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Europeans in Africa

Les Européens en Afrique

Shapes and evolutions of Europeans mobility in Africa

Formes et évolutions des mobilités européennes en Afrique

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Published on Wednesday, November 05, 2014 by João Fernandes

Summary

This edition aims therefore to shed light on Europeans mobility in Africa as much in a historical as in a contemporary perspective, approach the diversity of its shapes and logics, cultural and social, take an interest on figures embodiment, whether it is about those whose mobility is supervised by a company or an institution like those which, in contrast to the first mentioned, have negotiated themselves the conditions of their moving and which seem to draw the outlines of original migratory experiences. Hence, this edition will focus on expatriates, civil servants working abroad, seconded workers but also on long-term tourists, retired, entrepreneurs, businessmen, artists, activists and humanitarians of diverse causes, jobless or precarious disaffiliated seeking a future, etc., whether those are, or not, established imaginarily or through relatives in the countries where the mobility takes place (children of migrants, settlers or returning expatriates). 

Announcement

Argument

Whether they were “travellers”, “settlers”, “civil servants working abroad”, “expatriates”, “residents” or “tourists”, Europeans in Africa, including during pre-colonial times, have only rarely been the subject of anthropological studies.

There is undoubtedly epistemological reasons to such negligence: researchers are culturally too close to those who are often their colleagues or “equals”, or, whenever they denounce “colonialism” and its framework, little prone to see in these “settlers” other than social class enemies. They are rarely sufficiently “exotic” or “native” to deserve an ethnography, which only starts with tourism and its effects on local society (see i.e. the special issue of Cahiers d’Etudes Africaines, n°193-194, 2009/1-2).

But there must be other reasons, equally methodological, which look at the sociology and ethnology of migratory circulations, suffering greatly from a South-North tropism. Facing the figure of a poor migrant in desire of Europe, which concentrates the essential of research on migrations, it is difficult to represent the European also leaving his/her native land for economical profit, social ascent, but also for exoticism, quality of life or even for a fresh start after disappointing or distressful experiences of all sorts.

However, Europeans mobility towards Africa has significantly and constantly increased over the past few years, and is taking more and more diverse shapes. This mobility is organised further and further away from cooperation frames, from detachment or expatriation, in other words mobility missioned by institutions and, as such, protected.

This edition aims therefore to shed light on Europeans mobility in Africa as much in a historical as in a contemporary perspective, approach the diversity of its shapes and logics, cultural and social, take an interest on figures embodiment, whether it is about those whose mobility is supervised by a company or an institution like those which, in contrast to the first mentioned, have negotiated themselves the conditions of their moving and which seem to draw the outlines of original migratory experiences. Hence, this edition will focus on expatriates, civil servants working abroad, seconded workers but also on long-term tourists, retired, entrepreneurs, businessmen, artists, activists and humanitarians of diverse causes, jobless or precarious disaffiliated seeking a future, etc., whether those are, or not, established imaginarily or through relatives in the countries where the mobility takes place (children of migrants, settlers or returning expatriates). A special attention will be paid towards their activity, established relationships with the local societies, imaginary structures and utopias mobilised during their movements, without neglecting the history of anterior movements.

Main themes

Without restriction in disciplinary field, we are proposing five sub-themes which are non-exclusive and could be addressed transversally within contributions. 

Before and after migration: experiences and status

Some people expatriate for a multinational, others encounter the soul mate during vacation, while others regain the country of their parent’s origin (i.e. the “repats” in Ghana or especially Nigeria, as described in certain media). Here, an attempt to describe the plurality of profiles and the range of status under which those Europeans live will be made, as well as to describe the conditions in which their mobility and settlement was initiated and negotiated. The main interest will focus on paths and situations in Europe which preceded the migration as well as the reasons motivating it. Attention will be paid to the disarrangements experienced by couples and families as well as professionals.

Post-colonial or neo-colonial situation?

Settlers, “spies”, cooperates, expatriates, tourists… Europeans living in Africa are integrated within a genealogy of mobility from which mimetic and differential effects, continuity and rupture thresholds will be observed, including through the question of inequalities (right to freedom of movement, income and annuity differentials in example).

The Souths, new wild-west of Europe?

Attempt will be made to establish typologies of sectors and activities where these Europeans find career, which are sometimes created, depending cases, by monopolizing it. Observation will be made, in the case of real economic successes, regarding where money is re-invested, and if as it exists in South-North mobility, fund transfers or family reunion logics take place. 

Communitarians or cosmopolites?

Do these Europeans form national, professional or other types of community or, on the contrary shattered or disaffiliated social groups? Interest will focus on the degrees and shapes of the native country’s attachment/detachment as well as on the relations those establish with the locals, and places they patronise.

Enchantments / disenchantments: between wrecked utopias and fulfilled utopias

Few people’s successes are in opposition to many other’s failures, having to leave or even escape the country for fraud, unpaid, bankruptcy, moral affairs, court cases, health problems or love despair. Some of these Europeans are vulnerable, being neither protected by their state nor by a multinational company, sometimes ending up in impecunious and distressful situations which they would never had imagined and had therefore not anticipated. The centre of interest here lies on imaginary structures and utopias mobilised during migration as well as enchantments and disenchantments crossing migratory experiences without neglecting to understand what these Europeans seek within the country in which they are installed, from a professional, familial or personal perspective – i.e. relationship or friendship.

Submission process

  • Proposed articles should be about a page long (between 3,000 and 3,500 characters) are expected for

the 20th January 2015.

  • These will include the expected title, a summary, contact addresses and institutional affiliations of the author(s) and will be sent to the coordinators of this issue, Michel Peraldi and Liza Terrazzoni: mcperaldi@gmail.com and liza.terrazzoni@gmail.com.
  • Propositions will be selected for the 10th February 2015.
  • Articles should be sent for the 28th June 2015.
  • Number will be published in March 2016.

Editorial Board

  • Roger Botte. CNRS 
  • Cécile CanutUniversité Paris Descartes 
  • Anne Doquet. IRD 
  • Yvan Droz. Institut universitaire d'études du développement, Genève 
  • Éloi Ficquet. EHESS 
  • Michela Fusaschi. Université de Rome 3 
  • Alain Gascon. Université Paris VIII 
  • Michel Giraud. CNRS 
  • Benoît Hazard. CNRS 
  • Bogumil JewsiewickiUniversité Laval, Québec 
  • Marc Le Pape. CNRS 
  • Anthony MangeonUniversité Paul-Valéry, Montpellier III 
  • Nicolas Martin-Granel. CNRS 
  • Anne Mélice. Université de Liège 
  • Marie Miran-Guyon. EHESS 
  • Abderrahmane Moussaoui. Aix-Marseille Université
  • Joseph Tonda. Université Omar Bongo, Libreville 
  • Claudine Vidal. CNRS

Date(s)

  • Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Keywords

  • européens, Afrique

Contact(s)

  • Liza Terrazzoni
    courriel : liza [dot] terrazzoni [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Michel Peraldi
    courriel : mcperaldi [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Liza Terrazzoni
    courriel : liza [dot] terrazzoni [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« Europeans in Africa », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, November 05, 2014, https://calenda.org/304846

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