“Why the holdup?”: a rewarding visit to Pretoria’s archives

In this post, post-graduate student at University of Portsmouth, Roel van der Velde, recounts his research visit of last July to Pretoria, where he visited the South African National Archives and Archives of the former South African Defence Force. As a first-time visitor of the country, Roel shares his experiences of daily life and work in Pretoria and takes a peek at political developments in South Africa. (more…)

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Reminder: CFP deadline for “Beyond Françafrique” conference

Deadline for paper submissions: Tuesday 30 June 2015. The study of France’s policy in Africa has frequently focused on the interactions with its (former) Empire, the “pré-carré”. This has given rise to a narrative of uniqueness and exceptionality, whilst simultaneously contributing to critiques of France as a “neo-colonial” actor in Africa. However, a growing body of new scholarly research suggest that the time is now ripe for a reassessment of this restrictive vision. The progressive opening up of archives in France and elsewhere, along with the expansion of global and connected histories of empire and decolonisation, has shed new light on the France’s presence in Africa in colonial and post-independence era. Despite taking as their starting point the French traditional zone of influence, many recently published works on French decolonisation and the politics of cooperation explore the regional, continental and global dynamics that shaped French policy in Africa. There are also a growing number of publications, doctoral theses and on-going research projects that break free of the “Francophone” framework entirely. Some of these complete previous political science case studies of French policy in South Africa or Nigeria. Others go further still, uncovering largely unknown relations between France and the (former) British, […]

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