Past Imperfect: Time and African Decolonization, 1945-1960 (Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures #74) (Paperback)

Past Imperfect: Time and African Decolonization, 1945-1960 (Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures #74) By Pierre-Philippe Fraiture Cover Image
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This is book number 74 in the Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures series.


This book proposes to examine French and Francophone intellectual history in the period leading to the decolonization of sub-Saharan Africa (1945-1960). The analysis favours the epistemological links between ethnology, museology, sociology, and (art) history. In this discussion, a specific focus is placed on temporality and the role ascribed by these different disciplines to African pasts, presents, and futures. It is argued here that the post-war context, characterized, inter alia, by the creation of UNESCO, the birth of Pr sence Africaine and the prevalence of existentialism, bore witness to the development of new regimes of historicity and to the partial refutation of a progress-based modernity. This investigation is predicated on case studies from West and Central Africa (AOF, AEF and Belgian Congo) and, whilst adopting a postcolonial methodology, it explores African and French authors such as Georges Balandier, Cheikh Anta Diop, Frantz Fanon, Chris Marker, Joseph Ki-Zerbo, Claude L vi-Strauss, Alain Resnais, Jean-Paul Sartre and Placide Tempels. This study explores the intellectual legacy of the 'long nineteenth century' and the difficulty encountered by these authors to articulate their anti-colonial agenda away from the modern methodologies of the 'colonial library'. By focussing on issues of intellectual alienation, this book also demonstrates that the post-WW2 period foreshadowed twenty-first century debates on extroversion, racial inequalities, the decolonization of history, and cultural (mis)appropriation.

About the Author

Pierre-Philippe Fraiture is a Professor of French in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Warwick.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781802075366
ISBN-10: 1802075364
Publisher: Liverpool University Press
Publication Date: March 1st, 2024
Pages: 328
Language: English
Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures