Colloquium: Northrup’s Africa’s Discovery of Europe

Recent events have once again exposed the many threads of racism both in the United States and around the world. Unfortunately, ideas about race, the consequences of race thinking, and the insidious role of racism in human interactions, cultures, and public policies are central to the history of the past five centuries. The importance of engaging the history of racism needs to be a central component of history education, but to do so we need a transformation in how we approach the study of racism from K-12 to higher education.

The New England Regional World History Association (NERWHA) is launching a colloquium series in order to engage educators and all other interested persons in conversations about the history of racism. The first colloquium via Zoom will address David Northrup’s Africa’s Discovery of Europe. It is scheduled for Saturday, September 26 from 1:00 to 2:30 pm, EDT. The book is currently in its third edition with Oxford University Press. Registration is free and can be accessed from this link: NERWHA Book Forum (Colloquium Series)

The conversation will be moderated by Kerry Vieira, WHA Executive Director and led by the author, David Northrup (Boston College), with discussants Violetta Ravagnoli , (Emmanuel College), David Burzillo (Rivers School), and Luke Scalone (Graduate Student, Northeastern University). A discussion of Africa’s Discovery of Europe is an excellent opportunity to engage the history of Africans during the first four centuries of direct contacts between sub-Saharan Africans and Europeans.

This is not a book about the Atlantic Slave Trade; it is an examination of the history of African cultures and societies and their encounters with Europeans with agency given to Africans. To engage a discussion of the history of racism requires us to first understand the rich historical traditions that racists tell us did not exist in Africa. Northrup’s book counters those views and offers an insightful examination of the interactions between African and European societies.

Please join us on September 26 as we begin our analysis of the era that led to the Atlantic Slave Trade and the persistent legacy of racism in our world.

David Kalivas

WHA member and NERWHA President