History and Methodology in a Nigerian University
This work highlighted the challenges faced by graduate students of History in Nigeria. A major snag confronted by these students in writing M.A. dissertations and doctoral thesis at the Department of History, University of Ibadan, Nigeria (Ibadan School of History), is the issue of methodology and in particular, the use of theories. The Department decries the use of theories as anathemic to historical writing. This article seeks to interrogate the universal nature of history vis-a-vis the nature of history from the perspective of the Department. The questions raised by this research work include the what, when and why of the nature of historical scholarship at the University of Ibadan? How relevant is the position of the Department in the twenty-first century? What are the arguments for and against theory in historical scholarship at Ibadan? A school of thought argues that rational analysis and empiricism are central to the historian’s craft. Based on this premise, can the historian write about the past without theories? History and the challenges of Methodology in Nigerian universities is analyzed based on the author’s experience as a doctoral student at the Department of History. This research work concludes that the study of the past is not static, thus, the Ibadan School of History cannot afford to be static.
Key Words: History, Historiography, Theories, Methodology, and Ibadan School of History.
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