Kelly M. Duke Bryant
Education as Politics
Colonial Schooling and Political Debate in Senegal, 1850s-1914
University of Wisconsin Press 2015
Education as Politics: Colonial Schooling and Political Debate in Senegal, 1850s-1914 (University of Wisconsin Press, 2015) questions and complicates the two dominant narratives of African colonial education, namely that colonial education was a tool of indoctrination and that its establishment was resisted by chiefs and other traditional power brokers because of its perceived threat to their authority. Author Kelly M. Duke Bryant challenges these interrelated narratives by using archival sources – mainly correspondence – to demonstrate the nuanced reasons for both the early resistance to and the later acquiescence to, French colonial education. Duke Bryant looks at the evolution of schooling throughout Senegal during the early colonial period, and at the School of Sons of Chiefs and Interpreters in particular, and concludes that “colonial education reshaped local political processes and hierarchies in important ways”.Education as Politicsserves as a backdrop to the election of Blaise Diagne, the first African elected to the Assemble Nationale (French National Assembly) in 1914, and in the interview, Duke Bryant outlines the ways in which new forces mobilized by colonial schooling set the stage for this momentous event.