Dr. des. Ousmane Seydi


Frühe Neuzeit

University of Basel
Kanonengasse 27
4051 Basel Switzerland



Voyages et construction d’une identité savante à l’époque moderne. Michel Adanson (1727 - 1806): Un homme des Lumières en quête d’une reconnaissance scientifique

Zur Person

Current Research

My current research “Commerce, diplomacy and culture in interaction. French and British trade representatives in the northern Senegambia kingdoms (1697-1817)” examines, through the prism of the "diplomacy of commercial contact", the commercial and diplomatic relations between France, Great Britain and the states of northern Senegambia (Fouta Toro, Walo, Cayor, Djolof, Sine and Saloum) between the late seventeenth and the early nineteenth century. The perspective chosen is that of a “histoire croisée” which reveals the cultural transfer between the courts of Europe and Africa, whose trade representatives were the intermediates, the go-betweens. The overarching goal of this research is to build a historical account of the “life at court” of the aforementioned Senegambia kingdoms, a context totally ignored so far.

From 1st of January 2020 to 31st of March 2020 I hold a Visiting Scholar position at the CRHIA (Centre de Recherches en Histoire Internationale et Atlantique) of Nantes, where I will be working in collaboration with Professor Eric Snackenbourg.

2014-2019: PhD-Student | University of Basel

PhD in History at the University of Basel with particular interest in social and cultural history of science.

Title: “Voyages et construction d’une identité savante à l’époque moderne. Michel Adanson (1727-1806) : Un homme des Lumières en quête d’une reconnaissance scientifique”.

Supervisor: Pr. Dr. Claudia Opitz-Belakhal

2012/2013: MA (Master II) | Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar

Title: “Le processus de délimitation des frontières entre le Sénégal et la Gambie (1864-1911)”.

Supervisor: Pr. Ibrahima Thioub

2010/2011: MA (Maîtrise) |Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar

Title: “Pouvoir colonial en Afrique occidentale française : Surveillance et contrôle de la propagande 1921-1946”.

Supervisor: Pr. Ndiouga Adrian Benga

2005/2009: Licence/BA | Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar


History of West Africa, Entangled History (Economic and Diplomacy history), Cultural encounter, Social and Cultural history of Science


«Paroles et mots nègres dans les écrits scientifiques du naturaliste Adanson: de l’autonymie à la mise en scène de soi», in M.-F. Marein, B. Moricheau-Airaud. C. Copy et D. Diop, dir., Les illusions de l’autonymie, Paris, Hermann, 2019, p.205-221.

The fabric of colonial citizenship: the establishment of the boundaries between Senegal and Gambia (1864-1911) (forthcoming 2020)

Monitoring and controlling the moral health of indigenous: French colonial regime fighting propaganda in their West African colonies (1921-1946) (forthcoming 2021)

Travels and construction of a scholarly identity in the modern era. Michel Adanson (1727-1806): a man of the enlightenment seeking scientific recognition (forthcoming 2022).


GRREA 17/18, an international and interdisciplinary research group dedicated to the study of European representations of Africa in the 17th and 18th centuries

Swiss Society for African Studies