The History of Romantic Love in Sub-Saharan Africa: between Interest and Emotion

Megan Vaughan

in Proceedings of the British Academy Volume 167, 2009 Lectures

Published by British Academy

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264775
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734984 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

The History of Romantic Love in Sub-Saharan Africa: between Interest and Emotion

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This chapter looks at the history of romantic love in Sub-Saharan Africa. This text comes from a lecture given at the British Academy's 2009 Raleigh Lecture on History. This text attempts to explore some of the methodological and theoretical issues involved in an historical study of love in Africa. It argues that romantic love in Africa is not simply an extension of an imperialist cultural and political project and that emotional regimes cannot be divorced from economic circumstances. It explains that though the configurations of interest and emotion take specific forms in African societies, there is nothing peculiarly African about the evident need of individuals to balance realism and idealism in their emotional lives.

Keywords: romantic love; Sub-Saharan Africa; imperialist cultural project; emotional regimes; interest; emotion; realism; idealism

Chapter.  10209 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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