Moses E. Ochonu, "Emirs in London: Subalteran Travel and Nigeria's Modernity" (Indiana UP, 2022)


Emirs in London: Subalteran Travel and Nigeria's Modernity (Indiana UP, 2022) recounts how Northern Nigerian Muslim aristocrats who traveled to Britain between 1920 and Nigerian independence in 1960 relayed that experience to the Northern Nigerian people.

Moses E. Ochonu shows how rather than simply serving as puppets and mouthpieces of the British Empire, these aristocrats leveraged their travel to the heart of the empire to reinforce their positions as imperial cultural brokers, and to translate and domesticate imperial modernity in a predominantly Muslim society.

Emirs in London explores how, through their experiences visiting the heart of the British Empire, Northern Nigerian aristocrats were enabled to define themselves within the framework of the empire. In doing so, the book reveals a unique colonial sensibility that complements rather than contradicts the traditional perspectives of less privileged Africans toward colonialism.

Moses E. Ochonu is Professor of African History at Vanderbilt University. He is author of Africa in Fragments: Essays on Nigeria, Africa, and Global Africanity; Colonialism by Proxy: Hausa Imperial Agents and Middle Belt Consciousness in Nigeria, which was named finalist for the Herskovits Prize; and Colonial Meltdown: Northern Nigeria in the Great Depression. He is editor of Entrepreneurship in Africa: A Historical Approach.

Sara Katz is a Postdoctoral Associate in the History Department at Duke University.

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Sara Katz

Sara Katz is a postdoctoral fellow in the Arts & Humanities Grant Studio at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her research examines the history of the Nigerian hajj in the colonial and postcolonial periods. Her interests include Muslim-Christian relations, visual culture, and global Islam.

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