Stephen Ellis Annual Lecture: Spirituality, Culture & Political Power in Early Independent West Africa

Wanneer:
3 december 2019 @ 18:00 – 20:00
2019-12-03T18:00:00+01:00
2019-12-03T20:00:00+01:00
Waar:
African Studies Centre, Leiden

In this memorial lecture named after Stephen Ellis, Prof. Emmanuel Akyeampong draws on his insights to explore the nexus of spirituality, culture, and political power in the connected lives of three first-generation African nationalist leaders: Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Sekou Touré of Guinea, and Leopold Senghor of Senegal. By Emmanuel Akyeampong

Mission-educated (Catholic) in the cases of Nkrumah and Senghor, with the former even considering a priestly vocation and the latter deeply influenced by his Catholic faith, the exigencies of political power and nation-building necessitated reaching out to different religious constituencies. Imagining the African nation-state opened doors to various ethnic cultural influences. These processes were not unambiguous, unsurprisingly, and this first generation of nationalist political leaders – in their experiments with secular, modern African nation-states – would bequeath multiple registers that continue to shape modern politics in contemporary Africa.

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