I have worked in formal and informal archives in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Whether they are the local archives of a school, the national archives of France, or the archives of an organization like Unesco and the World Bank, they have all had their own logics, smells and hiccoughs.
Interviews in English, French and Italian have enriched—and sometimes substituted for—documentary sources. Conversations with more than sixty former teachers and students in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana have been integral to my research. I have also conducted a dozen interviews with American and European actors involved in African education during the 1960s and 1970s.
In an effort to expand that work, my colleague Louise Barré (Sciences Po-Bordeaux) and I are undertaking a collaborative oral history project in which we jointly interview former coopérants (French technical assistants) who worked in Côte d’Ivoire during the 1960s through the 1980s. To date, there is no in-depth research on coopérants serving in one sub-Saharan African country.