Book Launch: Lost Nationalism by Elena Vezzadini – Feb 22 2017

IFRA together with the British Institute in Eastern Africa invite you to the launch of a book, Lost Nationalism: Revolution, Memory and Anti-Colonial Resistance in Sudan by Elena Vezzadini. Elena is a scholar in history from  the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) and affiliated to Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne and the Institut des Mondes Africains. She obtained her PhD at the University of Bergen. She has taught modern history of the Middle East and Africa at the universities of Bergen, Bologna, Paris and Falun. She works on the social history of modern Sudan, and in particular on the first nationalist movement during the colonial era. Other works have focused on the abolition of slavery, the army, education and work during the colonial period. She is the author of Lost Nationalism: Revolution, Memory, and Anti-Colonial Resistance in Sudan, published by James Currey in 2015, and winner of the Bethwell A. Ogot award of the African Studies Association (2016).

“Lost Nationalism offers a history of a formative yet largely forgotten event, Sudan’s 1924 Revolution, in which insurgents from the ‘White Flag League’ attempted to overthrow the British colonial state in the name of unity with Egypt. Vezzadini connects this event to a host of regional and global developments, forcing us to rethink the role and utility of identifying ‘revolutions’ in African History. The core argument – that nationalism in 1924 Sudan should be understood not as an external dislocation but rather as the result of deliberate internal social movements – not only challenges and revises existing Sudanese historiography, but also asks us to re-interrogate more broadly the relationship between revolution and nationalism during the twentieth century. This also reopens a rather old-fashioned topic, nationalism, to a very productive regional and chronological reframing, around issues of race, class, status, communicative action and ‘knowledge panics’, with inspirational effect. With a stunning depth and breadth of research, Vezzadini has produced a kind of ‘total’ event history, the foundation of which is a sustained socio-economic analysis of those who joined the revolution, to produce an important alternative account of an event deliberately orphaned by both embarrassed British officials and subsequent Sudanese nationalists.”

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