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Writing Back to Empire : Newspapers, Non-Elites and Decolonisation in the Global Public Sphere, 1937-1957

Title data

Edeagu, Ngozi:
Writing Back to Empire : Newspapers, Non-Elites and Decolonisation in the Global Public Sphere, 1937-1957.
Event: Recent Globe Annual Conference , 20.-21.04.2023 , Leipzig, Germany.
(Conference item: Conference , Paper )

Official URL: Volltext

Project information

Project title:
Project's official title
Project's id
Writing Back to Empire: Newspapers, Non-Elites and Decolonisation in the Global Public Sphere, 1937-1957
No information

Project financing: Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst

Abstract in another language


When after the Second World War Western European empires tumbled, the socialist camp presented itself as alternative to a post-colonial world order along the lines of Western political and economic models, and anti-colonial elites developed powerful imaginaries for a world after empire, the proposals for how to “read” and “know”, how to shape and manage the new world multiplied tremendously. To navigate this proliferation of spatial semantics, which indicated the rise of new spatial formats and new spatial orders, became a crucial challenge for elites and citizens of the newly emerging states.

We address the specific cultural and social capital of actors that enables them to “read” such a complexity as spatial literacy. This is, however, not an uncontested feature of Western-educated elites and goes beyond mere skills of reading maps, discerning territorial formats, locating natural resources, finding places and boundaries or handling atlases, but must be understood more broadly and in the plural as well as the result of collective undertakings, resulting from the efforts and practices of many people to reflect experiences of space-making and of thinking in, with, and through space by identifying, describing, relating, and distributing spatial concepts, by “teaching”, adopting, using, challenging, and transforming competencies in spatial representation and by thinking through space as a way to design and pursue globalization projects.

The panel specifically zooms into the crisis and decay of the imperial global order in the 20th century’s second half and the efforts and practices of actors in the post-colonial South and the socialist East to read and navigate the new and contested plurality of spatial orders. We argue, that by looking at such non-hegemonic positions one can better grasp the capacities that actors utilize to navigate global crises, helping us to better understand their agency.

Further data

Item Type: Conference item (Paper)
Refereed: No
Additional notes: The researcher was invited to participate. The paper was presented online in discussion with Ana Moledo (Leipzig) and Milan Procyk (Leipzig). The panel was chaired by Dr. Steffi Marung (Leipzig).
Keywords: non-elite; elite; spatial literacy; Africa; Nigeria; space; women; ex-servicemen; secondary school students; workers; labourers
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Professor History of Africa > Professor History of Africa - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Joël Glasman
Graduate Schools > BIGSAS
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 900 History and geography > 900 History
900 History and geography > 960 History of Africa
Date Deposited: 15 May 2023 08:42
Last Modified: 15 May 2023 08:42