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Dior Konate
South Carolina State University (Orangeburg, SC 29115-4427)
Constructing Death: Capital Punishment in Colonial Senegal

Research and writing leading to a book on the history of capital punishment in Colonial Senegal between the 1820s and the 1960s.

Introduced in Senegal in 1824, capital punishment was a key element in the mechanism of colonial repression. Yet, it was not enforced until 1899 when the first public guillotine execution took place in Saint-Louis, the colony’s administrative capital, thus setting in motion the machinery of death. This book investigates the history of capital punishment in Senegal from the 1820s to the 1960s by exploring the role it played to mete out punishment and to maintain law and order. It also analyses its role in citizenship building to unlock the multiple and complex determinants in its practice. Its main objective is to analyze the evolution of capital punishment and its impact on the development of the colonial state by highlighting the construction of death sentences and what it reveals about the French’s concerns with citizenship building. The book will contribute to the scholarship on colonialism and punishment in colonial Africa and enhance the global debates about capital punishment.

[Grant products][Media coverage]

Project fields:
African History; African Studies; Legal History

Awards for Faculty

Research Programs

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2021 – 5/31/2022