Fellows

François WASSOUNI

Fellowship : October 2021 to June 2022

Discipline(s) : History

Pays : Cameroon

Research project: Artifacts and History of Violence in the Lake Chad Basin from the Pre-Colonial Period to the Boko Haram Security Crisis

Based on the actual critical security crisis in the Lake Chad Basin marked by Boko Haram terrorism, this research project intends to investigate long-term violence in this space. It stems from the idea that this region has been marked by a succession of violence and which have left many material traces that can be exploited to write the history of this phenomenon. These traces are made up of a panoply of artefacts that demonstrate that recurrent violence has sparked creativity and innovation, with an impressive fabrication and circulation of the materials of violence. Elements par excellence of material culture, they have played important roles during the violent periods that have taken place and vary from one context to another, from one community to another, fueling various transactions. From the pre-colonial period to the Boko Haram security crisis which alarmingly drags on, there are many ancient artefacts or much more recent objects, traditional materials or modern materials, which are eloquent testimonies of the materiality of violence and of knowledge. They pullulate all around and possess immense historical research value.

Biography

Of Cameroonian nationality, François WASSOUNI is a lecturer in contemporary history at the University of Maroua. He is the author of several books and scientific articles on various and varied issues, in particular the history of techniques, material culture, historiography, China in Africa, questions of peace and security, in particular the Boko security crisis, among others. Outside Cameroon, he has had several educational and research experiences at the international level: Visiting Professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) of Paris, France, Visiting researcher at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Ange-Guépin de Nantes, as part of the Hampâté Bâ scholarship; visiting Scholar of the Erasmus Mundus Master / Techniques, Heritage, Territories of Industry (TPTI) Consortium and at the Center for African Studies in Leiden in the Netherlands. He is also the laureate of several scholarship programs and international distinctions, the most recent of which are the American Fulbright (SUSI) at New York University / Multinational Institute for American Studies (MIAS) from which he is a graduate and of the Society’s International Scholars Program for the History of Technology (SHOT) also based in the United States.