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Distant shores: a historiographic view on the Sahel Sahara divide

Baz Lecocq (UGent)
(2015) JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORY. 56(1). p.23-36
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Abstract
This article addresses how scholarship has formulated human connections and ruptures over the Sahara. However, these formulations were, and still are, based in both physical and discursive realities that have been developed in Africa itself. The idea of a dividing Sahara is based on historical political divisions-despite a homogenous political culture in the region-and by locally developed notions of race and religion, brought about by trade and justified in Islamic religious discourse. The Saharan divide acquired a new reading in colonial historiography, which, in turn, informed scholarly work until well into the 1960s. I will suggest that both colonial and postcolonial research on the differences and connections between the Saharan shores are suffering from a civilisational bias towards North Africa.
Keywords
colonialism, racism, historiography, West Africa, North Africa, Sahara

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Lecocq, Baz. 2015. “Distant Shores: a Historiographic View on the Sahel Sahara Divide.” Journal of African History 56 (1): 23–36.
APA
Lecocq, B. (2015). Distant shores: a historiographic view on the Sahel Sahara divide. JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORY, 56(1), 23–36.
Vancouver
1.
Lecocq B. Distant shores: a historiographic view on the Sahel Sahara divide. JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORY. 2015;56(1):23–36.
MLA
Lecocq, Baz. “Distant Shores: a Historiographic View on the Sahel Sahara Divide.” JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORY 56.1 (2015): 23–36. Print.
@article{5878810,
  abstract     = {This article addresses how scholarship has formulated human connections and ruptures over the Sahara. However, these formulations were, and still are, based in both physical and discursive realities that have been developed in Africa itself. The idea of a dividing Sahara is based on historical political divisions-despite a homogenous political culture in the region-and by locally developed notions of race and religion, brought about by trade and justified in Islamic religious discourse. The Saharan divide acquired a new reading in colonial historiography, which, in turn, informed scholarly work until well into the 1960s. I will suggest that both colonial and postcolonial research on the differences and connections between the Saharan shores are suffering from a civilisational bias towards North Africa.},
  author       = {Lecocq, Baz},
  issn         = {0021-8537},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORY},
  keywords     = {colonialism,racism,historiography,West Africa,North Africa,Sahara},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {23--36},
  title        = {Distant shores: a historiographic view on the Sahel Sahara divide},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0021853714000711},
  volume       = {56},
  year         = {2015},
}

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