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Circulations of objects and knowledge in pre-colonial to present-day Cameroon 
René Lionel Brice Molo Zogo (Université de Yaoundé 1GSPR-EHESS)
Yvan Issekin (University of Yaoundé II )
Guilhem Monediaire (Université de Limoges)
Sarah Sudres (Université Paris Nanterre)
Okala Silvere ( University of Paris 8)
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Sarah Sudres (Université Paris Nanterre)
History (x) Decoloniality & Knowledge Production (y)
Philosophikum, S69
Friday 2 June, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

Exploring paths of circulation - production, reception and restitution - of objects and knowledge that originated or traveled through Cameroon, from pre-colonial times until today. How can Cameroon's long history of material and scholarly interactions with Africa and Europe enlighten its future ?

Long Abstract:

The Sarr-Savoy report (2018) on the restitution of African heritage has opened up pathways for object studies concerning their places of meaning, production, and knowledge they convey once in circulation. In this respect, the geographical position of Cameroon - between tropical and Saharan Africa, and opened to the sea - its mosaic of people and its history intertwined with that of other nations through trade offers an important analytical field. The succession of colonizing nations made it a privileged theater for the circulation of a great diversity of manufactured goods, works of art, and knowledge, as colonial domination and hegemony played a key role in these exchanges. "Accaparements," "gifts," "thefts," literature is increasingly fertile and critical of how these have been acquired from Africa. What is the nature of this knowledge and these objects? Who are the makers? Who can share it and who benefits from it? How can a better understanding of these circulations inform the present and future of Cameroon?

Exploring the paths of non-Western objects and vernacular knowledge is intimately related to histories of displacements, moments of contact and the meanings they have produced, and to policies of restitution. These questions require a multidisciplinary approach and a long-term history scope, from pre-colonial Cameroon to today's issues of restitution, identity, and cultural policies. We envision bringing together researchers who are interested in varied moments of transfer of ownership, shifts in meaning, hybridization, and embodiment of power that objects and knowledge have experienced.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 2 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Friday 2 June, 2023, -