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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences | Department of Asian and African Studies | Regional Departments | African Studies | Events | Upcoming Events | 23.05. Research Colloquium on African History: Diplomacy, norms and textuality in Islamic West Africa. The power letters in Northern Nigeria, a methodological approach (1823-1918)

23.05. Research Colloquium on African History: Diplomacy, norms and textuality in Islamic West Africa. The power letters in Northern Nigeria, a methodological approach (1823-1918)

Dr. Rémi Dewière (European University Institute, Florence)
When May 23, 2019 from 06:30 PM to 07:45 PM (Europe/Berlin / UTC200) iCal
Where IAAW, Invalidenstr. 118, Raum 410
Contact Name

Diplomacy, norms and textuality in Islamic West Africa.

The power letters in Northern Nigeria, a methodological approach (1823-1918)

 

During this class, we will investigate the relation between writing and authority, as well as the administrative and diplomatic written practices of African states before and in the first years of the colonization. Thanks to the in-depth analysis of administrative and diplomatic letters produced in Northern Nigeria by the Muslim authorities, we will investigate the making of a complex administrative system in the Sahel region of Africa. The students will particularly focus on the methodological tools that are necessary to analyse these diplomatic letters. We will see that we can go beyond the texts and study the material and visual features of the letters in order to re-write a social and political history of precolonial African societies.

Biographical Note

Rémi Dewière (Maw Weber Fellow, European University Institute) is a historian interested in Islamic West Africa in the Early Modern and Modern period. In particular, he focuses on State practices, diplomacy and circulations in Central Sahel, with a special focus on the Borno sultanate from the late medieval to the 19th century. His book, Du lac Tchad à La Mecque. Le sultanat du Borno et son monde (xvie-xviie siècle) (Éditions de la Sorbonne, 2017), provides a new perspective on the functioning of an Islamic Sahelian state in the Early Modern period and its relationship with the world around it through the trans-Saharan routes.

 

All who are interested are invited!