The 6th European Conference on African Studies will take place in Paris, 8-10 July 2015. A CfP has been issued for a panel dedicated to Naturalistic collections as historical sources in Africa : knowledges, environment and identities. The panel is convened by Dominique Juhé-Beaulaton and Vincent Leblan.
This panel will consider naturalistic collections in Europe and associated writings as sources for the history of scientific knowledge production about Africa. Participants are invited to explore the roles of a diversity of players in the creation of animal, plant and mineral collections such as scholars, amateurs and middlemen, each characterized by specific life histories and motivations. The development of multi-scale trade networks connecting a range of scientists, more or less recognized connoisseurs and museums has greatly contributed to the growth of collections and of various kinds of knowledge attached to them. Participants are invited to examine how they were produced between the 17th and early 20th century, in a conjunction of scientific explorations with the slave trade and later on with colonial conquest operations. The subject is thus opened to science and environmental history as well as to the history of North-South relationships and the making of identities and ideologies as reflected in the production of naturalistic knowledge. We especially welcome interdisciplinary social and natural science approaches to shedding light on the act of collecting and exhibiting scientific data and their social, political and economic implications. Overall, this panel will display how Museum collections can be drawn into Africanist historical research.
To propose a paper, by 9 January 2015, follow this link.