On administrative and legal documents in Africa
Call for contributions to a thematic issue in Afriques, for 2016 (issue n°7)
Historians, anthropologists, linguists and specialists from other relevant disciplines are invited to submit proposals for articles in French or English devoted to the production, transmission and conservation of administrative and legal documents in Africa to the exclusion of texts from Western colonial administrations.
The purpose is to establish a state-of-the-art account of African practices related to administrative and legal documents. Attention should be paid to documents that, often said to be “performative” and/or normative, are intended to have an effect, for instance: grants of donation, contracts, charters, funeral inscriptions, correspondence, inventories or any other “archived” documents.
This special issue should be a place for publishing sources, whether of a single document or in an appendix. The purpose is both to make documents known and to devote thought to the very meaning of a “corpus”.
This special issue seeks to update the study of administrative and legal texts in Africa thanks to the advances made in research on “literacy” since the 1970s.
The editors of this special issue come from complementary fields.
Anaïs Wion (CFEE, CNRS) is a specialist on documentary sources from the 15th to the 19th century in the Christian realm of Ethiopia (royal and private writs as well as documents by Christian institutions).
Specialized in Western medieval studies, Sébastien Barret (IRHT, CNRS) is a recognized expert in diplomatics/paleography.
Julien Loiseau (University of Montpellier) has worked on the Mamluk period in Egypt and published several studies on waqf and Islamic law.
Aïssatou Mbodj-Pouye (IMAF, CNRS), an anthropologist, is working on questions of literacy in Western Africa.
Proposals for an article (including the working title and a summary, 300-500 words) should be sent to anais.wion[@]univ-paris1.fr before 1 October 2014. The definitive version of the article corresponding to the proposal retained should be ready for June 2015.
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