Eurafrica. Multiple Futurities in a Decolonizing World -Public lecture by Dr. Anne-Isabelle Richard
WHEN Tuesday 20 November, 16.00-17.30
WHERE Bushuis D.304, Amsterdam
Recent work by Fred Cooper and others has drawn attention to federal projects that were explored in the early decolonization period. Eurafrica was one such project. The idea of Eurafrica goes back to the 19th century when it was seen as a common European burden to ‘civilise’ the black continent. In the late 1940s and 1950s it was reconceived in multiple ways by African actors. While future Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah emphasised the neo- colonial character, future Senegalese president Léopold Senghor reconceived of Eurafrica for emancipatory purposes. The idea of an interdependent and complementary relationship between the two continents was used in all contexts, although the understanding of that relationship was highly contested. This paper will examine how actors from the French Union connected to their non- francophone African and European counterparts and developed the Eurafrican idea. As a case study, it will focus on the Council of Europe, which had representatives from the French Union from the start in 1949. These politicians used this European platform to address French policies and European projects and voice their own claims. While the broader project is set in a longer term perspective connecting to current EU-Africa relations, the focus will be on the early 1950s: with European projects under construction and Asia rapidly decolonising, the future of the African colonies was hotly debated and a Eurafrican project was seriously examined. Part of a larger project examining Eurafrica from Ghanaian and Senegalese civil society perspectives, this paper has two broad aims. Firstly, it contributes to the historiography connecting global, African and European (integration) history. While recently there is more attention for the colonial policies of (the predecessors to) the European Union, this work focuses predominantly on European actors. This paper explicitly engages African actors and examines the interactions between African and European politicians regarding a Eurafrican future. Secondly, while the literature has traditionally emphasised the transition from colony to nation state, this paper will show the importance of alternatives to this binary opposition and thus contribute to the recent historiography that examines (federal) alternatives, examining how multiple futurities, to use David Scott’s term, were imagined and negotiated.
Anne-Isabelle Richard has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Cambridge and an M.A. in History and an LL.M. from the University of Leiden, in the Netherlands. Her research interests are European and world history from a transnational and transimperial perspective. She focusses on political, economic, cultural and intellectual links between ideas of European, imperial, regional and global construction and belonging from the late nineteenth century onward. Currently, she is working on a NWO Veni project entitled ‘Eurafrica. African perspectives, 1917-1970s’, in which she analyses the history of the interaction between actors from Europe and Africa relating to the concept of Eurafrica.
The Origins of the End of the Ideology Debate: An Alternative History – Public lecture by Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins
WHEN Tuesday 12 March, 16.00-17.30
Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins is a lecturer at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. He is a global historian of 20th century intellectual and political thought and is currently working on two book projects: The first is titled, “The Neoconservative Moment in France: Raymond Aron and the United States” (Columbia University Press) and looks at the larger transatlantic intellectual origins of the neoconservative movement. The second one focuses on the rise and fall of global secularism since the Cold War. Previously he has published scholarly articles in The Journal of the History of Ideas, Modern Intellectual History, Global Intellectual History and elsewhere. He is currently coediting two books: Michel Foucault, Neoliberalism and Beyond (Rowman and Littlefield, 2019) with Stephen Sawyer; and Christianity and the New Historiography of Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2020) with Sarah Shortall.
A particular kind of gentilism? Buddhism in early modern European thought – Public lecture by Joan-Pau Rubiés
WHEN Tuesday 30 April, 16.00-17.30
WHERE Bushuis D.304, Amsterdam
Joan-Pau Rubiés (PhD Cambridge) is the coordinator of the Research Group on Ethnographies, Cultural Encounters and Religious Missions (ECERM) at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, which has received funding from the ERC (Marie Curie Program), AGAUR (SGR) and MINECO. His research is focused on the study of cross-cultural encounters in the early modern world, from a perspective combining the contextual analysis of ethnographic sources with the intellectual history of early modern Europe. He is currently developing various lines of research including: travel writing and ethnography, religious dialogue and cultural mediation, the intellectual impact of travel writing and the origins of the Enlightenment, diplomacy and cultural encounters and the comparative history of early modern empires and globalisation.