Calendar of Events

February 11, 2015

Southern African port towns and the shaping of Indian Ocean cosmopolitanisms in the early 19th century

A seminar by Dr Heloise Finch-Boyer, National Maritime Museum

How did three Southern African port towns in the Indian Ocean (Cape Town, Delagoa and Sainte  Marie) shape African mobility and cosmopolitanism? By drawing from evidence
collected by a British Naval survey of Eastern Africa 1822 -1825, and using
published accounts, unseen crew watercolours, remark books and logbooks from
the voyage, this paper:

  • uses ‘cosmopolitanism’ to analyse continental and maritime African migration and creolisation in the same framework
  • demonstrates how cosmopolitan cultural and regional dynamics of African port
    towns in the Indian Ocean determined British visual representations of the
    region, and the nature of British science conducted there and
  • links French Portuguese and British controlled Indian Ocean port towns, usually studied
    separately, in one study.

The paper principally draws from manuscript material at the UK National Maritime Museum pertaining to the British Naval survey of the Eastern and Western African coast conducted
1822-1826 by Captain William Fitzwilliam Owen.

If you would like to attend, please contact Dr Daniel Gilfoyle, as we will need to supply the venue administrators with a list of attendees.

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Start: February 11, 2015 1:00 pm
End: February 11, 2015 2:00 pm
Venue: Durning Lawrence Lbrary
Senate House Library, Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU, United Kingdom

July 17, 2015

SCOLMA Conference 2015 – Call for Papers

SCOLMA Annual Conference

“There came a darkness”: Africa, Africans and World War I 

17 July 2015

The British Library


The first shot fired for Britain in the First World War was from the rifle of an African soldier in West Africa. The last German troops to surrender did so on African soil, in today’s Zambia. In between African soldiers and civilians paid a heavy price in blood and lives and their societies and outlook were changed for ever. Recent scholarship, reflected in the commemorations and publications for the centenary of the outbreak of the war recognise that Africa was much more than a sideshow in a truly global conflict.

This conference will consider the role of scholars, libraries, archives and information sources in documenting and interpreting the African experience of World War I. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Campaigns in Africa

African soldiers on the Western Front

The impact of World War I on African Societies

Memory and Memorials

Literature, Images and Ephemera


Researchers, archivists and librarians are invited to submit abstracts for consideration for this conference.

Abstracts of up to 500 words may be sent to Terry Barringer at by 31 January 2015.

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Start: July 17, 2015
End: July 17, 2015
Venue: The British Library
London, United Kingdom