The WVU History Department presents:
Tamba M’Bayo, “Muslim Interpreters in Colonial Senegal, 1850-1920”
(Lexington Books, 2016)
A book discussion, with comments/response by
Janice Spleth — Department of World
Languages, Literatures & Linguistics
Robert Maxon — Department of History
Tamba M’Bayo — Department of History
M’Bayo’s book investigates the lives and careers of Muslim African interpreters employed by the French colonial administration in Saint Louis, Senegal, from the 1850s to the early 1920s. It focuses on the lower and middle Senegal River valley in northern Senegal, where the French concentrated most of their activities in West Africa during the nineteenth century. The Muslim interpreters performed multiple roles as mediators, military and expeditionary guides, emissaries, diplomatic hosts, and treaty negotiators. As cultural and political powerbrokers that straddled the colonial divide, they were indispensable for French officials in their relations with African rulers and the local population. As such, a central concern of this book is the paradoxical and often contradictory roles the interpreters played in mediating between the French and Africans, and their capacity to shape power relations between the colonizers and the colonized in Senegal.
Black Bear Burritos – Suncrest Location
Thursday 26 January
All are welcome!