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Department of History And International Studies

Welcome Message from The Head of Department- History And International Studies

You are highly welcome to the web portal of the Department of History and International Studies at the Faculty of Arts, University of Calabar. The entire University of Calabar community sees us as the pride of the University of Calabar on account of the remarkable and sustained accomplishments and achievements of the Department and the ever-expanding members of its great Alumni family. We were there when what then was a campus of another university transited to the present University of Calabar and we will continue to be around to tell the story of the university in oral, written, and electronic formats. We admonish you to carefully go through our web portal and find out more information about our rich history, excellent academic programs, courses and curricula, research, and other activities.

The Department has excellent course curricula and academic programs that lead to the award of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in History and International Studies. Our curricula have undergone series of refinements following prevailing market demands and regulatory authorities to sustain our high global rating. Our inspirational teaching and innovative research activities, which are focused on both medieval and modern history of Nigeria, Africa, and the world at large, are meant for students to learn, acquire knowledge and skills, and consequently, develop an experience that will enable them to understand the dynamics of world politics and diplomacy, gender issues, religious issues, slavery, and diaspora issues, wars and conflicts resolutions mechanisms, medicine, economics, science and technology and so on. The academic education and research activities are a highly experienced team of academic, technical, and administrative staff, who always available to share their wealth of experience with students in and outside the classroom settings.

Our Alumni database is dominated by entries of happy and highly accomplished people that are occupying excellent job positions in various fields. Their joy and achievements have been very inspirational to the sustenance of our rich academic programs. Enrolling in any of our academic programs is one sure way of meeting these career diplomats, seasoned administrators, security operators, and many other professionals.

 Feel free to contact us for your comments, suggestions, feedback, and questions using any of our contact platforms.

Welcome to the only Department where the past, present and the future meets.

Best wishes.

Dr. Udida Undiyannday

Head of Department

Mission / Vision / Philosophy / Objective


The mission is to enable students whose certificates could not afford them direct Post Graduate admission into the Department to do so.


The vision of the programme is to train students to improve their intellectual and administrative capacities and capabilities in handling contemporary societal challenges and contribute to the advancement of national and international peace, security and welfare.



The History and International Studies programme of the University of Calabar is designed to enable students to acquire a good grasp of the content and methodology of Nigerian and African History in the context of world history, and to develop the abilities and benefits traditionally associated with historical studies such as critical, analytical faculties, and balanced judgement.

Furthermore, the programme reflects the belief that a proper understanding of History, apart from being indispensable to the education of any civilized man, should provide some perspective to related subjects in the humanities, social sciences and the natural sciences.  The overall University programme caters for this multi-disciplinary approach to the study of the development of human society.

Although the programme emphasizes Nigerian and African history in that order, the realities of our shrinking world necessitate the comparable development, in the long run, of other major areas of Europe, the Middle East, Asia, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean.  These regional studies and the recent injection of courses in International Relations and Diplomacy are meant to emphasize the international dimensions of historical studies.  This would allow the students to appreciate the main economic, political and social forces that have shaped world-historical events.


In summary, the programme aims at achieving the following objectives:

To give students a thorough understanding of the content and methodology of Nigerian and African history in the context of world history.

(b)          To enable students to develop the abilities and benefits traditionally associated with historical studies such as critical, analytical faculties and balanced judgment needed particularly in administrative and managerial responsibilities.

(c)           To educate students on historical movements of global importance to enable them to acquire a better knowledge of the world and thus promote world peace.

(d)          To make students understand the historical forces and developments which have shaped and are still shaping the lives of the peoples of Nigeria, Africa and the world. 

This understanding will enable them to consciously relate to these forces and developments in such a way that national unity, independence and prosperity can be achieved.




The seed that was to germinate into the University of Calabar was sowed by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and christened its Calabar Campus in 1973.  Donald E. U. Ekong, a prominent and distinguished scholar of the Chemistry Department of the University of Ibadan was the Principal of the Campus.  The 1975 political pressures to establish more universities mainly as a result of a perceived distortion of geographical spread in the location of Nigeria’s universities led to the upgrading of the University Campuses in Calabar, Port Harcourt, Maiduguri, Jos, Sokoto and Kano into autonomous institutions.  Thus, the Calabar Campus of UNN became the University of Calabar in 1975.  Two prominent historians and distinguished administrators who passed-on recently – Professor Emmanuel Ayandele and Okon Edet Uya – were appointed the first Vice – Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor respectively.

The University of Calabar started academic work in the three Faculties of Arts, Science, and Social Sciences.  In the Faculty of Arts, students were inherited from the University of Nigeria, Calabar Campus, in the Departments of History and English and Literary Studies.  Other Departments that constituted the Faculty of Arts were which later established Languages and Linguistics, Religious Studies and Philosophy, and Theatre Arts.  What was then the Department of History, which also doubled as Faculty of Arts Office, was a one-room office near the Old Senate Chambers.

The Department of History played a pivotal and catalytic role in teaching, research, curriculum design and publications in the Faculty of Arts, in the University and beyond.  Under the able leadership of Professor Okon Edet Uya, who doubled as the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, the Department pioneered the History Week annual programme which brought distinguished historians such as Professor Adiele Afigbo, E. J. Alagoa, Gabriel Olusanya, Anthony Asiwaju, Obaro Ikime, Walter Ofonogoro and Hollis Lynch, to share the results of their research findings with the larger University of Calabar and Cross River State Community.  The lectures were later edited by Okon E. Uya and Erim O. Erim and published as Perspectives and Methods of Studying African History (1984).

Similarly, the Department organized a number of workshops on interdisciplinary teaching and research which resulted in some other publications including Expanding Frontiers of African History (1989) and A History of the Cross River Region (1990), both of which were edited by late Professor Monday Abasiattai.  The Department collaborated with the National Museum and Archives, Old Residency, Calabar in hosting a national conference in 1986, the proceedings of which were later published as Old Calabar Revisited (1990).

Motivated by excellence in scholarship, the Department of History pioneered the publication of scholarly journals in the University of Calabar.  First published in 1976, The Calabar Historical Journal drew articles from a wide spectrum of Nigerian academics and beyond.  It became the medium through which researches conducted by academic staff in the humanities were made known to the public.

In an attempt to break the barriers of provincialism, which had characterized the work of older Departments of History of Nigerian Universities, the Department of History at the University of Calabar deliberately adopted an international history focus for its curriculum.  Thus, the curriculum soon became a model and guide for many other universities in Nigeria.  The internationalism was also reflected in the academic staff of the Department.  By 1982, the Department had staff drawn from Southern Africa (Dr. Henderson Tapela); from the Caribbean (Mr. David Johnson); from Uganda (Prof. S. M. Kiwanuka); from India (Drs. J. S. Mangart and Davendra Misra); from Latin America (Professor A. Sothe); from the United States of America (Dr. Jane Martin and Dr. David Lloyd); from Ghana (Dr. Kofi Darkwah); and from Sierra Leone (Dr. Akintola Wyse).  This cosmopolitan outlook created the right challenging academic atmosphere for scholarship to thrive.  Both staff and students were academically active as a Departmental Seminar held every two weeks.

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Department of History And International Studies
University of Calabar
Cross River State

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