Resisting conformity: Anglican mission women and the schooling of girls in early nineteenth-century West Africa

Leach, Fiona Elizabeth (2012) Resisting conformity: Anglican mission women and the schooling of girls in early nineteenth-century West Africa. History of Education, 41 (2). pp. 133-153. ISSN 0046-760X

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Abstract

The origins of modern schooling in early nineteenth-century Africa have been poorly researched. Moreover, histories of education in Africa have focused largely on the education of boys. Little attention has been paid to girls’ schooling or to the missionary women who sought to construct a new feminine Christian identity for African girls. In the absence of personal accounts of African girls’ schooling from that period, this paper draws on a slim body of 71 letters written by women and girls associated with one British mission society in Sierra Leone between 1804 and 1826 to suggest a fluid and at times contradictory construction of gender and racial identity, which sits at odds with the ideology of domestic femininity that the missionaries sought to impart through girls’ schooling. The handful of letters written by African women and girls also casts doubt on the assumed subservience of black subjects to white officialdom.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: missionaries,girls’ schooling, Africa,gender identity,women’s narrative
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT History of Africa > DT0470 West Africa. West Coast
L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LA History of education
Depositing User: Michael Davy
Date Deposited: 14 May 2013 13:07
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 13:16
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/44706
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