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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Distant shores: a historiographic view on Trans-Saharan space
Author:Lecocq, BazISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History (ISSN 0021-8537)
Geographic terms:Northern Africa
West Africa
External link:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021853714000711
Abstract:This article addresses how scholarship has formulated human connections and ruptures over the Sahara. However, these formulations were, and still are, based in both physical and discursive realities that have been developed in Africa itself. The idea of a dividing Sahara is based on historical political divisions - despite a homogenous political culture in the region - and by locally developed notions of race and religion, brought about by trade and justified in Islamic religious discourse. The Saharan divide acquired a new reading in colonial historiography, which, in turn, informed scholarly work until well into the 1960s. The author suggests that both colonial and postcolonial research on the differences and connections between the Saharan shores are suffering from a civilisational bias towards North Africa. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]