Past Event

L’Afrique dans le temps du monde / Africa in the Time of the World

March 25, 2024
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
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East Gallery, Maison Française, Buell Hall

Mamadou Diouf, in conversation with Manthia Diawara, Emmanuelle Saada, and Gayatri Spivak.

In his new book, L’Afrique dans le temps du monde, historian Mamadou Diouf examines the impact of African historians on the field of history at the turning point when Africa achieved independence from colonial rule.  African history asserted the value and importance of a past that had been depreciated under Western imperialism, while also decentering history through the use of libraries such as the Islamic Library and the study of the “Black Atlantic,” a term first coined by British sociologist Paul Gilroy to refer to that hybrid historical reality.  This concept aimed to “reinstate Africa to its pioneering role in world history” according to Diouf: “For Africa and the Black diaspora, taking its history into its own hands meant reclaiming cultural, creative, and historiographic parity, and decoupling the concept of the universal from Occidental imperialism.” Mamadou Diouf examines the different currents and schools of African history (those of Dakar, Ibadan, Dar-es-Salaam) and important figures that shaped African historiography, such as Cheikh Anta Diop, and evokes some of its main controversies and debates.

Mamadou Diouf is the Leitner Family Professor of African Studies. His research interests include urban, political, social and intellectual history in colonial and postcolonial Africa. His publications include Tolerance, Democracy, and Sufis in Senegal (ed. 2013), New Perspectives on Islam in Senegal: Conversion, Migration, Wealth, and Power (with Mara A. Leichtman, 2009), and La Construction de l’Etat au Sénégal (with M. C. Diop & D. Cruise O’Brien, 2002), among others.

Manthia Diawara is Professor in the Martin Scorsese Department of Cinema Studies at NYU. He has published widely on the topic of film and literature of the Black Diaspora.  

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is University Professor and a founding member of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia.

Emmanuelle Saada is Professor of History and French and Chair of the Department of French at Columbia.

This event is co-sponsored by the Columbia Maison Française, Institute of African Studies, Department of History, and MESAAS.