Ibrahima THIOUB

Modern and contemporary history, Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal - Associate Fellow

Fellowship : Associate Fellow in 2014-2017 (6 former fellowships between 2006 and 2014)

Discipline(s) : History

Area(s) of expertise : Modern and contemporary history

Pays : Sénégal

Research Project: "Chromatic identities in Africa: histories, legacies and events"

The project is an attempt to write the history of the recapturing of  chromatic identity - and the way it is mobilized in contemporary power games -by the African intelligentsia, who have reversed its perspective and conclusions, when it has served to legitimize the worst examples of violence and domination in their societies. To do this, he studies the intellectual genealogy of the main currents which make up this broad movement to identify   their impact on the knowledge produced in Africa, especially on the writing of the history of the continent. The aim is to examine how the categories related to somatic differences, or those ofphenotype, the latter often being perceived and described as "racial", have affected memory constructions in Africa and the writing of African societies in the social sciences.

He carries out a critical reading of the most significant  texts by Pan-Africanists - Garvey, Firmin, Dubois - and on the theme of Negritude to establish their intellectual influences on the works of theorists of the anti-colonial movement in Africa. This approach identifies similarities and differences in operating procedures and the various versions of the color factor in the construction of African identity among individuals. It also focuses on different trajectories, taking into account political, academic and «physical» (movements, places of learning and «intellectual» sociability, places of personal experience, etc.) aspects. Furthermore, the work addresses political contexts and the academic development of ideologies of independence and the heritage which constitutes these contexts, paying attention to the differentiation that occurs between French, Portuguese and English-speaking as well as Belgian imperial spaces. Finally, follows the trajectories of these theories: their impact, reception and any new developments (which agents, in what context and for what purpose?). The implementation of these theories and their implications for Africa’s self-knowledge – particularly in the field of social sciences - will be fully explored.


Professor of History at the Cheikh Anta Diop University (Dakar, Senegal) since 1990 and Associated Fellow at IAS-Nantes, Ibrahima THIOUB specializes in slavery. He founded at Dakar the ‘Centre Africain de Recherches sur les Traites et l’Esclavage’ (CARTE) that he leads today.

Ibrahima THIOUB has held visiting posts at numerous universities around the world (USA, Europe, Africa and Asia). In 2008-2009, he was Fallow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and, since March 2012, he is Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Nantes.

Ibrahima THIOUB looks critically on African readings of slavery and slave trade. Besides the use of slaves in economic activities, he examines their role in social relations and their legal expression in the private and public spaces. His study is part of a historical perspective, which gives a particular importance to the changes recorded in the time of the city and its environment.



> Access to Ibrahima THIOUB’s personal webpage

Major publications

THIOUB, Ibrahima. Stigmas and Memory of Slavery in West Africa: Skin Color and Blood as Social Fracture Lines. New Global Studies, Volume 6, Issue 3, 2012. Version française: Stigmates et mémoires de l’esclavage en Afrique de l’ouest : le sang et la couleur de peau comme lignes de fracture. Nouvelles Annales Africaines, Édition spéciale 2012, pp. 14-24.

THIOUB, Ibrahima. Xala, Ousmane Sembène : Une mise en récit subversive du passé ? Revue africaine de littérature, FLSH n°1, nouvelle série, 2012.

THIOUB, Ibrahima. L’histoire vue d’Afrique. Enjeux et perspectives. In CHRETIEN, Jean-Pierre et al. L’Afrique de Sarkozy. Un déni d’histoire. Paris : Karthala, 2008. p. 155-180.

THIOUB, Ibrahima. L’esclavage et les traites en Afrique occidentale : entre mémoires et histoires.  In BÂ KONARÉ, Adam. Petit précis de remise à niveau sur l’histoire africaine à l’usage du président Sarkozy. Paris : La Découverte, 2008.

THIOUB, Ibrahima (ed). Patrimoines et sources historiques en Afrique. Dakar : Union académique internationale, UCAD, 2007. 179 p.

THIOUB, Ibrahima. Savoirs interdits en contexte colonial : la politique culturelle de la France en Afrique de l’Ouest. In CHANSON-JABEUR, Chantal and GOERG, Odile (eds). Mama Africa. Hommage à Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch.  Paris : L’Harmattan, 2005.

Upload the full list of Ibrahima THIOUB’s publications

Former projects

During former fellowships at IAS-Nantes, Ibrahima Thioub worked on the project "History of places of worship in Senegal, from colonial era until now".