Master Class Cameroon-German history 2019

The Goethe-Institut Kamerun and the National Archives of Cameroon are organising a Master Class on the study of written testimonies of the common German-Cameroonian history available at the National Archives. Researchers in all disciplines whose research scope cover part or all of the period from 1884 to 1919 are concerned.
Cameroon and Germany share a common past. The period between 1868 and 1916 is of great importance in the intellectual discourse and understanding of certain contemporary realities in Cameroon. However, the Cameroonian intellectual standpoint about this period remains underexplored because of language barriers and the lack of knowledge on palaeographic techniques. Added to this is the ignorance of the socio-economic and political setting of both countries at that time. These explain the difficulty of exploiting original sources of information found in the National Archives and consequently, research avenues remain unexplored by students and researchers of academic institutions in Cameroon. The aim of the Master Class project is to enable researchers to access and use historically rich documented sources and to consider inter-/multi-disciplinary research on social objects, facts and events of this transitional period in Cameroon's history.

Description of the Master Class

As from June 3rd, 2019, 15 participants will have favourable working conditions as well as privileged access to documents. Their studies will be complemented by various workshops under the coordination of high-level experts. Issues related to the German language, palaeography and situational or contextual analysis of events recorded in the corpus of documents will be dealt with.  The program will run in several phases and end on November 30th, 2019.

ConditionsTo be eligible to this project, applicants must:

  • be enrolled in a university or higher institute of learning based in Cameroon at masters or doctorate level.
  • have already started with a thesis project on a theme related to an aspect of the common German-Cameroonian history between 1868 and 1919.
  • be willing to do an open access publication of the research results at the end of the Master Class.
  • be willing to grant non-exclusive publication rights of the research results to the Goethe-Institut in all forms without limitation of time and space.
  • the availability of the scientific supervisor will be an advantage.
 Components of the application file
  • Proof of registration in a postgraduate program (masters/doctorate) at a university or higher institution of learning based in Cameroon.
  • A master or doctorate studies related research project not exceeding 2000 words and containing the descriptions of the files submitted at the German Fund of the National Archives of Cameroon which can serve as answer to research-related questions.
  • A formal declaration in which the candidate authorises the publication of their research results at the National Archives and at the Goethe-Institut following the completion of the Master Class.

Work plan

  • The different phases of the Master Class will take place in Yaounde
  • The working languages are English and French
  • Participants will spend an average of 10 hours per week at the National Archives for their research project. They will also devote at least ten hours per week to deepen their knowledge of the subject. 
  • During the Master Class, workshops/courses will be held on the following topics:
  1. German classes
  2. Reading of the historical German writings (Fraktur, Kurrent)
  3. History of German colonisation in Cameroon in the context of world history in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  4. Study of administrative acts and production of documents of the colonial administration (Aktenkunde)
  5. Public presentation of research topics at a public event.


During the Master Class, participants will receive a monthly stipend of 50,000 FCFA to cover transportation costs fromJune to November 2019 except August.
The National Archives will provide logistics for courses and workshops, ensure privileged access to documents and a dedicated workspace.  

Submission of applications

  • Please send your complete application files as single pdf file to latest Mai 26th 2019 at 11:59 p.m.
  • For any questions related to the program and the application, please contact Mr. Jules Kotchè at the Goethe-Institut Kamerun ( and Dr. Esther Olembé at the National Archives of Cameroon (
  • Start date: June 03rd, 2019.