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Decolonization and the Politics of Wildlife in Africa
September 26, 2017 - September 30, 2017
The establishment of European colonial rule on the African continent not only involved the colonization of nature, but essentially meant colonization through nature. Imperial politics of resource extraction, hunting, and conservation forged the upsetting and renegotiation of existing human ecologies and were often accompanied by the strict separation of the spheres of »nature«/»wilderness« on the one hand, and »culture« on the other. But in how far did decolonization across Africa south of the Sahara equally affect the sphere of ecology and relationships between humans and wildlife? What continuities and what changes can we observe in the transcontinental governance of wildlife and its concepts, practices, and actors? What role did animals play in all this and in how far did decolonization affect wildlife and individual species? Have Africa’s wild animals ever been decolonized? This conference seeks to address these questions in a trans- and multidisciplinary perspective. It aims to bring together senior and junior specialists in African and global environmental history, human-animal studies, human geography, political ecology, and the various conservation and wildlife sciences. Scholars based at African academic institutions are particularly encouraged to apply. We are interested in receiving proposals focusing on the transitional decades of late colonial rule and early independence.