Monthly Archives: June 2015

International Symposium – date announced

The Congo Free State across Languages, Media and Cultures’ International Symposium for 2015 will be hosted by Centre for Culture and the Arts, Leeds Beckett University and take place on Saturday 10 October 2015. This symposium explores the Congo Free State under Leopold II (1885-1908) as a space of transnational encounter through an analysis of its representation across languages, media and cultures.Punch_congo_rubber_cartoon

This year’s speakers include:

  • Dr. Daniel Laqua (Northumbria University), author of The Age of Internationalism and Belgium, 1880–1930
  • Dr. Stephen Donovan (Uppsala University), author of Joseph Conrad and Popular Culture
  • Dr. Mathilde Leduc-Grimaldi (Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren), author of Africa in Images: Stanley I Presume?
  • Dr. Dean Pavlakis (Carroll College, MT), author of British Humanitarianism and the Congo Reform Movement, 1896-1913


Attendance is free but please register. For further details or to register for attendance please email Rob Burroughs at

Launched at Uppsala University in September 2014, ‘The Congo Free State across Languages, Media and Cultures’ is a research initiative funded by the NWO (the Netherlands), Uppsala University, the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, and Leeds Beckett University.


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‘The man who was caged in a zoo’ – New book released

A new book has been published published this week * telling the story of Ota Benga, a Congolese man who was kidnapped from his home in the equatorial forests near the Kasai River, in what was then the Congo Free State, and put on display as a human zoo exhibit at the Bronx Zoo, New York, in 1906. Pamela Newkirk’s book seeks to tell his appalling story and to reveal the roots of a racial prejudice that, she argues, still haunts us.

For a brief description of Benga’s story, as well as information on how to purchase the book, please click on the link below:


* Published this week in the USA. The UK release date is scheduled for 2nd July 2015.



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