Ivor Wilks

Professor Emeritus Ivor G. Wilks (19 July 1928 – 7 October 2014)[1][2] was a noted British Africanist and historian, specializing in Ghana. He was an authority on the Asante Kingdom in Ghana and the Welsh working-class movement in the 19th century. He had one of the most distinguished careers of any historian of Africa, which ended as Professor Emeritus of History at Northwestern University in Illinois, USA.

Life and career

In the 1940s Wilks was a Lieutenant in the British Army in Palestine.[3] He attended Bangor University, and as an ardent supporter of Welsh independence participated in Welsh Nationalist politics and the Welsh Republican Movement.[4] Graduating in 1951, he took a degree in philosophy at Oxford University.[4]

In 1953 Wilks left Oxford for the University College of the Gold Coast (now the University of Ghana), where he devoted his long career to what he described as the decolonization of West African history. His work examines the nature of power and leadership, collaboration and resistance. He was instrumental in setting up the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon.[1]

His 1975 book Asante in the 19th Century remains both a classic and a standard text of Africanist scholarship.

Professor Emeritus Ivor G. Wilks was the author of 178 published works[1] and one of the masters of African historiography.


Selected bibliography


  1. 1 2 3 "Professor Ivor Wilks is dead", Starr FM.
  2. Library of Congress Name Authority File
  3. Ivor Wilks, "A Once and Past Love: Palestine 1947, Israel 1948 - A Memoir". Northwestern University, Program of African Studies, Special Papers Series, ISSN Print 1949-0283. ISSN Online 1949-0291.
  4. 1 2 Jeff Rice, "Emeriti professors' papers published, launching new series", Program of African Studies newsletter, Fall 2011/Volume 22, Number 1, pp. 6–7.

Further reading

External links

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