Selective memory has been a problem of historical understanding. Unfortunately, this has created a large and fatal gap in the useable knowledge of the past available to us all. This subverts a major ethos of the historical discipline, which allows one to critically understand human society, get at the heart of any issue, and develop complex arguments. This paper examines how selective memory and nostalgic contemplation of history have influenced the context for reconstructing history in Nigeria. The work tries to understand particular challenges for history as a meaningful field for critical discourse and for historical understanding in a conventional sense.
Professor Charles Olutayo Adesina is a seasoned historian of the Ibadan school of history and the former head of department of the prestigious history department. His research interests cover areas of Modern Nigerian history (economic, social and political); Economic and Social history of West Africa; History of Development; African history (general) & Race Relations. His most recent publications include “Overseas Development and Integration in West Africa: the Nigerian Experience,” and “Outward Bound, Tangled Nightmares: Rereading Globalization in Contemporary Nigeria.”