Written Culture in a Colonial Context: Africa and the Americas by Adrien Delmas and Nigel Penn
UCT Press, (March 15, 2011)
Soft Cover, 364 pages
This book explores the extent to which the types of written information that resulted during colonial expansion shaped the numerous and complex processes of cultural exchange from the 16th century onwards in Africa and the Americas.
There is very little in the modern literature on the history of written culture that describes specific practices related to writing that were anchored in the colonial context: from introducing writing into societies without alphabets, to the ships' logs kept by captains, which were often the first documents written on previously unknown cultures. It was not just ships, soldiers and missionaries that drove the process of European expansion from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The circulation of images, manuscripts and books between different continents played a key role too.