from 10 to 12 December, 2018

International Colloque | Colonial Cities in Global Perspective

For over four centuries, the colonial city served as interface between imperial powers and the peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. It functioned as fortified outpost, administrative center, trading portal, in some cases as collection point for the overseas shipment of slaves, and always as a site of cross-cultural learning and experience. Coastal colonial cities exhibited tremendous diversity as well as common traits, shaped by the interaction among imperial governors and merchants, colonial capitalists and peasant laborers in their agrarian hinterlands, indigenous and immigrant populations, and highly variegated and challenging physical environments. In many ways, their global role anticipated the role that urban theory has established for the contemporary global city - both as the market and industrial pole for a rnral hinterland, and as a site in an archipelago of cosmopolitan entrepôts linked with their metropoles and developing a unique fusion of services and clienteles.

This conference aims to examine colonial cities in a comparative framework. Papers treat themes such as patterns of settlement and spatial organization; administration, policing, sanitation, and evolving economic profiles; labor and workers' collective action; colonial cities' position in global trade networks and their impmtance to the expansion of capitalism; trade links between urban and rnral domains of production and consumption; formai and informai relations between ethnie communities; patterns of leadership and urban organization; distinctive cultural production; and historical legacies for post-colonial states.
Taking a plural outlook on these colonial cities and putting their trajectory back within the dynamics of a world that is constantly experiencing rapid transformation, this conference objective is to use the major lessons from history to rethink the future of these historical colonial cities.

It is our wish to see all the participants contributing to realize this conference objective.




International Colloque | Colonial Cities in Global Perspective

From 10th au 12th December | 9.30 am - 7 pm

The Centre de recherche and documentation of Senegal


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This conference was made possible by the generous funding and support of the Volkswagen Foundation, the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme in Paris, the F ASTEF Department of Histo1y and Geography at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal, the University Gaston Berger of Saint-Louis and the Centre de Recherche et de Documentation du Sénégal .. It is part of a series of academic initiatives of the Global Histo1y Network, which is comprised of global histoJJ' institutions including East China Normal University in Shanghai, the Jntemational Institute of Social Histo,y in the Nether/ands, LabMundi at the University of Sêio Paulo in Brazil, the Department of HistOIJ' at the University of Delhi in Jndia, the Weatherhead Initiative on Global HistOJJ' at Harvard University, the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senega/, and the University of Gottingen in Germany.


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