Mutual Discoveries and First Encounters
In Europeans and Africans Michał Tymowski analyses the first contacts between the Portuguese and other Europeans and Western Africans in the 15th and early 16th centuries, the cultural and psychological as well as the organizational aspects of contacts. The territorial scope of the research encompasses the West African coast. Michał Tymowski describes and analyses the feelings and emotions which accompanied the contacts, of both Africans and Europeans, analyses the methods in which both parties communicated and organized the first encounters as well as the influence of these contacts on the cultures of both sides. The work is based on a variety of source material, written sources and works of African art, in which Africans’ opinions and emotions are reflected.
Studies in the history of medieval astronomy in the Iberian Peninsula and the Maghrib
Author: Julio Samsó
In On Both Sides of the Strait of Gibraltar Julio Samsó studies the history of medieval astronomy in al-Andalus (Muslim Spain), the Maghrib and the Christian kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. He proves that the Arabic, Latin, Hebrew, Castilian and Catalan sources belong to the same tradition whose origin can be dated in the 11th century due to the changes in Ptolemy’s astronomical theory introduced by the Toledan astronomer Ibn al-Zarqālluh/Azarquiel.
The book also analyses the role of al-Andalus and the Iberian Peninsula in the transmission of Islamic astronomy to Europe and justifies the fact that Eastern Islamic works published after ca. 950 CE were not accessible to medieval European scholars because they had not reached al-Andalus.
Author: Tizian Zumthurm
Tizian Zumthurm uses the extraordinary hospital of an extraordinary man to produce novel insights into the ordinary practice of biomedicine in colonial Central Africa. His investigation of therapeutic routines in surgery, maternity care, psychiatry, and the treatment of dysentery and leprosy reveals the incoherent nature of biomedicine and not just in Africa. Reading rich archival sources against and along the grain, the author combines concepts that appeal to those interested in the history of medicine and colonialism. Through the microcosm of the hospital, Zumthurm brings to light the social worlds of Gabonese patients as well as European staff. By refusing to easily categorize colonial medical encounters, the book challenges our understanding of biomedicine as solely domineering or interactive.
Author: Matthieu Pignot
In The Catechumenate in Late Antique Africa (4th-6th centuries) Matthieu Pignot explores how individuals became Christian in ancient North Africa. Before baptism, converts first became catechumens and spent a significant time of gradual integration into the community through rituals and teaching. This book provides the first historical study of this process in African sources, from Augustine of Hippo, to canon of councils, anonymous sermons and 6th-century letters. Pignot shows that practices varied more than is generally assumed and that catechumens, because of their liminal position, were a disputed and essential group in the development of Christian communities until the 6th century at least. This book demonstrates that the catechumenate is key to understanding the processes of Christianisation and conversion in the West.
Mobilizing Labor and Land in the Lake Kivu Region, Congo and Rwanda (1918-1960/62)
In Dissimilar Coffee Frontiers Sven Van Melkebeke compares the divergent development of coffee production in eastern Congo and western Rwanda during the colonial period. The Lake Kivu region offers a remarkable case-study to investigate diversity in economic development. In Rwanda, on the eastern side of the lake, coffee was mainly cultivated by smallholder families, while in the Congo, on the western side of the lake, European plantations were the dominant mode of production.

Making use of a wide array of largely untapped archival sources, Sven Van Melkebeke convincingly succeeds in moving the manuscript beyond a case-study of colonizers to a more nuanced history of interaction and in presenting an innovative new social history of labor and land processes.
In: Dissimilar Coffee Frontiers
In: Dissimilar Coffee Frontiers
In: Dissimilar Coffee Frontiers
In: Dissimilar Coffee Frontiers
In: Dissimilar Coffee Frontiers