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At the Edge of the World: Boundaries, Territoriality, and Sovereignty in Africa

At the Edge of the World: Boundaries, Territoriality, and Sovereignty in Africa Public Culture tions, the quickest being the easiest to detect.”2 He went on to emphasize — and this was the second point — the exceptional character of what he called world time (le temps du monde). For him, time experienced in the dimensions of the world had an exceptional character insofar as it governed, depending on the period and the location, certain spaces and certain realities. But other realities and other spaces escaped it and remained alien to it.3 The following notes, although they adopt the notion of long duration and relativize the airtightness of the distinctions mentioned above, nonetheless differ in several respects from Braudel’s theses. They are based on a twofold hypothesis. First, they assume that temporalities overlap and interlace. In fact, Braudel’s postulate of the plurality of temporalities does not by itself suffice to account for contemporary changes. In the case of Africa, long-term developments, more or less rapid deviations, and long-term temporalities are not necessarily either separate or merely juxtaposed. Fitted within one another, they relay each other; sometimes they cancel each other out, and sometimes their effects are multiplied. Contrary to Braudel’s conviction, it is not clear that there are any zones on http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Public Culture Duke University Press

At the Edge of the World: Boundaries, Territoriality, and Sovereignty in Africa

Public Culture , Volume 12 (1) – Jan 1, 2000

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2000 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0899-2363
eISSN
1527-8018
DOI
10.1215/08992363-12-1-259
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Public Culture tions, the quickest being the easiest to detect.”2 He went on to emphasize — and this was the second point — the exceptional character of what he called world time (le temps du monde). For him, time experienced in the dimensions of the world had an exceptional character insofar as it governed, depending on the period and the location, certain spaces and certain realities. But other realities and other spaces escaped it and remained alien to it.3 The following notes, although they adopt the notion of long duration and relativize the airtightness of the distinctions mentioned above, nonetheless differ in several respects from Braudel’s theses. They are based on a twofold hypothesis. First, they assume that temporalities overlap and interlace. In fact, Braudel’s postulate of the plurality of temporalities does not by itself suffice to account for contemporary changes. In the case of Africa, long-term developments, more or less rapid deviations, and long-term temporalities are not necessarily either separate or merely juxtaposed. Fitted within one another, they relay each other; sometimes they cancel each other out, and sometimes their effects are multiplied. Contrary to Braudel’s conviction, it is not clear that there are any zones on

Journal

Public CultureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2000

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