Colonial attitudes towards women, slavery and gender-violence in the Congo (1900-1930s)

Smith, Toni (2020). Colonial attitudes towards women, slavery and gender-violence in the Congo (1900-1930s). University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis analyses colonial discourses and practices about women, slavery and marriage in the Congo. By examining archival sources this work investigates the actions, motivations and agendas of historical actors and institutions that focused on these issues. It shows that stories about Congolese sexualities were instrumentalised to justify colonial control. Colonialists were keen to highlight Congolese gender relations that they perceived to be dangerous and oppressive, while minimising examples of colonial sexual abuse and exploitation. How did this impact the types of stories that were perpetuated about colonial rule and Congolese people? How did these narratives evolve and shift as they interacted with international anti-slavery initiatives and activism? In what ways did Congolese people navigate colonial and missionary moralities? This work provides insight into the effects of imperial power on marriage practices and women in a colonised territory. My research may be useful to those who focus on colonial histories related to gender, sexuality and enslavement.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of African Studies and Anthropology
Funders: Other
Other Funders: The Conjugal Slavery in War Partnership, College of Arts and Law
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration


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