Africans in Exile

Africans in Exile

Mobility, Law, and Identity
Edited by Nathan Riley Carpenter and Benjamin N Lawrance
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 09/10/2018
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-03808-1
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The enforced removal of individuals has long been a political tool used by African states to create generations of asylum seekers, refugees, and fugitives. Historians often present such political exile as a potentially transformative experience for resilient individuals, but this reading singles the exile out as having an exceptional experience. This collection seeks to broaden that understanding within the global political landscape by considering the complexity of the experience of exile and the lasting effects it has had on African peoples. The works collected in this volume seek to recover the diversity of exile experiences across the continent. This corpus of testimonials and documents is presented as an "archive" that provides evidence of a larger, shared experience of persecution and violence. This consideration reads exiles from African colonies and nations as active participants within, rather than simply as victims of, the larger global diaspora. In this way, exile is understood as a way of asserting political dissidence and anti-imperial strategies. Broken into three distinct parts, the volume considers legal issues, geography as a strategy of anticolonial resistance, and memory and performative understandings of exile. The experiences of political exile are presented as fundamental to an understanding of colonial and postcolonial oppression and the history of state power in Africa.

Author Bio

Nathan Riley Carpenter directs the Center for Global Education at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, PA.

Benjamin N. Lawrance is Professor of History at the University of Arizona and Editor-in-Chief of the African Studies Review. He is the author of Amistad’s Orphans: An Atlantic Story of Children, Slavery, and Smuggling.


“Rather than a rare punishment inflicted on dissident elites, exile is revealed in this important volume as one of the defining features of African history since the colonial era. In their deeply researched and thematically linked essays, contributors present instances of exile from around the continent that illustrate the ambitions and limits of state power, extra-territorial strategies of resistance, and the capacity of relocation to spur both suffering and creativity. Africans in Exile masterfully enriches our understanding of two key themes in African history, mobility and community, and their salience for politics and individual experience over the past century and into the present.”
 — Lisa A. Lindsay, author of Atlantic Bonds: A Nineteenth Century Odyssey from America to Africa

“This rich volume will interest scholars and students of Africa, the African diaspora, world history, legal history, and international affairs. Using exile as a theoretical framework, each of the chapters offers an analysis that is contextualized, complex, and challenging to assumptions about identity, power, and politics. An enjoyable read, this book will generate readership and invite much-needed debate.”
 — Lorelle Semley, author of To Be Free and French: Citizenship in France's Atlantic Empire

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Table of Contents


Foreword: Holger Bernt Hansen


Introduction: Nathan Riley Carpenter and Benjamin N. Lawrance, Reconstructing the Archive of Africans in Exile

Part One: The Legal Worlds of Exile

1. "Wayward Humours" and "Perverse Disputings" / Ruma Chopra

2. From Bandits to Political Prisoners: Detention and Deportation on the Sierra Leone Frontier / Trina Leah Hogg

3. The Path of Extinction: The Double Exile of Alfa Yaya and the Penal Regime in French Colonial Africa / Nathan Riley Carpenter

4. Reforming State Violence in French West Africa: Relegation in the Epoch of Decolonization / Marie Rodet and Romain Tiquet

5. A Kingdom in Check: Exile as a Strategy in the Sanwi Kingdom, C / Thaïs Gendry

6. "As if I were in Prison" / Brett Shadle

Part Two: Geographies of Exile

7. In the City of Waiting: Education and Mozambican Liberation Exiles in Dar es Salaam, 1960-1975 / Joanna T. Tague

8. Amilcar Cabral and the Bissau Revolution in Exile: Women and the Salvation of the Nationalist Organization in Guinea, 1959-1962 / Aliou Ly

9. Brothers in the Bush: Exile, Refuge, and Citizenship on the Ghana-Togo Border, 1958-1966 / Kate Skinner

10. A Cold War Geography: South African Anti-Apartheid Refuge and Exile in London, 1945-94 / Susan Dabney Pennybacker

11. The French Trials of Cléophas Kamitatu / Meredith Terretta

Part Three: Remembering and Performing Exile

12. Forced Labor and Migration in São Tomé and Príncipe / Marina Berthet

13. Sheikh Ahmadu Bamba and the Poetics of Exile / Sana Camara

14. The Legacy of Exile: Terrorism in and outside Africa from Osama bin Laden to Al-Shabaab / Kris Inman

15. Reconstructing Slavery in Ohioan Exile: Mauritanian Refugees in the United States / E. Ann McDougall

16. A Nation Abroad: Desire and Authenticity in Togolese Political Dissidence / Benjamin N. Lawrance

Epilogue: From Exile with Love / Baba Galleh Jallow

Afterword: Worlds and Words of Migration: Exile in African History / Emily S. Burrill

Notes on Contributors