Transnational anticolonial spaces: challenges to nationalism
Dmitri van den Bersselaar, Universität Leipzig
Ngozi Edeagu, Universität Bayreuth
This panel challenges historiographies of anticolonial activities that have privileged nationalist perspectives despite our knowledge of transnational activities, including pan-Africanism and international socialist support for anti-imperialism. Panel contributions will connect these two ways of understanding the anticolonial process.
This panel proposes to challenge historiographies of anticolonial activities that have privileged nationalist perspectives despite our knowledge of transnational activities, including pan-Africanism and international socialist support for anti-imperialism. Existing African national historiographies perceive anticolonialism as a form of nationalism leading to the specific post-colonial territories of Africa. Typical examples include the work of Adu Boahen for Ghana, E.A. Ayandele for Nigeria and Bethwell Ogot for Kenya. On the other hand, the works of Leslie James, Penny Von Eschen, Carol Polsgrove, Lynn Schler, Hakim Adi and Marika Sherwood cover transnational perspectives of the anticolonial movement. For the purposes of this panel, anticolonial activities can include anti-apartheid activities in South Africa.
The panel welcomes contributions that will connect these two ways of understanding the anticolonial process. Themes can include the following: discussions of the activities and impact of pan-African actors and institutions such as George Padmore, W.E.B. Dubois, Kwame Nkrumah and the International African Friends of Ethiopia (IAFE); explorations of the networks of transnational actors and institutions that connected through education such as Nnamdi Azikiwe, Jomo Kenyatta, the West African Students Union (WASU), Association des Étudiants Ouest-Africains (AEOA), and the Association des Étudiants Noirs en France (AENF); reconstructions of transnational social networks including “old boy” school networks, alumni associations and transnationally active hometown-focused unions; considerations of the impact of socialist international anti-imperialist organisations and movements; evaluations of the impact of transnational journalistic networks across the Atlantic, including the African American press and other print media; and so on.