Constructions of Identity in Cameroonian History Textbooks in Relation to the Reunification of Cameroon

in Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society
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  • 1 School of Education, Sol Plaatje University, Kimberley, South Africa raymond.fru@spu.ac.za
  • 2 Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria, South Africa johan.wassermann@up.ac.za
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Abstract

This article explores the representation of identity in selected Anglophone and Francophone Cameroonian history textbooks via their coverage of the reunification of Cameroon. A far-reaching effect of the 1916 Anglo-French partition of German Cameroon and of the reunification of the territory in 1961 is that, in spite of the plurality of precolonial identities, it is the legacies of Anglo-French colonial heritage that seem to be the overwhelming identity indicators in contemporary Cameroon. This content analysis found that the Anglophone history textbook presented a clear Anglophone identity which stood in conflict with the identity promoted by the Francophone textbook, which was characterized by national and colonial Francophone assimilationism. Such representations suggest that the Cameroonian nation state as a colonial geopolitical construct is more imagined than real.

Contributor Notes

Raymond Nkwenti Fru is a senior lecturer in history education in the School of Education, Sol Plaatje University, Kimberley, South Africa. Email raymond.fru@spu.ac.za.

Johan Wassermann is a professor in history education and Head of Department of Humanities Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria. Email johan.wassermann@up.ac.za.

  • Fanso, Verkijika, Cameroon History for Secondary Schools and Colleges. Vol. 2: The Colonial and Postcolonial Periods (London: Macmillan, 1989).

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  • Delaveau, Bernard, Claire Mongnet, and André Salifou, Décolonisation et problèmes de l'Afrique indépendante: Histoire classes terminales (Paris: Edicef, 1991).

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