SFB 640 I: Sub-Project B2: Political Representations in Transnational Spaces of African Modernity


The question of the impulses which led to the collapse of the European colonial empires after the Second World War is closely linked with the role of late colonial elites. This project focuses on the life- and representational worlds of urban elites in central and western Africa in the transitional phase from the late colonial era to decolonisation. This period was characterised by rapid social and political change. How did the actors seek to understand this change and how did new political spheres of action and representations develop? Communication between African elites and European colonial rulers evolved, though the dialogue between the two sides was admittedly hierarchical. Various processes of exchange took place, and a political dynamic arose which contributed to the process of decolonisation. This is to be assessed from a transregional and also a transcontinental point of view. African modernity is here understood as African societies confrontation with the process of change resulting from European colonialism and is examined in two different projects: as an adaptation of European consumer worlds and as a local reading of metropolitan discourses. The central sources are magazines which in the period roughly between 1945 and 1960 were produced for and, in part, by African elites and distributed in Africa.


Principal Investigators
Eckert, Andreas Prof. Dr. phil. (Details) (Collaborative Research Centres)

Duration of Project
Start date: 07/2007
End date: 06/2012

Last updated on 2020-09-03 at 17:04