June 20, 2007 Crawford Young To Speak on the African Colonial State on July 25

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

Crawford Young, a distinguished scholar on Africa and professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, will discuss “The African Colonial State and the Encounter with Decolonization” at the Library of Congress on July 25. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will start at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 25, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is sponsored by the Library of Congress John W. Kluge Center and the National History Center, and is presented in conjunction with the National History Center’s Second International Research Seminar on Decolonization, held in Washington D.C., from July 9 through Aug. 4. Young’s talk will cover the final phase of the African colonial state, its confrontation with African nationalism and the terms of power transfer. He believes that in its final phase after World War II the African colonial state was strengthened by rapidly increasing revenues, yet fatally weakened by the swiftly deepening challenge of African nationalism. For the first time, major public investments were made in social infrastructure, and the scale and scope of state action expanded dramatically. Yet the growing success of nationalist movements in mobilizing anti-colonial protest compelled the colonizer to accede to a power transfer timetable far more compressed than anticipated. Young is the Rupert Emerson & H. Edwin Young Professor (emeritus) of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin, where he taught from 1963 to 2001. He has written and edited a number of award-winning books and articles on Africa, including “The African Colonial State in Comparative Perspective” (1994); “The Rise and Decline of the Zairian State” (co-authored with Thomas Turner, 1985); and “Ideology and Development in Africa” (1982). He has served as visiting professor and taught in Congo-Kinshasa, Uganda and Senegal. A former president of the African Studies Association, he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a member of the Scholars’ Council at the Library of Congress. Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate, energize and distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information about the fellowships, grants and programs offered by the John W. Kluge Center, visit www.loc.gov/kluge. The National History Center promotes research, teaching and learning in all fields of history. Created by the American Historical Association in 2002, the center is a public trust dedicated to the study and teaching of history, as well as to the advancement of historical knowledge in government, business and the public at large. For more information about the National History Center and the Second International Research Seminar on Decolonization, visit www.loc.gov/kluge. The National History Center's seminar on decolonization has been made possible by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


PR 07-138
ISSN 0731-3527