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  • History 247: Africa – Colonialism to Self-Rule

    What is Africa?

    “The mistake is to generalize. The very word Africa—that sonorous trisyllable—seems to invite grandiloquence. Because the continent has a clear geographical unity it is tempting to hold forth about it. Cecil Rhodes wanted to colour everything imperial red from the Cape to Cairo; since then the tendency has been for Westerners—and often Africans too—to seek to impose a single reality, a general explanation, on the whole place. “

    John Ryle, Granta 92: The View from Africa

    http://www.granta.com/authors/582 http://www.granta.com/back-issues/92

  • What Is Africa?

    • Listen to Binyavanga Wainaina interviewed on CBC

    http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2007/200711/20 071109.html

    • Read his article: “How to Write about Africa”


    http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2007/200711/20071109.html http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2007/200711/20071109.html http://www.granta.com/extracts/2615

  • Contemporary Rendering of The African Continent: But whose “Africa”?

    Introduction: In Search of Africa

  • Maps in the Making of Africa

    •Maps – Geographical Representations – are one way of conceptualizing space: they reveal much about the ‘creators’ and very little about the region or peoples ‘mapped’.

    •The mapping of Africa belongs to the larger historical process by which ‘mapping’ came to be understood and developed in the West.

  • 12th Century World Map (Book of Kells)

    ‘T’ and ‘O’ map with Jerusalem at the center.

    This reflected the Church’s view of God’s World.

    Note ‘Africa’ on the right, ‘Chaos’ written Underneath

  • Maps in the Making of Africa

    •Western map-making reinforced the growing belief in Europe that the rest of the world was to be situated (and by implication, understood) relative to Europe and its peoples. •Map making by the 19th century served European Imperialism well. In this sense even the so-called scientific representation of the continent ‘Africa’ was a construction.

  • North Africa, (Spanish) Catalan Atlas 1375

    For other views of Africa in relation to Europe, Near East, Arabia and Asia, see “A Medieval Atlas: maps of Africa”: http://historymedren.about.com/library/atlas/blatafridex .htm

  • Medieval Mapamundi (c.1485-1500)

  • Genoa Chart of North Africa (c.1490) The Work of Christopher Columbus?

  • Mercator’s Atlas 1595

    In the famous Mercator's Atlas (1595), Atlas plays with the Earth like a basketball.

    The globe has become manageable, controllable, a resource to be exploited, no longer the realm of the unknown.

    Gerardus Mercator Atlas sive cosmographicae meditationes... Denuo auctus Amsterodami: sumpt. et typ. E.J. Hondii, 1616. [18], 365, [32] p., [145] map l.

  • The Mercator Projection (originated with Mercator’s Atlas, 1595)

  • The Peters’ Projection Map (1974)

  • Manuscripts, Books, and Maps: Printing Press and a Changing World

    •Maps The final aspect of print and its effects on European life has as much or more to do with economics than it does with culture: maps and geographical information were printed for European expansion.

    http://communication.ucsd.edu/bjones/Books/m aps.html

  • Europe’s Africa c.1808

    Brookes, R., The General Gazetteer; or Compendious Geographical Dictionary. Eighth Edition. Dublin, 1808.

  • Europe’s Africa, c. 1880

  • Africa Conceptualized by Religion c.1900

    “Mohammedans”are Muslims, those who follow the Islamic Faith.

    “Heathens” are animists, those who follow a wide range of polytheistic belief systems; by the end of the 19th century, many had absorbed considerable Christian and Islamic beliefs into their own cultures.

  • Exploration and Enlightenment

    By the 19th Century, the “Dark Continent” beckoned state-sponsored explorers, some with largely scientific motives, others more overtly political and military in their aims.

  • Exploration and Enlightenment

    They joined an increasing number of merchants who were less and less satisfied to remain in ocean-side trading forts and wanted to ‘penetrate’ the continental resource and consumer market for themselves. And they, in turn, vied with the

    competition of Christian Missionaries to establish influence in the interior, over the peoples who lived there.

  • Mapping Human Culture

    This new ‘scientific’ and ‘first-hand’ information certainly had an impact on Europe’s Maps of Africa.

    More importantly, it began in earnest to create images of Africa as people, as landscape, as culture.

