Project

Colonialism's Forgotten Cultures: European Jews in Sub-Saharan Africa, c. 1870-1930

Program

Dissertation Fellowships in East European Studies , Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowships

Department

History and the Jackson School of International Studies

Abstract

From 1870 to 1930, European Jews were enormously influential in the development of commercial networks that crisscrossed the colonies of southern Africa, Northern and Southern Rhodesia, and the Belgian Congo, and the nation-states and empires of Europe. In their capacity as merchants and traders, Jews served as intermediaries between Africans and Europeans in southern and central Africa and facilitated the flow of capital between these regions and across the Red Sea and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Colonialism's Forgotten Cultures reconstructs European Jews' participation in four commercial networks rooted in sub-Saharan Africa in order to explore questions crucial to the fields of modern Jewish history, European history, colonial/postcolonial studies, and African studies.