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Title:From the soil up: Sierra Leone and the rural university in the wake of empire
Author(s):Poppel, Zachary
Director of Research:Burton, Antoinette M.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Burton, Antoinette M.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Ali, Tariq; Barnes, Teresa A.; Brennan, James; Hoganson, Kristin L.
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Higher Education
West Africa
Sierra Leone
Njala University College
Fourah Bay College
Land-grant university
Anglo-American colonialism
Abstract:After the formal end of empire, African academics, students and campus laborers worked to upend enduring British authority over urban and rural higher education in Africa. In Sierra Leone, British professors and their families remained on the campuses after independence in 1961 and maintained a high level of residential and administrative privileges. To translate persistent inequalities into new forms of African autonomy, Sierra Leoneans sustained an everyday campaign to protest the racialized division of resources, and at the same time recruited American personnel in order to dislodge British academics and delink African universities from British universities. Amidst these conditions, challenges to the uneven distribution of scarce campus resources—from housing to piped water—aided wider campaigns to level the material conditions of international development. And the local agendas of campus workers, from their dislike of British food to their preference for ginger farming, impeded some of the agendas of a postcolonial state and its Anglo-American partners. The widespread effort to reclaim local control of African universities ultimately changed institutions in Britain and the United States, and yielded new forms of African influence on American expansion in the wake of British decline.
Issue Date:2015-01-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Zachary Daniel Poppel
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-01-21
Date Deposited:2014-12

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