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Creolisation in Secret: The Birth of Nationalism in Late Colonial Uluguru, Tanzania

  • Peter Pels

This article restudies assumptions about the nature of nationalism in Africa on the basis of the brief moment when African nationalism emerged in the mountain area of Uluguru, in eastern Tanzania. It suggests that our understanding of the emergence of the concept of nationality was far too narrowly focused on the idea of the state and of the unity of the public existing within that state. By exploring a multiplicity of coexisting colonial and indigenous political discourses in terms of ‘creolisation’, and setting this multiplicity of public discourses against the background of the secret politics that determined their interaction, the article suggests directions for the rethinking of African politics in modernity.

Cet article réexamine les idées concernant la nature du nationalisme en Afrique sur la base du moment bref où le nationalisme africain est apparu dans la région de montagne d'Uluguru, dans l'Est de la Tanzanie. Il suggère que notre interprétation de l' émergence du concept de nationalité était beaucoup trop centrée sur l'idée de l'Etat et de l'unité du public existant au sein de cet Etat. En explorant une multiplicité de discours politiques coloniaux et indigènes coexistants en termes de “créolisation”, et en plaçant cette multiplicité de discours publics dans le contexte de la politique secrète qui a déterminé leur interaction, l'article suggère des orientations pour repenser la politique africaine dans la modernité.

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