Ricardo Márquez García, M.A.

PhD Researcher

Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
Room 2.022
Niebuhrstraße 5
D-53113 Bonn
+49 228 73 62571

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Michael Zeuske, Dr. Jutta Wimmler

Member of 
© Barbara Frommann

Academic Profile

Asymmetrical Dependencies in Life Stories from the Cameroon Grassfields, 1850 – 1950

The Cameroon Grassfields, located in the West Region (hinterland) of the country, were in pre-colonial times a considerable supplier of enslaved people for different Atlantic ports and a minor supplier for the Sahara trade (until c. 1889). The predominantly centralized societies of the Grassfields enslaved people mostly by trading and without raids. After the official abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade the Grassfields continued supplying people, no longer for the Atlantic ports but for African and European plantations in the coastal regions of Cameroon and Nigeria (c. 1889-1930). Depending on the perspective taken, these two phenomena can be considered as independent from each other (Transatlantic Slave Trade vs. colonial recruitment) or as two periods in the long history of human trafficking in the Grassfields. By identifying the voices (stories) of the enslaved people and taking a regional perspective, this research project aims at highlighting the strong continuities between these two phenomena instead of disconnecting them due to methodological and pragmatic issues. A third, and not less important phase in this history of asymmetrical dependencies in the Grassfields is also taken into account: the regional mobilisation of labourers for the cultivation of coffee led by the former suppliers of 'slaves' and 'forced workers' (c.1930-1950).

since 2021        
PhD in History, University of Bonn, Germany

M.A. in Interdisciplinary Latin American Studies, Free University of Berlin, Germany

B.A. in Foreign Language Didactics and Sociology, Bielefeld University, Germany

Research Associate in Research Group The Concept of Slavery in African History, University of Bonn, Germany

DAAD Language Assistant, Université de Yaoundé I, Cameroon

Student Assistant, Bielefeld University, Germany

Research Stipend at the Institute for European History in Mainz, Germany

  • 2024. With Nanette Snoep, Vera Marušić and Lydia Hauth. RESIST! The Art of Resistance. Cologne: Walther und Franz König.
  • 2024. "Nkemvou, Nelo, and Tabula: Anticolonial Resistance to 'Labor Recruitment' in the Early Twentieth-Century Cameroon Grassfields." In Journal of Global Slavery 9(1–2): 43–73.
  • Forthcoming. "Kengni (1907–2007): A Woman's Fate in the Cameroon Grassfields." In Life Stories. Slavery and Memories in Africa, edited by Martin Klein and Stephen Rockel.
  • 2021. "Johny Baleng (c. 1890–1964). A colonial broker from the Cameroon Grassfields." In Cultural Dynamics, Special Issue on 'Brokerage under scrutiny'  33(4). Open access
  • 2018. "Jamaikanische Missionare an der kamerunischen Küste am Vorabend der deutschen Kolonisierung (1844–1887)." In Zeitschrift für Weltgeschichte 2: 287–314. Open access
  • 2017. "Das kamerunische Grasland und der 'Afroatlantische Dialog.' In Dialog und Dialogizität - interdisziplinär, interkulturell, international, edited by Carmen Ulrich, 232–245. München: IUDICIUM. Open access
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