  • Mapping Human Culture

    This accumulation of knowledge was also a form of assumed ‘power’ over Africans:

    “control over their [Africans’] destinies could be eroded as surely by map co- ordinates and museum specimens as by steamships, bullets and treaties of concession [and commerce…]’

    [Reid, Modern Africa, p.132]

  • Mapping Human Culture

    A Victorian ‘Human Africa’ was superimposed on the geographic one: a barbaric, uncivilized, ‘heathen’, enslaved Africa, awaiting awakening.

    Yet at the same time, this ‘Human Africa’ also represented a mystery, an enigma, an exoticism -- the Romantic replacement of the once ‘dark’ geographical continent.

  • Exploring Africa Exploration from the Cape to the Nile http://www.sc.edu/library/spcoll/sccoll/africa/africa3.html

    West Africa, the Niger, and the Quest for Timbuktu http://www.sc.edu/library/spcoll/sccoll/africa/africa4.html

    Central and East Africa, and the Legacy of Exploration http://www.sc.edu/library/spcoll/sccoll/africa/africa5.html

    Dr. Livingstone. I presume? Stanley finds Livingstone, 1871 http://commons.wikimedia.org/ wiki/Image:Stanley_and_Living stone.jpg

    http://www.sc.edu/library/spcoll/sccoll/africa/africa3.html http://www.sc.edu/library/spcoll/sccoll/africa/africa4.html http://www.sc.edu/library/spcoll/sccoll/africa/africa5.html

  • “Timbuctoo” the Romantic

    In 1828-29, interest in West Africa was such that even the set topic of the Cambridge University poetry prize was Timbuctoo.

    The winner was the future poet laureate Alfred Tennyson, then an undergraduate at Trinity College, and, as the conclusion to his poem shows, he was not sure that he really wanted accurate knowledge of Timbuctoo, because then the mystery and glamour would be dispersed.

  • Tennyson’s CHILD of MAN See'st thou yon river, whose translucent wave, Forth issuing from the darkness, windeth through The argent streets o' th' City, imaging The soft inversion of her tremulous Domes, Her gardens frequent with the stately Palm, Her Pagods hung with music of sweet bells, Her obelisks of rangéd Chrysolite, Minarets and towers? Lo! how he passeth by, And gulphs himself in sands, as not enduring To carry through the world those waves, which bore The reflex of my City in their depths. Oh City! oh latest Throne! where I was rais'd

  • CHILD of MAN (cont’d.) To be a mystery of loveliness Unto all eyes, the time is well-nigh come When I must render up this glorious home To keen Discovery: soon yon brilliant towers Shall darken with the waving of her wand: Darken, and shrink and shiver into huts, Black specks amid a waste of dreary sand, Low-built, mud-wall'd, Barbarian settlements.

    How chang'd this fair City! Alfred Tennyson, 1809-1892. Timbuctoo, a poem which obtained the

    Chancellor's Medal . . . in Prolusiones Academicae praemiis annuis

    dignatae Cambridge: John Smith, 1829.

  • “Timbuctoo” the Real

    This is the picture, impressive though it may seem, that finally disillusioned Europeans about the long-fabled wonders of this West African city. (from Rene Caillie)

  • Victorian Images

    http://fresno.k12.ca.us/schools/s090/lloyd/imperialism.htm http://www.pbs.org/empires/victoria/history/scramble.html

    [See Reading: Chamberlain, “The Victorian Image of Africa” From The Scramble for Africa, 2nd ed.]


  • Africa in Architecture

    Allegorical figure of Africa on the façade of the Colonial Office, Whitehall, London.

  • The White Man’s Burden Take up the White Man's burden— Send forth the best ye breed–

    Go, bind your sons to exile To serve your captives' need;

    To wait, in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild–

    Your new-caught sullen peoples, Half devil and half child.

    By Rudyard Kipling McClure's Magazine 12 (Feb.1899).

    (Full Text):http://www.boondocksnet.com/ai/kipling/kipling.html

  • Lightening the White Man's Burden Pears' Soap Advertisement

    Victorian England was also home to the Industrial Revolution; Africa was conceptualized as an almost Infinite potential market – ‘civilizing’ could also mean ‘advertising’. The ‘white man’s burden’ could be Profitable!

  • This advertisement, sho


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