Conflict, Identity and the State in colonial and post-colonial Democratic Republic of Congo
Congo, both historically and in the contemporary period, has stereotypically exemplified the worst of Africa: warfare mounted for material gain, human rights abuses, dictatorship, political corruption, the global exploitation of mineral wealth and the neglect of its people’s aspirations and lives. Whilst this suffering is undeniable, Congo, contrary to its presentation in popular culture and western media as a ‘place apart’ or even the ‘heart of darkness’, is best understood as a place central to both the global and African experience. Recent historical research sheds new light on the ways in which Congolese people, individually and collectively, have sought to shape their own lives, societies and nation in ways similar to their counterparts elsewhere on the continent.
This workshop will introduce new research on the history and contemporary experience of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rejecting intellectual approaches based on the nation-state as the singular unit of analysis, the research to be presented identifies the salience of local, cross-border regional and global factors and influences in shaping Congolese history. The event emphasises the importance of Congolese agency in complex interactions with external forces and structures, rejecting the notion that Congo and its people have simply been the victims of external exploitation.
Date: 29 June 2012
Venue: Humanities Research Institute,
University of Sheffield,
Gell Street, Sheffield, UK, S3 7QY
This workshop is generously funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and hosted by the University of Sheffield in cooperation with the Yorkshire African Studies Network (YASN) and the Congo Research Network.
If you would like to attend, or to receive further information about this event, please contact Dr Miles Larmer: firstname.lastname@example.org