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Carolyn Hamilton participates in Paris Summer School

17 Oct 2017 - 23:30
Visit to the French national archives as part of the Summer School. Photo provided by Carolyn Hamilton.

Carolyn Hamilton was invited to participate in the Summer School on “Bureaucratisation and the construction of identities in colonial and postcolonial contexts” hosted in Paris from 3 to 7 July 2017, by the German Historical Institute. Other contributors included Matthew S. Hull (Ann Arbor, MI); Simona Cerutti (Paris); Boris Samuel (Rabat/Paris); Peter Becker (Vienna); Béatrice Hibou (Paris); Istvàn Kristo-Nagy (Exeter); Birgit Emich (Erlangen); Ursula Rao (Leipzig); Nayanika Mathur (Cambridge); and Elísio Macamo (Bâle).

The Summer School was attended by post-docs, doctoral students and  one Masters student from around the world, all working in some way on questions of bureaucracy and identity. Hamilton’s presentation in the section on method, “History, objects, and the construction of history“,  looked at the role played by nineteenth-century British colonial bureaucratic processes in establishing the notion of tribe, later ethnicity, as the main form of identity in southern Africa. In the process forms of identification which prevailed in the earlier late independent period were obliterated.  Students were asked to delve into the latest APC publication, Tribing and Untribing the Archive, in preparation for the session.

One of the highlights of the Summer School was the visit hosted by the National Archives of France, featuring a special focus on their collections of African materials.