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A new history for a new nation

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This analysis by Rift Valley Institute Fellow and renowned South Sudan historian Douglas Johnson weighs up the implications of South Sudan’s independence on the new nation’s history, historiography and sense of identity.

The text is taken from a keynote lecture Johnson gave to the 9th International South Sudan and Sudan Studies Conference, held in Bonn, from 23?25 July this year.

As the RVI website describes:

... he discusses the South Sudan as ‘a missing piece in the jigsaw of Africa’s past’, offering a robust critique of the various outside prejudices and preconceptions that have continued to inform, or misinform, many research programmes. South Sudan may no longer be part of Sudan, he concludes, but it is part of the Nile basin, of north-east Africa, of Africa itself—and ‘will be all the poorer if its history were to be written in parochial, essentialist terms’.

The full text can be downloaded below.

A New History for a New Nation: The Search for South Sudan’s Usable Past

Douglas H. Johnson

Keynote address given at the 9th International South Sudan and Sudan Studies Conference Bonn, 23-25 July 2012

PDF - 229.6 kb
A new history for a new nation by Douglas Johnson (2012)


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  • 9 September 2012 23:05, by panom lualbil

    TO: DUNGLAS H, JOHNSON
    I appreciated your time but dont ever over-work yourself on history since there was no peace yet. Okay! The rebelions since SPLA struggled are still HAMPERING peace. Becos certain fellows do run to khartoum and fight us back. So you might be doing zero-work while the country is taken back by rebels.

    repondre message

  • 13 September 2012 01:18, by Mohamed

    Mr. Douglas Johnson,
    The history of Africa is not to be written via boundaries.
    Africa will unite and be one country. If you wish to study tribal histories regardless of boundaries your study may be acceptable and honorable.
    The split of Sudan has nothing to do with the history of Africa. Enough messing with our intelligence please. We are more learned if not as learned as you may think you are!

    repondre message

  • 23 June 2013 18:12, by aqibarif74

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    Songs PK

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  • 28 June 2013 12:25, by aqibarif74

    You can write about the terms and conditions on the blog. You might chronicle it’s spectacular. Your blog familiarly might thicken your fans.
    Ethical Investments

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  • 6 August 2013 11:43, by cafes

    he discusses the South Sudan as ‘a missing piece in the jigsaw of Africa’s past’, offering a robust critique of the various outside prejudices and preconceptions that have continued to inform, or misinform, many research programmes buy Cheap Youtube Views

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