“Jan Vansina’s academic career is virtually simultaneous with the field of African history itself. His centrality in the burgeoning field in the 1950s and 1960s was so intense that he was actually called a ‘Culture Hero’ in print, after the anthropological concept that a single figure epitomizes in the collective memory an entire epoch.”—David Henige, University of Wisconsin
About the Author
Jan Vansina is the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor and the Vilas Professor in History and Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1983 and was the first scholar chosen as "Distinguished Africanist" by the African Studies Association of the United States. His many books include Paths in the Rainforest, Oral Tradition as History, Kingdoms of the Savanna (winner of the 1967 Herskovits Prize), and The Children of Woot, all published by the University of Wisconsin Press.