Talk: Commercial Revolution and the Birth of a New Society in Atlantic Africa, ca. 1600-1800
Tue, February 21, 2012 • 3:30 PM • UTC 3.120
The Atlantic History Distinguished Lecture Series presents
"Commercial Revolution and the Birth of a New Society in Atlantic Africa, ca. 1600-1800"
A talk by
Dr. Akinwum Ogundiran
Chair of the Africana Studies Department
Professor Africana Studies, Anthropology, and History
University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
"The study of Atlantic Civilization has focused on Western Europe and its American colonies. The mentioning of Africa in this regard is often in relation to the Atlantic Slavery. No doubt, slavery was central to the character of the Atlantic Age. Not unlike the other rims of the Atlantic Basin, the commercial revolution of the Atlantic Age was a critical factor in the internal social changes across the sub-continent especially during the 17th and 18th centuries. This presentation will examine how the entanglement of the Bight of Benin and its hinterlands in the Atlantic Age commercial revolutions created a new society that was qualitatively different from that of the preceding centuries. The political and cultural projects of Oyo Empire partly embodied the new consciousness of that age. Drawing upon new archaeological and historical evidence, the presenter will discuss the cultural, political, intellectual, and economic ramifications of that new society. He will call for a new thinking on the conceptual frameworks and periodization that we apply to the study of Atlantic Africa, and also explore the implications of all of these for understanding the cultural formation of the African Diasporas in the Americas."
About Professor Ogundiran:
Dr. Akin Ogundiran is the Chair of the Africana Studies Department; and Professor of Africana Studies, Anthropology & History at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. His interdisciplinary research interests focus broadly on the cultural history of Atlantic Africa and the African Diaspora. He is the director of the Upper Osun Archaeological and Historical Project, a long-term study that focuses on the Oyo Empire, sacred landscapes, and cultural history in Yorubaland. He has received support for his research from the Social Science Research Council, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, National Endowment for the Humanities, Dumbarton Oaks, and the National Science Foundation-supported programs. Dr. Ogundiran is author and editor of many publications. His latest co-edited book Power and Landscape in Atlantic West Africa will be published by the Cambridge University Press in March 2012. He has received awards for teaching, research, and service. In 2007, he was awarded a Certificate of Special US Congressional Recognition for Excellence in Service.