African Studies Center

GRAF header


MAR. 2002


#     Eileen Julien (*) présentera une communication intitulée“Liminality and the Novel” lors de la Conférence internationale sur les littératures africaines : ‘Versions et Subversions’, organisée par le Département d’Etudes Africaines de l’Université Humboldt à Berlin, 1er- 4 mai 2001.



@          “Colonial Rule and Crisis in Equatorial Africa: Southern Gabon, c. 1880-1940” by Christopher J. Gray (*)


In the second half of the nineteenth century, two very different practices of territoriality confronted each other in Southern Gabon. Clan and lineage relationships were most important in the local practice, while the French practice was informed by a territorial definition of society that had emerged with the rise of the modern nation-state and industrial capitalism.


This modern territoriality used an array of bureaucratic instruments – such as maps and censuses – previously unknown in equatorial Africa. Such instruments denied the existence of locally created territories and were fundamental to the exercise of colonial power. Thus modern territoriality imposed categories and institutions foreign to the peoples to whom they were applied. As colonial power became more effective from the 1920s on, those institutions started to be appropriated by Gabonese cultural elites who negotiated their meanings in reference to their own traditions. The result was a strongly ambiguous condition that left its imprint on the new colonial territories and subsequently the postcolonial Gabonese state.


Christopher Gray was Assistant Professor of History, Florida International University

280 pages, 6 x 9 in, ISBN 1 58046 048 8, Hardback, Due: 01/May/2002, $65.00 USD, $45.00 GBP [see insert for special offer]


@   Timothy Docking (*) prepared the report that came out of the United States Institute of Peace working group (chaired by Chester Crocker) for which he also served as coordinator. The report, titled “Responding to War and State Collpase in West Africa” (nº 81 in USIP’s “Special Reports” series), is available online at: Docking’s views on “L’influence étrangère sur le SYCOV”, based on his fieldwork in Mali, appeared as a ‘Note Brève’ in the IRD-Mali newletter “Actualités de la Recherche au Mali”,no.5 (fevrier 2002), pp.6-8.

A pdf version of this study can be obtained upon request through an e-mail adressed to

#   Andreas Eckert (*) a participé à la IIème Journée de la Chaire d’études africaines 2001-2002 organisée le 15 mars par le Département d’Histoire de l’Université catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve) sur le thème: “Explorations en histoire urbaine de l’Afrique centrale”.  Sa communication, présentée dans les locaux du Collège Erasme, était intitulée: “D’une agglomération des villages à une métropole coloniale, organisation sociale de l’espace et architecture à Douala, 1860 1960”.

@   Douglas A. Yates (*), who is now teaching full-time at the American University in Paris, is completing a book-length manuscript on “The French Oil Industry and the Corps des Mines”. The project was not substantially affected, it would appear, by the birth of his (and wife Corentine’s) third child, Nicolas.

@   Catherine Boone (*) and Jane Batsell have co-authored “Politics and AIDS in Africa: Research Agendas in Political Science and International Relations”, in Africa Today, 48:2 (2002), pp. 3-34.

The article is available online at:

@   Achille Mbembe (*), now a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (South Africa), has published “African Modes of Self-Writing”,in Public Culture, volume 14, nº 1, 2002, pp. 239-274.

@   Shaheen Mozaffar (*) was a guest speaker at Boston University, where he offered a lecture on 25 February under the title: “The Difference Between Multi-Ethnic and Deeply Divided Societies in Africa” as part of the African Studies Center’s ‘Rodney Seminars’ series.


(*) Names listed in the GRAF Directory / Noms figurant à l’annuaire du GRAF



#   Edmond Bernus (*) vient de publier “Les Touaregs: Initiation aux cultures nomades”, un volume illustré de cinquante photographies dues à J.-M. Durou. (Paris: Ed. Vents de Sable, 2002; 176 pages).

#   Raoul Etongué Mayer (*) vient de publier chez NEI (Nouvelles Éditions Ivoiriennes) “Afin que l’Afrique noire aille mieux….. Plaidoyer pour le réveil de la conscience des questions fondamentales négro-africaines”. (Abidjan, NEI, 2001; 200 pages, 70FF – ISBN:2-84487-108-9