My book manuscript, "Birders of Africa: History of a Network," examines the interplay between local knowledge and science at the micro and macro levels. At the macro-level I consider the nature of agrarian bird knowledge and the history of ornithology in colonial Africa. I have found Actor Network Theory useful for reframing some debates about imperial science and its relation with local expertise. At the micro-level I work with the biographies of birders engaged in collaboration. These show that the structuring forces of race and empire left room for individual variation. Birders from all traditions sought status as experts, but the rewards of expertise differed greatly.
In addition to this monograph project, I have completed the first of two planned volumes of a sourcebook developed through my own teaching. African History through Sources: Colonial Contexts and Everyday Experiences appeared in early 2014 with Cambridge University Press. This volume arranges over 120 primary sources in a narrative of the history of colonial sub-Saharan Africa. Entries include government documents, memoirs by "ordinary" people and politicians, interviews with illiterate people whose perspectives might otherwise be forgotten, commentary by intellectuals, song lyrics, and photographs. A second volume, on Africa from 1945 through 2015, is under contract.