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"Encounters on Land and Lagoon: Speculative Cartography and the Histories of Pre-Colonial Lagos (1845-1852)”

Professor Ademide Adelusi-Adeluyi, University of California, Riverside, will present a lecture as part of the African Studies Center Speaker Series.

Monday, April 23, 2018
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
10383 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095

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Abstract:  The ija agidingbi is mostly forgotten in contemporary Lagos, because when British gunboats bombarded the city twice in late 1851, their “reduction of Lagos” displaced not only the incumbent king, but also the significance of local narratives surrounding these events. “Encounters on Land and Lagoon” offers a re-reading of this violent episode, drawing from the maps and myths manufactured in documenting the war and its aftermath.  By reframing these events as spatial narratives—as they occurred on land and water—this presentation offers new maps that show how the ija agidingbi was in fact the tail end of unrest spanning Lagos and its lagoons, one that drew a cross-section of coastal society from Badagry, Ẹpẹ, and Ouidah to Lagos.  Despite attempts to write over local ways of imagining, manipulating and representing space, these British maps remain crucial sites of negotiation over the meanings of power, place and time in the city.  At no point does Lagos become more visible than when it is marked for destruction, division, or “civilization,” thus, I use these maps to reconstruct the past, in place.

Bio:  Trained as both historian and computer engineer, Ademide’s research into the history of African cities combines a set of interdisciplinary interests in African and urban history, technology, cartography and spatial humanities.  She joined UC Riverside’s History department in July 2015 and received her PhD in History from NYU in 2016.  Her current book project, “Imagine Lagos: Mapmaking and Representation in Nineteenth-Century West Africa,” is a spatial history of Lagos between 1845 and 1868, one that takes into account the city’s role as the economic, political and cultural focal point of the Bight of Benin.   Accompanying this book project is a cartographic database, “New Maps of Old Lagos,” which offers visual interpretations of intersecting historical vignettes of nineteenth-century Lagos.

This lecture is part of the African Studies Speaker Series of the African Studies Center and is cosponsored by the UCLA Department of African American Studies and the African Activist Association at UCLA.

Lunch will be served.

Cost : Free and open to the public; pay-by-space & all-day ($12) parking available in lot 3.

UCLA African Studies Center310-825-3686

Sponsor(s): African Studies Center, Department of African American Studies, African Activist Association