Research Programs: Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Period of Performance

1/1/2004 - 6/30/2004

Funding Totals

$24,000.00 (approved)
$24,000.00 (awarded)

Coming of Age in Congo: Affliction, Narrative, and Social History

FAIN: FB-50663-04

David Ayers Eaton, Jr
President and Fellows of Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT 05753-6004)

I am requesting support to complete a book on men's lives in the Republic of Congo, based on ethnographic field research and the study of Congolese periodicals and popular music. I will examine how men, especially younger men, have imagined their futures and chosen paths forward in a time of economic crisis, political violence, and the advent of AIDS. Anglophone scholarship has been sparse in parts of this region of Africa, and the book's lively narratives and testimonies will provide windows into a contemporary world at the antipodes of the western imagination. By situating these men's voices and their self-performance in Congolese social history, the book will provide a radically specific understanding of the means by which individuals become persons and younger men come of age in these societies.