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Professor Patrick Chabal

Posted on 21/01/2014
Professor Patrick Chabal

Professor Patrick Chabal

It is with great sadness that the History Department announces the recent death of our colleague Professor Patrick Chabal.

Patrick was internationally recognised as one of the leading scholars of modern African history,  politics and literature. He taught at King’s for almost thirty years. He joined the College in 1984, as Lecturer in the Politics and Modern History of Lusophone Africa, and was promoted to Reader in 1990 and to Professor in 1994. He served for more than a decade as Head of the Department of Portuguese & Brazilian Studies, and transferred to the Department of History, as Professor of African History & Politics, in 2011. He was the author or co-author of nine books and the editor or co-editor of seven. One of the initiators and most prominent exponents of the interdisciplinary study of Lusophone African literature, he was also a bold theorist with wide-ranging interests. Books such as his Africa: the Politics of Suffering and Smiling (2009) made a major impact on interdisciplinary, public and policy debates on Africa. His most recent book, The End of Conceit: Western Rationality after Postcolonialism (2012), extends beyond Africa, offering a reinterpretation of the inextricable relationship of the future of the West to that of the non-West.

Patrick was also an accomplished and committed teacher at all levels.  His undergraduate modules for the History Department on modern and contemporary African history were notably popular and challenging. As well as being a deeply engaged, ambitious and inspiring scholar, he was also a great friend to many, at King’s and far beyond. His loss will be very keenly felt in many different spheres, and particularly in the King’s History Department, to which he gave so much over the past few years.

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