Faculty Book: Michèle Bocquillon
L’Afrique du siècle des Lumières: savoirs et représentations
(Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 2009)
In French. During the eighteenth century, certain representations of Africa and Africans were affirmed as authentic even as the continent and its inhabitants remained largely unknown. To analyze this paradox, a group of specialists examine representations of Africa and Africans from two perspectives. They seek to understand how fictions about Africa were rooted in travel literature presented as “true accounts,” and how these influenced people’s behavior, spurring on both the impulse to colonize Africa and to free the slaves. More than an inventory of descriptions of Africa, this interdisciplinary and abundantly illustrated volume offers a reflection on these representations—their roots, ideologies, and dissemination. Michèle Bocquillon (Hunter College) is an associate professor of French at the Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: MAY 18, 2009