Professor Robert Ross (University of Leiden) and Dr. Filipa Ribeiro da Silva (WISE, University of Hull) are organising a Specialist Session entitled Reshaping European Societies in African Milieus, 1400-1800 at the European Association of Urban History Conference (EAUH) taking place in Ghent next September 2010. Please find the session abstract below or through the following link. http://www.eauh2010.ugent.be/sessions?sess_code=S06
The Call for papers is open until 31 December 2009. All proposals should be submitted online. www.eauh2010.ugent.be/paperproposals
Reshaping European Urban Societies in African Milieus, 1400-1880
The transference of European models of society to urban centres overseas during the Early Modern Period has received great attention from historians in the last decades. However, most of the existing studies focus on the formation of the European urban centres and societies in Brazil, Spanish America, the Caribbean and North America. Relatively little interest has been shown for the ways in which European settlements developed on the African continent before the Scramble for Africa in the 1880s and the subsequent beginning of the Colonial Era. To open new perspectives, this session aims to examine the transfer and adjustment of European models of society to the new urban spaces created in the African Milieu from 1400s onwards, and to the ways in which African societies encapsulated the European enclaves which were founded among them. Necessarily we will be dealing almost exclusively with sea-board settlements.
However, we would also welcome comparison with those commercial cities on the African continent which had no European component. The main goal of this session is to promote comparative approaches. We seek especially for papers exploring differences and similarities between the various European models of society (especially the contrast between Northern and Southern European societies and Catholic versus Protestant versus Islamic) and their transfer to the urban spaces created by the European in Africa. We would hope to have a wide mix of cases, not just contrasting the urban centres and societies developed by different European sea powers, namely Dutch, English, French and Portuguese, among others, but also those of the Swahili and of West African merchants.
We are highly interested on the discussion of topics such as the relationship between the various social strata, religious and ethnic groups of these urban societies. Contributions on the participation of the different ethnic groups in 'European' local governments, (including administration, justice, military defence and commerce), as well as forms of social mobility and inter-racial marriages are also of great interest to the session. Papers might also focus on the role played by the different social and ethnic groups on the economic growth of these urban centres and their societies, their rise as important hubs of commercial, social, ethnic and cultural interaction between Europeans, Africans and Eurafricans and between different regions of the Early Modern World.
Dr. Filipa Ribeiro da Silva
for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation
University of Hull
27 High Street
Hull, HU1 1NE
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