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Congomania in Academia. Recent Historical Research on the Belgian Colonial Past

Author:

S.E. Kiangu

Abstract

The Congo has recently been the subject of much academic research. This article discusses the major trends and developments. It primarily focuses on the Congo crisis of 1960, which was commemorated in 2010 and has been inquired into by many historians, including American, British and Russian ones. A comparison of their conclusions reveals that Flanders has largely come to terms with its colonial past, but that the French-speaking community has a more problematic memory. Belgian academia, by contrast, has left the old controversies about Leopold II and Lumumba behind and embarked on the path of new imperial history. It approaches the Congolese past from new angles and with new paradigms, such as reciprocity, science, exhibition, representation, etc. Congolese academia suffers from the economic problems of the country, but has managed to produce a number of studies, focusing mainly on regions, religion, and resistance. Strikingly, Congolese historians have little criticism of the colonial era.

Keywords: Colonialism
DOI: https://doi.org/10.18352/bmgn-lchr.7442
How to Cite: Kiangu, S.E., 2011. Congomania in Academia. Recent Historical Research on the Belgian Colonial Past. BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review, 126(4), pp.54–74. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/bmgn-lchr.7442
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Published on 01 Jan 2011.
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