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Création de l’Institut des mondes africains (IMAF)

L’Institut des mondes africains (IMAF) a été créé au 1er janvier 2014, par la fusion de trois laboratoires : le Centre d’études des mondes africains (CEMAf), le Centre d’études africaines (CEAf) et le Centre d’histoire sociale de l’islam méditerranéen (CHSIM).
Le site internet de l’IMAF prend le relai de celui du CEMAf, qui n’est plus mis à jour.

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Introducing CEMAf

CEMAf (Centre d’Études des Mondes Africains) is a multidisciplinary laboratory of research in history, ethnology, legal anthropology and political science covering all of Africa. Its work is organized around five axes :
- Epistemology and knowledge ;
- Changes in Africa and forms of globalization over a long period ;
- Nation-states, territories, memories ;
- Political configurations, identity-based movements and religious dynamics ;
- Social constructions and development, environment and health.


After several meetings between African studies laboratories under the scientific oversight of sections 33, 38 and 40 of the CNRS, a proposal was submitted to the CNRS for creating a laboratory to bring together UMR 6124 (Institute of African Studies), UMR 8048 (Systems of Thought in Black Africa), and UMR 8054 (Changes in Africa over a long period) under the auspices of four parties : University of Paris I, ÉPHÉ, University of Provence and the CNRS.

From an institutional viewpoint, merging these three partners would lead to the formation of a laboratory (UMR) with a large number of researchers and research professors. The momentum thus imparted would gain international visibility for the new formation and favor the development of projects based on cooperation. The new laboratory should exercise a strong attraction on researchers, French or foreign, who work on Africa. From a scientific viewpoint, bringing together historians, legal anthropologists, political scientists and ethnologists would enable researchers to compare and refine their approaches to analyzing the trends and changes undergone by African societies, now or in the past.

Merging the three aforementioned laboratories corresponds to a scientific rationale (joint problem areas, shared fieldwork) grounded on an already established network of exchanges within and between the disciplines of history, anthropology and political science.