Call for Contributions: edited book ‘Comparing the Copperbelts’

Claire Phillips's picture
Call for Publications
January 15, 2019
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Environmental History / Studies, Labor History / Studies, Social History / Studies

We invite expressions of interest in an edited volume provisionally titled ‘Comparing the Copperbelts’ and scheduled to be published in late 2020/early 2021, as an output of the Comparing the Copperbelt project, funded by the European Research Council and based at the University of Oxford.

The study of the Central African Copperbelt has been central to the key themes in the historiography and social scientific analysis of the continent, but knowledge production about the Copperbelt has itself been bound up with political domination and economic exploitation of the region. New research, from within and beyond the Comparing the Copperbelt project, is generating new understandings of how the social history of the region is bound up with its representation in political and academic discourse, as well as in the collective popular imagination of copperbelt societies themselves.

This volume will explore the linked histories of the copper mining regions of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo from the early twentieth century to the present day. We particularly welcome contributions that make an original contribution to Copperbelt studies. Contributions are sought from historians and social scientists: inter-disciplinary approaches are particularly welcome. We encourage original and innovative chapter proposals that engage with underexplored themes in copperbelt history. Proposals that compare or otherwise engage with the histories of both copperbelt regions are particularly welcome: proposals that analyse only the Zambian Copperbelt or the Haut Katanga mining region are also encouraged, though authors should consider the comparative potential of their study in their proposal.

We invite chapter proposals that address one or more of the following themes:

  • The political economy of mining societies
  • Gender, generational, racial, class and ethnic identities and relations
  • The changing nature of mine and nonmine labour
  • Copperbelt cultures: sport and leisure, music and art
  • Social welfare and community development, housing and education
  • Comparisons between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ copperbelts
  • Environment and pollution
  • The production of knowledge

We invite interested participants to submit a chapter title and an abstract of 200-300 words by the deadline of 15 January 2019 to: Titles and abstracts may be submitted in English or French: we anticipate the book will be published in English, but it is anticipated that chapters can be submitted and reviewed in French before final translation immediately before publication.

We anticipate that most of the authors selected for inclusion in the volume will present draft versions of their chapters at one or more of our forthcoming conferences, to take place in Lubumbashi in July 2019 and Oxford in Mar/Apr 2020 – some funding for participation in these events will be available to potential contributors. Participation in these events is not however a prerequisite for inclusion in the edited collection.


Contact Info: 

Claire Philllips, Project Administrator 'Comparing the Copperbelt' project

History Faculty, University of Oxford