Global and Local Dialogues as Cultural History: Texts, Geographies, and Categories of the Early Modern Era
The paper contends that 17th and 18th century African texts can contribute to our understanding of the archaeology of the early modern era. The texts were composed by Christian and Muslim Africans, persons of African descent in the Danish Caribbean, and a European friar who was a slave in a West African sultanate. They draw attention the complex intellectual-social landscpes of the Atlantic world. Euro-American meta-narratives ensured that these texts never entered the world historical state under the sign of the global. The paper argues that the texts under review reveal a radical specificity of the local, on the one hand, and a globality linked with shared histories with other parts of the world, on the other.
Keywords: Texts, Geographies, Cultural History, Local, Global, EarlyModern, Africa(n)
Prof Ray Kea
Professor, Department of History, Univeristy of California at Riverside