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Keine romantische liebe in Africa? Mission, Manner, Monogamie

Schmidt, H. I. ORCID: (2013) Keine romantische liebe in Africa? Mission, Manner, Monogamie. L'Homme: European Journal of Feminist History, 24 (1). pp. 93-102. ISSN 1016-362x

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The sparse historical and anthropological research on romantic love in Africa south of the Sahara gives the impression that the phenomenon may merely be of marginal importance. Instead, the reasons for the apparent impossibility to write about love in Africa are largely rooted in its epistemology: Western stereotypes of a continent inhabited by tribal, atavistic people, barely modernised by colonialism or touched by globalisation which introduced romantic love to the world region have been in part responsible for this dearth of academic knowledge, as have recent identity politics and practical concerns that focused research in the area on sexuality. Here, the main argument is that the almost complete silence about love in Africa may be addressed by applying a more inclusive concept of love that embraces ideologies and practices hitherto neglected, such as polygyny, and that expands the one which has been developed by historians of the medieval and early modern periods. This, in turn, enriches the research on the history of love in Western societies.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > History
ID Code:33461

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