How was knowledge about African languages, cultures and societies produced and disseminated in the 20th century? The present book tackles this question by focusing on the history of the International African Institute (IIALC/IAI) in London. Rooted in the colonial reform movement of the 1920s and its quest for a culturally "adapted" development of Africa, the IAI soon became a crucial scientific hub in its field, connecting scholars from different nations and disciplines, setting research agendas, and distributing funds. Its history illustrates the complicated relationship between African studies and Africa's colonial past, but also the changing topography and disciplinary composition of the field, as well as the vital role played by transnational actors such as missionary societies or American philanthropic foundations.
Dr. Stefan Esselborn war von 2014 bis 2015 Stipendiat am Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte und ist heute Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter an der Professur für Technikgeschichte der Technischen Universität München.