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L’œuvre d’un historien guinéen à l’époque coloniale / The Work of a Guinean Historian during the Colonial Period
Essai d’histoire locale fut écrit par un acteur-clé de l’historiographie de l’Afrique de l’Ouest pourtant encore méconnu: Djiguiba Camara. Rédigé en 1955, ce texte est centré sur l’histoire du Nord-Est de la Guinée, avec une attention particulière portée sur l’empire de Samori Touré et la résistance anticoloniale.
Ce texte, Essai d’histoire locale, illustre la fabrique de l’histoire locale et coloniale par un intermédiaire colonial guinéen et un intellectuel, à partir du point de vue spécifique de la famille Camara, qui fut engagée dans les armées de Samori. Ce texte n’a été connu que parce qu’il est devenu l’une des sources majeures de l’historien français Yves Person pour sa monumentale thèse Samori, Une Révolution Dyula (1968-1975). Avec cette édition annotée d’une source primaire, “Essai d’histoire locale” de Djiguiba Camara devient enfin accessible à un lectorat plus vaste. Elara Bertho et Marie Rodet ont démontré grâce à cette publication que Essai d’histoire locale est une source essentielle pour la compréhension de l’histoire de la Guinée ainsi que de la fabrique de l’historiographie, en particulier du travail d’Yves Person.

Although a key figure in West African historiography, Djiguiba Camara from Damaro has remained almost completely unknown. He wrote Essay on Local History over many years but finally finished it in 1955. His focus was the history of North-Eastern Guinea with an emphasis on the Empire of Samori Touré and anticolonial resistance.
Everywhere in Essay on Local History we can see not only the highly developed craft of the local and colonial historical writing of a Guinean colonial intermediary and scholar, but the view he gave is from the particular perspective of the Camara family, who had served in Samori’s armies. Djiguiba Camara’s own work had been known only by reputation as a source for the monumental thee-volume Samori – Une Révolution Dyula (1968-1975) by the French historian Yves Person. Now however, in this fully annotated text edition, Djiguiba Camara’s Essai d’histoire locale becomes available to a wider audience for the first time. Elara Bertho and Marie Rodet have demonstrated through this publication that Essay on Local History is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand both the history of Guinea and more especially Yves Person’s modus operandi.
A Social History of the Shifta Conflict, c. 1963-1968
In Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Kenya, Hannah Whittaker offers an in-depth analysis of the Somali secessionist war in northern Kenya, 1963-68. Combining archival and oral data, the work captures the complexity of the conflict, which combined a series of local, national and regional confrontations. The conflict was not, Whittaker argues, evidence of the potency of Somali nationalism, but rather an early expression of its failure. The book also deals with the Kenyan government’s response to the conflict as part of the entrenchment of African colonial boundaries at independence. Contrary to current narratives of an increasingly borderless world, Whittaker reminds us of the violence that is produced by state-led attempts to shore up contested borderlands. This work provides vital insights into the history behind the on-going troubled relationship between the Kenyan state and its Somali minority, and between Kenya and Somalia.
Contests, Conflicts and Legacies on the Southern Ethiopian-Northern Kenyan Frontier
In Nomads in the Shadows of Empires Gufu Oba presents accounts of why the legacies of banditry and ethnic conflicts have proved so difficult to resolve along the southern Ethiopian and northern Kenyan frontier. Using interpretative and comparative methods to dialogue the relationships between different political actors on both sides of the frontier, the work captures the dynamics of political events related to imperial contests over borders and trans-frontier treaty. A complex evolution of inter-societal relations, as well as the relations between partitioned nomads and the imperial states had resulted in persistent conflicts. This work improves the understanding why frontier pastoralists continue to experience conflict over land, even after the transfer of the tribal territories to the imperial and postcolonial states.

Please click here to watch an interview with the author in Oromo.