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Jeremy Rich

French traveler and travel writer who explored West Africa, was born in 1799 in Mauzé-sur-le-Mignon in the Deux-Sèvres region of France. His family was extremely poor. Caillié’s father had been banished to work as a prisoner rowing on government boats before he was born. His mother died very young. According to his later account of his travels in West Africa, Caillié had dreamed of reaching the fabled trade center of Timbuktu on the banks of the Niger River since he was a child. Whether or not this actually was the case, Caillié did manage to reach the Senegalese town of Saint Louis in 1815 He stayed there for several months and tried to join an English expedition up the Gambia River This project did not work out He then spent some time working on the French Caribbean colony of Guadeloupe but soon returned to Senegal He came back to ...


James McCarthy

Scottish explorer and geographer of Africa, was born in Edinburgh in 1844. Alexander Keith Johnston was the son of the eminent geographer and cartographer of the same name, who had established the highly respected engraving and mapmaking firm of W. & A. K. Johnston with his brother William. Although the young Keith was educated at prestigious schools in the Scottish capital, he was also tutored carefully by his father, and learned those European languages in which significant geographical material was published. Like his father, Keith’s interest extended well beyond conventional cartography, and he made important contributions to oceanography, hydrology, and global climatic influences. Both were influential figures in the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), itself the most important national institution in the promotion of worldwide discovery and the development of the nineteenth-century British Empire, not least in Africa.

After a period as superintendent of drawing and engraving at the prestigious ...


Jonathan Morley

In 1978Edward W. Said (1935–2003), a Palestinian musicologist, journalist, and cultural critic living in America, published Orientalism, a revisionist study of the academic discipline by the same name, thereby revolutionizing how we view textual representations of other cultures and helping to shape post‐colonial studies.

Said, a member of the Palestinian National Council from 1977 to 1991, was fluent in French and hence familiar with the work of Marxist cultural theorists such as Foucault and Kristeva, as well as that of the early generation of Third World historians such as Samir Amin, Anwar Abdel Malik, and C. L. R. James He considered knowledge and power to be inextricably linked at the time a radical stance and treated the subject Orientalism until then renowned for its traditions of scholarship and breadth of learning simply as a worldly body of discourse exhibiting the ideological prejudices ...