In this conversation, historians Breckenridge and Hecht discuss the status of African histories of technology since decolonization. Academic interest in African technology, as well as technologies and infrastructures with significant connections to Africa, began to decline in the mid-1980s and with some exceptions was long confined to anthropology and archaeology. Historians of technology are now returning to the study of African technological infrastructures and users. By paying attention to the specificity of industrial production, to material and political infrastructures, and to gaps and dependencies, Breckenridge and Hecht suggest possible directions for contemporary and future African histories of technology.

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