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African Impressions

How African Worldviews Shaped the British Geographical Imagination Across the Early Enlightenment

Rebekah Mitsein


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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (1/5/2023)


Investigations of the representation of Africa in British texts have typically concluded that the continent operated in the British imagination as a completely invented space with no meaningful connection to actual African worlds, or as an inert realm onto which writers projected their expansionist fantasies. Rebekah Mitsein revises that narrative, demonstrating that African elites successfully projected expressions of their sovereignty and geopolitical clout into Europe long before Europeans entered sub-Saharan Africa. Mitsein makes the case for analyzing sub-Saharan displays of self-expression as coherent narratives, comprised of distinct details, which shaped the way Britons wrote and thought about Africa.

University of Virginia Press, 9780813947891, 294pp.

Publication Date: January 5, 2023