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On the Edges of Whiteness
Polish Refugees in British Colonial Africa during and after the Second World War
306 pages, 15 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78920-444-5 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (May 2020)
eISBN 978-1-78920-447-6 eBook
“This is a solid piece of research that addresses a rarely explored aspect of the global refugee crisis of the World War II era. In drawing comparisons between the Poles' experiences in different countries and regions, it gives voice to the African perspective and provides a much-needed contextualization of the refugees' reception.” • Lynne Taylor, University of Waterloo
“This fascinating book adds considerably to the literature on refugee history and whiteness studies. Tracing the experience of Polish refugees across multiple colonies, Jochen Lingelbach demonstrates the necessity of closely attending to the peculiarities of the context in which any group of refugees seeks shelter.” • Brett Shadle, Virginia Tech
From 1942 to 1950, nearly twenty thousand Poles found refuge from the horrors of war-torn Europe in camps within Britain’s African colonies, including Uganda, Tanganyika, Kenya and Northern and Southern Rhodesia. On the Edges of Whiteness tells their improbable story, tracing the manifold, complex relationships that developed among refugees, their British administrators, and their African neighbors. While intervening in key historical debates across academic disciplines, this book also gives an accessible and memorable account of survival and dramatic cultural dislocation against the backdrop of global conflict.
Jochen Lingelbach is a postdoctoral research fellow in African History at the University of Bayreuth. He obtained his doctorate at the University of Leipzig and currently works on the project “Africa in the Global History of Refugee Camps” within the University of Bayreuth’s “Africa Multiple” Cluster of Excellence.
Subject: Refugee and Migration Studies Colonial History
List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1. How the Poles Came to Africa
Chapter 2. The Postwar Refugee Regime and the Imperial Order of Things
Chapter 3. Comparing Colonialisms in Africa and Poland
Chapter 4. ‘An Incredible Pool of Femininity’: Gendering the Refugees
Chapter 5. Polish Refugees as Part of Colonial Society
Conclusion: On the Edges of Whiteness
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