Bennett Capozzi -- Senegal

This exhibit by Bennett Capozzi explores British renderings and perceptions of West Africa in the 18th century, specifically focusing on the Senegal colony. This outpost between the Senegal and Gambia rivers was not only an important trading post, but also a gateway to a large network of inland tribes, and by extension, slaves.

This exhibit focuses mainly on the early years of British possession, after they captured Senegal from France in 1758 during the Seven Years' War. The acquisition was an exciting development for British slave traders, planters, geographers, and intellectuals who each laid claim to the colony for their own economic and educational purposes. This exhibit also investigates the absences in the historical record, namely the exclusion of native voices in these texts. This was a period of intense debate over the humanity and legitimacy of slavery, which makes the human experience in a slave entrepot like Senegal particularly relevant.


Bennett Capozzi