Comparing the Copperbelt: Social History and Knowledge Production in Central Africa

Conference at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford

‘Comparing the Copperbelt’ is an ERC-funded research project, running at the University of Oxford from 2016-2021. The project aims to examine the Copperbelt (in both Zambia and the DR Congo) as a single region divided by a (post-)colonial border, across which flowed minerals, people and ideas. It analyses how academic knowledge production (e.g. by the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute and CEPSI) shaped understanding of Copperbelt societies and it seeks ways to explore Copperbelt political culture and popular perceptions from a historical perspective.

This final project conference, held in conjunction with Oxford’s African Studies Centre and Centre for Global History, represents the culmination of the project’s research and builds on workshops held in Kitwe in July 2018 and in Lubumbashi in July 2019. It will discuss the region’s shared histories and share ideas on social, environmental and cultural history. Research papers from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds (history, anthropology, economics, etc.), approaches and regional focuses are encouraged.

The conference will be held in English where possible. Presentations can be made in French and translation will be available.