The topic raised in the monograph of Doctor of Historical Sciences T. M. Gavristova "Unknown Africa: History in biographies "(Yaroslavl, Filigran, 2014, 192 p.)* has not yet taken a firm place in modern Russian African studies, although there is no doubt that the movement for the study of history through the biographical method has passed the period of formation and it has received recognition in the world of humanitarian knowledge.
Almost every international forum on African issues, whether it is the conference of Africanists in Russia, the annual conference of the Association for African Studies (ASA) in the United States, the European ECAS, or any other conference dealing with Africa, today does not do without reference to biographical studies in which the subject of study becomes a person in a cultural context epochs.
For the first time in Russian African studies, T. M. Gavristova takes up the task of reproducing the intellectual and cultural history of twentieth-century Africa in a "portrait format" - by studying the biographies of several prominent representatives of the continent's cultural elite.
To introduce readers to modern Africa, the author chooses representatives of several creative professions: Ali Mazrui (Kenya, USA) is an outstanding African intellectual, historian and cultural critic, writer and publicist; El Anatsui (Ghana) is a sculptor and art theorist; Yinka Shonibare (Nigeria, Great Britain) is one of the most extravagant artists in the UK. T. M. Gavristova also contributes to her research and tender diversity by dedicating one of the most popular works of art in the world. four essays on the life story of an outstanding female writer, playwright, author of books for children, Buchi Emecheta (Nigeria, Great Britain).
The method of "personal history" chosen by the author provides a real opportunity to understand on the basis of African material how the cultural and historical whole becomes a part of personal experience. These evidences, as if d ... Read more