Drinking from the Cosmic Gourd

How Amos Tutuola Can Change Our Minds

Author: Nyamnjoh, Francis B.

Publisher: Langaa RPCIG

ISBN: 9956764655

Category: Social Science

Page: 326

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This book questions colonial and apartheid ideologies on being human and being African, ideologies that continue to shape how research is conceptualised, taught and practiced in universities across Africa. Africans immersed in popular traditions of meaning-making are denied the right, by those who police the borders of knowledge, to think and represent their realities in accordance with the civilisations and universes they know best. Often, the ways of life they cherish are labelled and dismissed too eagerly as traditional knowledge by some of the very African intellectual elite they look to for protection. The book makes a case for sidestepped traditions of knowledge. It draws attention to Africa’s possibilities, prospects and emergent capacities for being and becoming in tune with its creativity and imagination. It speaks to the nimble-footed flexible-minded “frontier African” at the crossroads and junctions of encounters, facilitating creative conversations and challenging regressive logics of exclusionary identities. The book uses Amos Tutuola’s stories to question dualistic assumptions about reality and scholarship, and to call for conviviality, interconnections and interdependence between competing knowledge traditions in Africa.
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Debating Witchcraft in Africa: The Magritte Effect

Author: Péclard, Didier,Warnier, Jean-Pierre

Publisher: Langaa RPCIG

ISBN: 9956550027

Category: Social Science

Page: 100

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Given the circularity of the witchcraft complex in Africa, given its performative potential, isn’t the flood of anthropological publications on the topic counter-productive insofar as it feeds what it pretends to analyse, and even stigmatize? Wouldn’t the social scientists be well advised not to emulate the media and the Evangelical preachers and to avoid bestowing on Africa the dubious privilege of being no more than a shadow theatre devoid of substance on the stage of which everything – power, work, production, economy, the family – would actually be played in the occult? In this publication, eight scholars – namely: Jean-Pierre Warnier, Didier Péclard, Julien Bonhomme, Patrice Yengo, Jane Guyer, Joseph Tonda, Francis Nyamnjoh and Peter Geschiere – engage in a lively and contradictory debate on witchcraft/sorcery in Africa in a controversial historical context.
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African Studies in the Academy

The Cornucopia of Theory, Praxis and Transformation in Africa?

Author: Mawere, Munyaradzi,Mubaya, Tapuwa R.

Publisher: Langaa RPCIG

ISBN: 9956762229

Category: Social Science

Page: 302

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For a long time, African Studies as a discipline has been spearheaded by academics and institutions in the Global North. This puts African Studies on the continent at a crossroads of making choices on whether such a discipline can be legitimately accepted as an epistemological discipline seeking objectivity and truth about Africa and the African peoples or a discipline meant to perpetuate the North’s hegemonic socio-economic, political and epistemic control over Africa. The compound question that immediately arises is: Who should produce what and which space should African Studies occupy in the academy both of the North and of the South? Confronted by such a question, one wonders whether the existence of African Studies Centres in the Global North academies open opportunities for critical thinking on Africa or it opens possibilities for the emergence of the same discipline in Africa as a fertile space for trans-disciplinary debate. While approaches critical for the development of African Studies are pervasive in African universities through fields such as cultural studies, social anthropology, history, sociology, indigenous knowledge studies and African philosophy, the discipline of African Studies though critical to Africa is rarely practiced as such in the African academy and its future on the continent remains bleak. African Studies in the Academy is a testimony that if honestly and objectively practiced, the crossroads position of African Studies as a discipline makes it a fertile ground for generating and testing new approaches critical for researching and understanding Africa. It also challenges Africa to seriously consider assuming its legitimate position to champion African Studies from within. These issues are at the heart of the present volume.
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Citizenship in Motion

South African and Japanese scholars in conversation

Author: Hazama, Itsuhiro,Umeya, Kiyoshi

Publisher: Langaa RPCIG

ISBN: 995655068X

Category: Political Science

Page: 442

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Anthropological reflections on citizenship focus on themes such as politics, ethnicity and state management. Present day scholarship on citizenship tends to problematise, unsettle and contest often taken-for- granted conventional connotations and associations of citizenship with imagined culturally bounded political communities of rigidly controlled borders. This book, the result of two years of research conducted by South African and Japanese scholars within the framework of a bilateral project on citizenship in the 21st century, contributes to such ongoing efforts at rethinking citizenship globally, and as informed by experiences in Africa and Japan in particular. Central to the essays in this book is the concept of flexible citizenship, predicated on a recognition of the histories of mobility of people and cultures, and of the shaping and reshaping of places and spaces, and ideas of being and belonging in the process. The book elucidates the contingency of political membership, relationship between everyday practices and political membership, and how citizenship is the mechanism for claiming and denying rights to various political communities. ‘Self’ requires ‘others’ to construct itself, a reality that is subject to renegotiation as one continues to encounter others in a world characterised by myriad forms of interconnecting mobilities, both global and local. Citizenship is thus to be understood within a complex of power relationships that include ones formed by laws and economic regimes on a local scale and beyond. Citizenship in Africa, Japan and, indeed, everywhere is best explored productively as lying between the open-ended possibilities and tensions interconnecting the global and local.
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Critical Terms for the Study of Africa

Author: Gaurav Desai,Adeline Masquelier

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022654902X

Category: History

Page: 432

View: 5986

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For far too long, the Western world viewed Africa as unmappable terrain—a repository for outsiders’ wildest imaginings. This problematic notion has had lingering effects not only on popular impressions of the region but also on the development of the academic study of Africa. Critical Terms for the Study of Africa considers the legacies that have shaped our understanding of the continent and its place within the conceptual grammar of contemporary world affairs. Written by a distinguished group of scholars, the essays compiled in this volume take stock of African studies today and look toward a future beyond its fraught intellectual and political past. Each essay discusses one of our most critical terms for talking about Africa, exploring the trajectory of its development while pushing its boundaries. Editors Gaurav Desai and Adeline Masquelier balance the choice of twenty-five terms between the expected and the unexpected, calling for nothing short of a new mapping of the scholarly field. The result is an essential reference that will challenge assumptions, stimulate lively debate, and make the past, present, and future of African Studies accessible to students and teachers alike.
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