"THE PALACE OF KING NJOYA - COLONIALISM, MODERNITY, AND ISLAM"
Mark DeLancey, DePaul University
Part of the Silsila Fall 2020 Lecture Series, Islam in Africa: Material Histories
The Palace of King Njoya was built in Foumban, Cameroon in 1917-1922 in a style that combines elements of German colonial architecture, Islamic architecture from Northern Cameroon and Nigeria, and indigenous Bamum architecture. This new style was intended to portray King Njoya as an enlightened Muslim ruler with the ultimate goal of retaining his domain and autonomy under French colonial rule. Although the French soon after deposed King Njoya, and later sent him into exile, the renown of his palace nevertheless sparked a burst of construction in the new style across the region.
Mark Dike DeLancey is Associate Professor and Chair of History of Art and Architecture at DePaul University. He received his BA in combined studio art/art history from Oberlin College in 1996, and his Ph.D. in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University in 2004. His research is focused on palace architecture in Cameroon, and more recently on calligraphy, contemporary art, and manuscripts in Mauritania. He is the author of Conquest and Construction: Palace Architecture in Northern Cameroon (Brill, 2016) and has published articles in JSAH, Cahiers d’études africaines, and Islamic Africa.