Life Member to defend dissertation on Africanising African History

Clare Hall Life Member Larissa Schulte Nordholt will be defending her dissertation Africanising African History: Decolonisation of knowledge in UNESCO’s General History of Africa (1964-1998) on 1 December.

In her thesis Africanising African History, Larissa researches how and why the UNESCO sponsored General History of Africa (1964-1998) sought to Africanise and decolonise the writing of African history in the wake of the political independence of many West African and East African countries in the early 1960s. Her thesis provides a case study on the practice of African historiography in the second half of the twentieth century, and investigates how formulated ideals of a decolonisation of African history were translated into practice, analysing what this might tell us about the establishment of African history within the humanities and the history of decolonising knowledge production. 

Larissa comments:
'During my time in Cambridge I had the immense privilege of living in one of the wonderful garden-adjacent rooms in Elmside. I remember well how I used to enter and exit through the window. Clare Hall provided an immensely stimulating, and at the same time safe, space to develop. Dinner conversation during Formal Hall, always accompanied by splendid food, taught me about the subtleties of academic life both inside and outside Cambridge. I think it was at Clare Hall that I first started to develop a critical attitude towards academia and knowledge production itself. I am currently engaged in further studies on the history of knowledge production and hope to start a postdoc sometime in the future.'

More information about the event can be found on Leiden University's website. It will be possible to follow Larissa's defense through a livestream.


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