Diasporic World History in Practice: "Migrants and Memory", A Travel Course to Southern France and West Africa

Dr. Geoffroy de Laforcade
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In the early summer of 2005, a travel course sponsored by the Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy at Longwood University (Virginia, United States) took students on a transnational journey to the Mediterranean port city of Marseille and to the Gao/Djenne/Mopti region of Mali. From the survey of comparative ancient civilizations to the global experience of African migrants in Europe, questions of history, identity and memory were explored in the pedagogical context of a travelling learning community. This experience demonstrates that real human linkages in the modern world, such as the transnational solidarities and cross-cultural experiences of a contemporary African diaspora, can be explored through travel in a manner that contributes to awakening historical curiosity and literacy. Whether the project successfully exposed students to the ways in which historical identities are formed, "reformed" and transformed, in a post-colonial context, by migration, and the insights that emerged from interactions between the North American students and their European and Malian hosts, are the topics that will be discussed in this workshop.

Keywords: World History, Diaspora, The Uses of Memory, Africa in Europe, Learning Communities, Travel Courses
Stream: Community, Culture, Globalisation
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Geoffroy de Laforcade

Assistant Professor, History of the Atlantic World, Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy, Longwood University

Ref: L05P0046