- Kursbetreuer/in: Konstantinos Katsakioris
This course will offer insights into the history of 19th and 20th century Africa and its global connections from an unusual perspective. Following theorists of history such as Koselleck and Hölscher, the past is considered here not primarily as a prehistory explaining the present, but as a series of moments of uncertainty and openness, producing expectations, aspirations and anxieties about the future and calling on historical actors to develop categories and strategies to cope with it. Such a perspective appears to be particularly appropriate for Africa, as this continent has been an important screen for projections and interventions towards a better future since at least two centuries. The Course will firstly give an overview of relevant approaches to research on ‘future’ in historiography and related disciplines. Secondly, a series of case studies will be reviewed from the ‘history of the future’ perspective. These case studies address a variety of different themes of African history in the 19th and 20th century, ranging from the abolition of slavery, precolonial production and trade, colonial border-making, postwar departures in Africa, social and religious movements before and after Independence, up to recent struggles about land and migration. This material has been produced over the recent decades partly by the lecturer himself. It does not always make the ‘history of the future’ perspective very explicit, but seems to be highly instructive for this perspective and therefore deserving a revisit and new discussion.
Participants are expected to read selected texts and discuss them under the general theme of the Seminar/Exercise both in the group and through individual presentations. The course is mainly intended for MA and advanced BA students as well as interested guests, from history as well as from neighbouring disciplines, with some prior knowledge on history and/or African studies.
Koselleck, Reinhart, 1985: Futures past. On the semantics of historical times. Cambridge, Mass., London: The MIT Press (Deutsch: 1984: Vergangene Zukunft. Zur Semantik geschichtlicher Zeiten. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp)
Hölscher, Lucian, 2004: Zukunft und historische Zukunftsforschung. In: F.Jäger u.a.(eds.), Handbuch der Kulturwissenschaften, vol.1. Stuttgart: Metzler, S. 401–416.
Goldstone, Brian; Obarrio, Juan (eds.) 2016: African futures: essays on crisis, emergence, and possibility. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
- Kursbetreuer/in: Hans Joachim von Oppen