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Constructing Dakar: cultural theory and colonial power relations in French African urban development

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
This thesis examines urban development and colonial power relations in the French West African capital of Dakar between 1902 and 1914. Founded in Senegal in 1857, Dakar was constructed to physically implement and visibly project France’s assimilationist conception of colonial power. Dakar’s transformation as a “French” city was central to the integration of its African inhabitants into French culture. However, at the same time that assimilation impacted Dakar’s development and population, the policies enacted by local French authorities gradually shifted to reflect the theory of cultural association, including the spatial segregation of African city-dwellers. In addition to addressing the complexities of colonial rule in Dakar, this thesis examines the ways the city’s indigenous residents negotiated their own lived experience, considering their agency and responses to colonial ruling strategies.
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Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Panchasi, Roxanne
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