Antiquity in Contemporary Limbe.” The book, Konde’s fourth, is a historic account of the migration and settlement of the Bassa people in pre-colonial, pre-Victoria, Limbe, a coastal West African city in Cameroon.
“Bassa Antiquity in Contemporary Limbe” is a 143-page, eight-chapter monograph published by Pyramid House in 2010. The book follows his very successful publications “Bassa of Cameroon: An Indigenous African Democracy Confronts European Colonialism” (1998), “The European Invention of African Slavery” (2005), “African Women and Politics: Knowledge, Gender, and Power in Male-Dominated Cameroon” (2005).
Konde, a native of Limbe, Cameroon, often writes about his homeland.
“Of Bassa ba Limbe ancestry, Konde writes about the town that nurtured him by drawing on the oral testimonies of some elderly Bassa, selected life histories of his subjects, and his personal experiences growing up in Limbe,” writes Jackson Nanje, in his review of the book. “He combines these strands with the existing scholarship on African migration and settlement patterns to expertly weave a compelling account of the Bassa of Limbe who previously had no written history.”
Jackson goes on to write that Konde’s book is “written for both experts and a wider readership of the general public,” and that Konde’s “book makes a major contribution to Cameroon’s historiography in general and the historiography of coastal Limbe in particular, but has also introduced a new genre of historical writing which he aptly calls nativist historiography.”
Konde, who regularly visits his hometown of Limbe, is a 1991 graduate of Boston University with a Ph.D. in history. He also has a Master of Arts degree in History from Boston University, 1985; a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from Northeastern University, 1984, specializing in political philosophy and international relations; and the Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy in 1982 from Hillsdale College in Michigan.
He has previously taught at Tuskegee University (1990-1991), Morris Brown College (1991-1992), Morehouse College (1992-1995), and Clark-Atlanta University (1995-1998). Prior to joining the faculty of Albany State University in 2003, he served in various teaching and administrative capacities at Knoxville College in Tennessee, where he was first hired as an associate professor of history and chair of the Department of History, Religion and Philosophy. In 2001 he was appointed head of the Humanities Division and dean of the faculty.
As a 1998-99 teaching and research recipient of the United States Fulbright Scholar award to Sub-Saharan Africa, he was the first native Cameroonian to return to Cameroon and “missionize” as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar at the University of Buea (UB). During his year-long teaching and research appointment at UB, he conducted research on women and politics and combined his findings with work done for his doctoral dissertation to produce “African Women and Politics: Knowledge, Gender, and Power in Male-Dominated Cameroon” (Edwin-Melen, 2005). This book is featured in many major research university libraries around the world as a work of anthropology, history, political science, sociology, sociology of women, African studies, and women’s studies.
His current research-in-progress includes two book-length monographs tentatively titled: “Political Transition in Cameroon: From Ahidjo’s ‘Old Order,’ Biya’s ‘New Deal,’ to Fru Ndi’s ‘Multipartism?’” and “Statecraft and Diplomacy: Talleyrand in French Politics and European Diplomacy.”