Clélia Coret holds a postdoctoral position at the Laboratoire d’Excellence «Histoire et anthropologie des savoirs, des techniques et des croyances» (LabEx Hastec – École Pratique des hautes Études) in Paris. She is as well a member of the Centre Alexandre Koyré (EHESS).
She has gained a PhD in Contemporary History at the Université Paris 1 «Panthéon-Sorbonne». Her award-winning thesis «The refounding of a Swahili polity in Witu: writing history and legitimizing power on the northern coast of East Africa (1812-1895)» is based on archive and field research in Kenya, Tanzania, Germany, France and the UK. It explores the history of Witu, a coastal polity in modern-day Kenya founded by the Swahili dynasty of Nabahani. Clélia Coret analyses the use of historical writing as a tool of legitimizing dynastic power and examines the complex relations between Witu, German and British imperial actors and different populations of the surrounding region.
Her current project focuses on the first endeavours in the co-production of linguistic knowledge on the East African coast in a missionary and colonial context. More specifically, it deals with the essential role of local informants in building the knowledge at work in the world of evangelizing missions.
Together with Roberto Zaugg (UZH) and Gérard Chouin (William & Mary, USA) she has published a special issue of Afriques on «Power in the city: spaces, material cultures and scenographies in Africa before the 20th century».
For a detailed CV and publication list, see her personal page on the website of the Institut des Mondes Africains (IMAF).