The Politics of the African Anticolonial Archive

Book Workshop, Trinity College (Nov 6 & 7)

Project Overview

The Book Project
The Politics of the African Anticolonial Archive (Shiera S. el-Malik and Isaac Kamola, eds) collects an array of writings that reflects on how 20th century African anticolonial thought continues to speak to political struggles for justice and recognition in Africa as well as in other political contexts. The project reflects an approach to documents, arguments, and materials that can be considered “international relations” and “world politics,” but examines many of these same questions through an alternative archive. In doing so, we challenge the assumption that Africa is solely the domain of policymakers, “problem solvers,” and area studies, and that African peoples are the objects of data. Instead, we present African anticolonial theorists as a powerful source for ideas, concepts, and materials that still prove profoundly useful in thinking about the present moment. The book is currently under contract at Rowan & Littlefield’s Kilombo: International Relations and Colonial Questions series.

The Workshop:
The workshop brings together all the book’s contributors to discuss their chapters-in-progress. The event is open to the public, and the schedule is available here.

If you would like copies of the papers, please visit:

Or email:


Friday, November 6
Reese Room (Smith House)

1:00 -1:15 Welcome Address

Stefanie Chambers, Political Science, Trinity College
Xianming Chen, Center for Urban and Global Studies, Trinity College

1:15 – 2:15 – Opening Roundtable: ‘The Politics of the African Anticolonial Archive’
Shiera Malik (DePaul University)
Isaac Kamola (Trinity College),

2:15-2:30 – Break

2:30-3:45 –Panel 1
Shiera Malik (DePaul University), ‘Curating and Politics: Searching for coherency in the archives’

Branwen Gruffydd Jones (University of London, Goldsmiths), ‘Comradeship, Committed and Conscious: The anti-colonial archive speaks to our times’

Chair and Faculty Discussant, Vijay Prashad (Trinity College)
Student Discussant, James Barrett (Trinity College)

3:45-4:00 – Break

4:00-5:15 – Panel 2
Allen Stack (Johns Hopkins University), ‘Archiving Sankara’s Presence and Teaching Burkina Faso’s Black Spring’

Míde Ní Shúilleabháin (Dublin City University), ‘Reclaiming Memory from History: Challenging the modern archive’

Chair and Faculty Discussant, Garth Myers (Trinity College)
Student Discussant: Lars Skattum (Trinity College)

5:30-6:30 – Reception
Grand Room at the Admissions Center


Saturday, November 7th
Reese Room (Smith House)

9:00-10:15 – Panel 3

Christopher Azaare Anabila, ‘Recollections of Past Events of British Colonial Rule in Northern Ghana, 1900-1956’ (presented by Anatoli Ignatov, Appalachian State University)

Anatoli Ignatov (Appalachian State University), ‘The Skin and the Stool: Re-crafting histories of belonging in Northern Ghana’

Chair and Faculty Discussant, Maurice Wade (Trinity College)
Student Discussant, Elliot Barron (Trinity College, 2015)


10:30-11:45 – Panel 4
Timothy Vasko (Cornell University), ‘That Chaotic Groove Where Words Lived: Toward the African anticolonial archive and/as regimes of sovereignty in struggles against settler colonialism’

Seth Markle (Trinity College), ‘“Our Cry of Uhuru”: Robert F. Williams and African American anticolonialism’

Chair and Faculty Discussant, Christina Heatherton (Trinity College)
Student Discussants, Schirin Schenkermayr and Shanelle Morris (Trinity College)

11:45-1:00 –Lunch

1:00-2:15 – Panel 5
Siba Grovogui (Cornell University), ‘Decolonizing Archives: Reconsidering Universal and Unified Fields in the Human and Social Sciences’

Isaac Kamola (Trinity College), ‘Amilcar Cabral and a Politics of Realism Without Abstraction’

Chair and Faculty Discussant, Sam Opondo (Vassar College)
Student Discussant, Callie Prince (Trinity College)

2:15-2:30 – Break

2:30-4:00 – Concluding Roundtable: ‘Reflection on the politics of the African anticolonial archive’

Maurice Wade (Trinity College)
Christina Heatherton (Trinity College)
Vijay Prashad (Trinity College)
Garth Myers (Trinity College)
Sam Opondo (Vassar College)