This remarkable, wide-ranging book is an insightful intellectual
history of Makerere University and a welcome rejoinder to
Uganda’s political leaders, who routinely disparage the academic
study of the humanities. Historicising the Humanities shows
how, over time, humanistic scholarship has shaped public life.
The distinguished group of authors unpack the changing logic of
the university curriculum with care and confidence, but this book
is anything but a mundane exercise in bureaucratic recollection.
The authors show how Uganda’s disparate people have made
claims on the university, demanding access to knowledge that
could advance projects and arguments outside the university’s
gates. More than other universities, Makerere has never been
an ivory tower, isolated from the pressures of real life. To the
contrary: in different registers, in different disciplinary homes,
and using different methods, Makerere scholars and students
have created knowledge that responded to the demands of the