African TravellersProject reference: 220365
Funded under :
African Travellers: Exploring Transcultural Lives in the Atlantic World
Total cost:EUR 170 142,1
EU contribution:EUR 170 142,1
Coordinated in:United Kingdom
Topic(s):PEOPLE-2007-2-1.IEF - Marie Curie Action: "Intra-European Fellowships for Career Development"
Call for proposal:FP7-PEOPLE-2007-2-1-IEFSee other projects for this call
Funding scheme:MC-IEF - Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)
This is a project about the transcultural life trajectories of West African travellers in the Atlantic world, i.e. the world that emerged out of the movements of people, goods and ideas along the seaways of the Atlantic. The aim of the project is to offer a comprehensive explanation of the identity formation of West Africans in the Atlantic world in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. The hypothesis governing the project is that the lives of West African travellers were tied to structural changes in the Atlantic world, where notions of race gained strength at the expense of ideas about status. The project will aim at forwarding the argument that it was primarily ideas about status that formed the experiences of Africans in North-West Europe and on the Gold Coast in the eighteenth century. In the nineteenth century, however, race had become a category with such strong meanings that it overshadowed competing ideas about status in Europe and seriously challenged them in West Africa. The project’s most significant and innovative contribution will be the establishment of a relation between the life-stories of individual West Africans and the broader developments of structural constraints in the Atlantic world. Thereby it will be possible to demonstrate that West Africans in Europe were not peculiar exceptions to a world of slavery in the Americas, but figures whose historical presence makes sense in terms of the structural developments of the Atlantic world The study focuses on West Africans who travelled between the Gold Coast in West Africa, in particular the town of Osu near the Danish trading station Christiansborg, and North-West Europe, in particular Copenhagen in Denmark. The empirical basis of the project is, among other things, provided by a unique and rich corpus of sources left by the three West Africans Christian Protten, Frederik Pedersen Svane and Frederick Noi Dowunnah.
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