Archive | Teaching

“Crossing boundaries in the study of France and Africa”: study half day report

On Wednesday 18 February 2015, the Francophone Africa cluster at the University of Portsmouth held a study day exploring the theme of “Crossing boundaries in the study of France and Africa”. This half day event, which included papers from scholars based at the University of Portsmouth and institutions in the UK, France and Germany, was aimed especially at second year students in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences registered on the “Guns, glory hunters and greed: European colonisation in Africa” unit, but was also attended by other students and staff from across the Faculty. Joanna Warson introduces the study day, before Romain Tiquet’s paper forced labour in Senegal Joanna Warson (Portsmouth) opened the event with a brief introduction to the themes and aims of the event, emphasising especially the importance of adopting a broad perspective when studying relations between France and Africa. The first panel, chaired by Fabienne Chamelot (Portsmouth), focused on the theme of labour and detention. In the first paper, entitled ‘From the civilisation by work to the law of work: political economy and coercive methods of recruitment in (post)colonial Senegal, 1920s – 1960s’, Romain Tiquet (Humboldt) explored the use of forced labour in Senegal. Romain emphasised the […]

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Basil Davidson’s The Magnificent African Cake: 30 years on and still as magnificent as ever

In this post, Dr. Joanna Warson explores Basil Davidson’s classic documentary, The Magnificent African Cake, and considers some of the reasons why, more than 30 years after it was first aired on Channel 4, this film remains such an excellent resource for teaching the partition of Africa. Over the past few weeks, in our second year unit, ‘Guns, glory hunters and greed: European colonisation in Africa’, we have been exploring the partition of the African continent by the European colonial powers. Taking as our starting point the Portuguese exploration of Africa’s coastline in the 15th century, we have traced the development of relations between Africa and Europe, from these early, primarily trade-focused encounters to the violent, territorial conquest that took place in the final three decades of the 19th century, seeking to present the “Scramble for Africa” as a long term process, whilst also exploring in detail the particular late 19th century context that enabled formal partition to take place. We dedicated one of the first sessions dealing with this topic to watching The Magnificent African Cake, episode six of Basil Davidson’s award-winning series, “AFRICA: A voyage of discovery”. Despite being more than 30 years old, for a number of different […]

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