Researching and teaching Francophone Africa at Portsmouth this week

It has been a great pleasure this week to welcome to the University of Portsmouth a number of guest speakers, who have contributed to our research and teaching programmes on Francophone Africa here in the Centre of European and International Studies Research (CEISR). On Tuesday 11 November, we welcomed back a familiar face, Dr. Alexander Keese, who is a lecturer at the University of Humboldt in Berlin as well as a Visiting Scholar in CEISR and has subsequently visited Portsmouth on several occasions over the past few years to present his research on Africa. On this occasion, Alex came to present a guest lecture on our second year undergraduate unit, “Guns, glory hunters and greed: European colonisation in Africa”, which is open to students in both the School of Languages and Area Studies and the School of Historical, Social and Literary Studies. Alex’s lecture explored Portuguese colonial rule in Africa, focusing particularly on the merits of studying Portuguese Africa alongside more commonly studied African colonial empires, namely the British and the French. His lecture sought to challenge some of the ‘colonial legends’ surrounding the Portuguese presence in Africa, notably the myth that Portugal had a long-term territorial presence in Africa, as well as […]

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The history of an uneasy relationship: France and South Africa, 1958-1974

This Tuesday (11 November 2014), Dr. Anna Konieczna (Sciences Po) will present a paper at the Centre for European and International Studies Research Seminar (5.00-6.30pm, Dennis Sciama Building DS 2.14). Anna graduated from Warsaw University and obtained her PhD from Sciences Po Paris (2013), where she is currently teaching international relations and history. Her research focuses on French foreign policy in Africa after 1960. In this post, Anna gives us a preview of the paper she will present in Portsmouth this week. Despite constant historiographical progress, historical research works on French foreign policy in Africa in the post-colonial period focus almost exclusively on French interactions with the former Empire, and neglect the spaces in other parts of Africa. This presentation, which is based on my doctoral thesis, aims to partly fill this gap by presenting a history of relations between France and the South African apartheid regime, during the presidencies in France of Charles de Gaulle (1958-1969) and Georges Pompidou (1969-1974). Drawing on various French and South African archival sources, this presentation will show the motivations and the evolution of the unexpected rapprochement between what was, until then, two distant States. This convergence of interests was fostered by two interlocking elements: the policy of independence […]

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