65 06

3522 mots 15 pages
Finisterra, XXXIII, 65, 1998, pp. 31-38

L’EXPLORATION SCIENTIFIQUE DE L’AFRIQUE
AU XIXe SIÈCLE EST-ELLE UNE ENTREPRISE
GÉOGRAPHIQUE?
ISABELLE SURUN1

Résumé: En étudiant la relation scientifique qui se noue entre géographes de cabinet et explorateurs de l’Afrique occidentale au XIXe siècle, cette contribution montre que les explorateurs, dépassant les visées des géographes qui s’en tiennent à une géographie de la localisation et de l’inventaire, se révèlent les intiateurs d’une véritable géographie humaine de l’Afrique. Mots-clés: Explorateurs, géographes (XIXe siècle), Afrique de l’ouest, géographie humaine,
Société de Géographie de Paris.
Abstract: WAS 19th CENTURY SCIENTIFIC EXPLORATION OF WEST AFRICA A GEOGRAPHICAL
ENTREPRISE? – In the nineteenth century, explorers of West Africa and geographers became involved in crossed scientific relationship. This paper emphasizes the upcoming gap between the scientific aims that geographers and explorers assumed. Geographers focused their investigations on location matters in order to map out traveler’s routes through unknown countries, and thus give geographical images of the inner parts of Africa. In the meantime, explorers appeared to be the initiators of an actual human geography of Africa. Their work contributed to convey new paradigms into the geographical field better than the geographers had. Key-words: Explorers, geographers (19th century), West Africa, Human Geography,
Geographical Society of Paris.
Resumo: A EXPLORAÇÃO CIENTÍFICA DA ÁFRICA OCIDENTAL NO SÉCULO XIX FOI UM
EMPREENDIMENTO GEOGRÁFICO? – Estudam-se as relações que no século XIX se estabeleceram entre geógrafos de gabinete e exploradores da África Ocidental. Insiste-se, neste artigo, no desfazamento entre objectivos científicos de uns e de outros. Os geógrafos

1

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