Great Books on Africa - Africana in Basel
Public Lecture Series 27 March to 26 June 2007

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In Basel centuries of manifold relations with Africa have resulted in a wealth of important books on the continent to be found in local libraries. They range from the works of early cartographers such as Sebastian Münster and the classic accounts of "explorers" such as David Livingstone to the publications of African nationalists such as Jomo Kenyatta.

In thirteen lectures international and local academics presened one such great book and its social biography. The respective book was on display and following the lecture the audience was invited to have a close look at it, and at related works, and have a chat with the presenter.

This project was supported by: Freiwillige Akademische Gesellschaft, Carl Schlettwein-Foundation, SOKRATES-ERASMUS Programme, University Library Basel, and mission 21.

27 March Tarikhs and beyond: On Tarikh al-Sudan of al-Sa'di (c. 1655) and the writing communities of the middle Niger valley.
Prof. Dr. Shamil Jeppie, Department of Historical Studies, University of Cape Town (in English)
3 April Olfert Dapper: Beschrijvinge der Afrikaensche Gewesten (1668)
Prof. Dr. Adam Jones, Institut für Afrikanistik, Universität Leipzig (in German)
10 April Sebastian Münster: Cosmographiae universalis lib. VI, Africe (1545)
Prof. Dr. Marilia dos Santos Lopes, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Lissabon (in German)
17 April Al-Hasan al-Wazzan alias Leo Africanus: Della descrittione dell' Africa et delle cose notabili che quivi sono (1550)
Prof. Dr. Natalie Zemon Davis, University of Toronto and Princeton University (in English)
24 April Peter Kolb: Vollständige Beschreibung des afrikanischen Vorgebürges (1719)
Prof. Dr. Nigel Penn, Department of Historical Studies, University of Cape Town (in English)
8 May Oloudah Equiano alias Gustavus Vassa: The interesting narrative of the life of Oloudah Equiano (1789)
Prof. Dr. Therese Steffen, Universität Basel und Zürich (in German)
15 May Johann Ludwig Burckhardt alias Scheich Ibrahim: Travels in Nubia (1819)
Dr. Wolbert Smidt, Institut für Afrikanistik und Äthiopistik der Universität Hamburg (in German)
22 May Thomas Edward Bowdich: Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee (1819)
Dr. Sonia Abun-Nasr, Basler Afrikabibliographien (in German)
29 May David Livingstone: Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa (1857)
Prof. Dr. Felix Driver, Royal Holloway, University of London (in English)
5 June Sigismund W. Koelle: Polyglotta Africana (1854)
Dr. Guy Thomas, mission 21 und Historisches Seminar der Universität Basel (in English)
12 June Henri-Alexandre Junod: The Life of a South African Tribe (1912/13)
Prof. Dr. Patrick Harries, Historisches Seminar der Universität Basel (in English)

Followed by the launch of Prof. Harries' new book: Butterflies and Barbarians. Swiss Missionaries and Systems of Knowledge in South-East Africa (James Currey 2007)
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19 June Samuel Johnson: The History of the Yorubas from the earliest times to the beginning of the British Protectorate (1921)
Prof. Dr. Robin Law, University of Stirling (in English)
26 June Jomo Kenyatta: Facing Mount Kenya. The tribal life of the Gikuyu (1938)
Prof. Dr. John Lonsdale, Trinity College Cambridge (in English)


updated 20 September 2007