Historian Makes His Mark at British Library

Konrad Tuchscherer at British Library

Dr. Tuchscherer explains the significance of the Nsibidi symbol behind Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) in the film Black Panther. The symbol is an ancient symbol from the Nsibidi system of the Cross River area of Nigeria, employed by the Igbo, Ibibio, and Ejagham peoples.

Photo By: British Library

July 1, 2019

Konrad Tuchscherer, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History, delivered a talk on Friday, June 28, 2019 at the British Library in London, UK. The lecture, “Script in West Africa,” served as the capstone for the institution’s international exhibition Writing: Making Your Mark, which explores the history of literary traditions from ancient hieroglyphs to the present. The lecture was held in the British Library’s Knowledge Center with attendees ranging from scholars to a general audience.

Dr. Tuchscherer’s lecture examined traditional graphic symbolism in Africa from ancient times through the present, covering such topics from Nsibidi (Nigeria) and Adinkra (Ghana) symbols, through to the nineteenth century development of indigenous phonetic scripts among the Vai (Liberia) and Bamum (Cameroon). Dr. Tuchscherer also spoke about his efforts to document and preserve the Bamum script of Cameroon, which has received generous support in the field from the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme and Arcadia Fund. He continues to serve as the Co-Director of the Bamum Scripts and Archives Project at the Royal Palace of Bamum Kings in Cameroon.