The Making of African Studies in Brazil and UK: some historiographical notes

Online via Zoom
Wednesday 28 February 2024 (13:00-15:00)

Africa Talks Seminars 2024

Speaker: Dr Evander Da Silva, Federal University of Latin American Integration

The main aim of this seminar is to discuss the historiography of African Studies in Brazil and the United Kingdom, from a comparative perspective, with a particular focus on the Centre of Afro-Oriental Studies (CEAO), established in Salvador, Bahia, in 1959, and the Centre of West African Studies (CWAS), founded at the University of Birmingham in 1963. In the Brazilian case, there is a tradition of research on Afro-Brazilian culture dating back to the 1930s, primarily associated with the works of intellectuals such as Gilberto Freyre, Arthur Ramos, and Edson Carneiro. In the British case, a significant shift in African Studies and African History can be observed, particularly in the post-1945 era and in response to political reconfigurations prompted by decolonization in Africa - a shift from "Imperial History" to "African History" proper. From a comparative standpoint, and with a focus on publications (in the case of CEAO, the "Afro-Ásia" magazine) and theses and dissertations (in the case of CWAS), a pronounced interest in Nigerian societies and cultures can be noted, albeit through distinct theoretical and methodological perspectives.

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