Historiography, Representation and the History of Buganda Guweddeko Fred

Topics: British Empire, History, Historiography Pages: 31 (10099 words) Published: August 1, 2013
SSR 7101
Major Debates in the Study of Africa
Title
Historiography, Representation and the History of Buganda
Guweddeko Fred
May 2012

Abstract
Scholars concerned with the challenges of method in studying the past and reflecting it in later periods are torn between intellectual veracity and the problem of multiple discourses on historicity and history. On this premise, this essay examines the problematics of the history of Buganda; the problems of historiography in its compilation and in the factors that have intermediated in the representation of this history before, during and after its construction. Through the controversies its presentation has generated, this essay reflects on the history of Buganda as a problem. It places into this perspective the conceptual debates, problems and questions of historiography and representation in theory and praxis. It is adducing that pre-developed historiography and pre-disposed representation have, through their assumptions and expectations, superimposed modeled and prescribed trajectories, albeit contestable, on the history of Buganda. This essay argues that Buganda history has been a captive of images of its past and visions of colony status within the ideology of 19th century British imperialism. That subsequently Buganda history became a theater of parallel and contesting historiography and representation positions by intellectual and political interests. It seeks to conclude that Buganda may have no history independent of the history of the challenges of historiography and representation in general and in its trajectory.

Essay Outline
1 Introduction
2 Problem of Buganda History
3 History and Buganda
4 Historiography of Buganda History
5 Representations in Buganda History
6. Conclusion

Introduction
The history of Buganda has since its documentation in 1901 been the subject of challenges, conflicts, rejections, court cases, and revisions in contests over its sources, compilation, construction and interpretation. This case underlines the argument that whereas historiography and representation are instrumental to the processes of constructing history, in practice they can become the process. That instead of being supportive, the relationship between methodology and history can be deterministic. This argument can be further extended to the debate over a free history by asserting that every history is the image of a particular historiography and representation. Historiography and representation can be constructionist and prescriptive of history. They can also be inductive and inscriptive. Due to historiography and representation, there are teleological tendencies in the construction of history.

In the controversies over Buganda history, representation is part of the wider problem. Towards its uncovering, I assume that representation grants the rules, working precepts, concepts, terminologies, translations and postulates employed to capture meaning from the record and project it into the present, as the qualified image of the past. The enduring problem is whether a history, oral or textual, satisfactorily expresses the intricate, actual, and critical dimensions of historical thinking about events; which is what makes any given representation of the past a distinctly "historical" account [White Hayden, 1988, P 2]. On this problem the question is whether it is possible to represent the past as history without significant alteration and loss of meaning without, as is the case with Buganda, creating political and cultural questions, controversies and conflicts.

For reasons that oblige inquiry, the history of Buganda is fraught with problems of historiography and representation. Because of these processes there is intractability on periodization, sources, trends, content, context, presentation and interpretation. The history of Buganda is hostage to the compulsion of methodization. Openness to influence has generated a controversial...

References: Wright M, 1971, ‘Buganda in the Heroic Age’, Oxford University Press, London
Semakula Kiwanuka, 1971, ‘A History of Buganda; From the Foundation of the Kingdom to 1900’
Cunningham, 1905, ‘Uganda and its Peoples; Notes on the Protectorate and especially the anthropology and ethnology of its indigenous races’
Karugire S R [1980], ‘A Political History of Uganda’, Heinemann Educational Books, Nairobi, Kenya
Ingham Kenneth, 1959, ‘A Modern History of Uganda’
Sathyamurthy T V, 1986, ‘The Development of Uganda; 1900-1986’
Twaddle Michael, ‘On Ganda Historiography’, History in Africa, Vol. 1 (1974), University of London,
Low D
Southwold M, 1967, “Was the Kingdom Sacred?”, Mawazo (1967),
Richards I Audrey, “Authority Patterns in Traditional Buganda” in Fallers A Lloyd, “The King 's Men” Makerere Institute of Social Research
Woolf, D. (2005). "Historiography", 53 page article on the history of history globally, in New Dictionary of the History of Ideas
Kiwanuka M
Semakula Kiwanuka M, 1971, ’A History of Buganda’
Hegel G.W.F., ‘The Philosophy of History’, translated by Jibree, 1956, New York: Dover,
Rudi Matthee [1998]; Introduction to "Historiography and Representation in Safavid and Afsharid Iran (in late 1700) ": Iranian Studies, Vol. 31, No. 2, (Spring, 1998),
Apter E D, 1966, ‘The Political Kingdom in Buganda’
Twaddle Micheal, 1969, ‘The Bakungu Chiefs of Buganda under British Colonial Rule, 1900-1930, The Journal of African History, Vol. 10, No. 2, (1969),
E
Terence Ball, ‘Must Political Theory be Historical?’, Published in ‘Contributions to the History of Concepts, Volume 2, Number 1 :: March, 2006
Helge Jordheim, ‘Conceptual History between Chronos and Kairos; The Case of Empire’
[ 10 ]. This position is common in the Christian Church aligned literature but Southword also writes of a history that the British had been invited by Kabaka Mutesa (1), See M. Southword," Was the Kingdom Sacred?" Mawazo ( 1967), P. 18
[ 11 ]
[ 27 ]. This meaning of the English word ‘clan’ is from the Merriam-Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English language, 2007
[ 28 ]
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • history Essay
  • History of Essays
  • history Essay
  • HISTORY Essay
  • history Essay
  • history Essay
  • history Essay
  • history Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free