Decolonizing Knowledge and the Question of the Archive. This document was deliberately written as a spoken text. It forms the basis of a series of public lectures given at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER), University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg), at conversations with the Rhodes Must Fall Movement at the University of Cape Town and the Indexing the Human Project, Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Stellenbosch. The nature of the events unfolding in South Africa, the type of audience that attended the lectures, the nature of the political and intellectual questions at stake required an entirely different mode of address – one that could speak both to reason and to affect.
Twenty one years after freedom, we have now fully entered what looks like a negative moment. This is a moment most African postcolonial societies have experienced. Like theirs in the late 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, ours is gray and almost murky. It lacks clarity. Meanwhile, “blackness” is fracturing. Indeed it is not. Township tech: South Africans raving at apartheid’s afterparty | Music. An apparition rises from the clouds of dry ice billowing through the humid Cape Town air, his pipe-cleaner limbs contorting wildly as he leaps and prances to a drum groove that sounds like hammers battering out a tattoo on a tin roof. DJ Spoko flashes a toothy grin from beneath his scarlet bandana and pokes a skinny finger towards the sky as his comrade Mujava teases out the wonky synth melody from one of South African electronic music’s biggest international hits, Township Funk. Spoko and Mujava’s pandemoniac display was one of the highlights of this month’s Cape Town electronic music festival (CTEMF), which for the past four years has been seeking to channel the surging energies of the country’s diverse dance cultures and bring some of its disparate creative communities together.
Spoko’s story illustrates how young South African producers and DJs have been employing a mixture of DIY inventiveness and entrepreneurial verve to make themselves heard. What is an African curriculum? | Education | M&G. The #RhodesMustFall student protests that gripped the University of Cape Town (UCT) have once again brought to the fore the problems around transformation that bedevil higher education in South Africa. The disgraceful paucity of black professors and the disingenuous explanations advanced by university management to show why this is so have appeared in the newspapers so often that they have become common lore. But as so often happens when student or street protests shine an unforgiving light on our failings, a rash of committees are established in the aftermath and put to work on what is to be done, even when everyone knows what this is.
I’ve heard that UCT has established a committee to look into curriculum reform, among other policies. I don’t want the discussion around curriculum reform to die a slow, deliberative death, as so many issues do when landing at the feet of committees. I hope, by putting it out in the public domain, I will, in a small way, help prevent that. Decolonizing philosophy. Many philosophers consider their field to be the mother of all disciplines. The popular picture is that philosophy, like a fertile womb, gives birth to other sciences and fields of inquiry which then move on with their own methodology and concerns (and they never call their parents!). Naturally, if there is any credence to this methodology, then decolonization of the curriculum or academia needs to start with philosophy.
On the global level, the discipline has been riven with controversy recently. In an open letter to the Journal of Political Philosophy, Yale philosopher Chris Lebron exposed the lack of concern for including issues surrounding Black Lives Matter within the remit of an otherwise all-encompassing publication. In the wake of the #FeesMustFall and #RhodesMustFall movements, questions of curriculum change became pertinent and stentorian in South African academia. In fact, transformation in philosophy has been slow and rocky. Related Regarding Marxism and Islam in Africa. Steal this module! Or: why teach postcolonial science studies to human and physical geographers? | Mutable Matter. Image: “This map shows the growth in scientific research of territories between 1990 and 2001.
If there was no increase in scientific publications that territory has no area on the map.” (Source: Worldmapper) When I worked as a postdoc at the University of Glasgow, I was approached by a group of Geography PhD students and university teachers about giving a talk on ‘decolonising physical geography’. It became a mini talk that I co‑presented with Dave Featherstone, who focused on the human geography side. I was very grateful to be approached, because, as in other all-white or almost all-white departments, any mention of race in the context of higher education is often considered ‘too far out’. Image: Physicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein (Source: cprescodweinstein.com) The other problem for Prescod-Weinstein is that most science curricula perpetuate the impression that non-Europeans are new to scientific innovation and knowledge production. 1 Why look at geography as a science?
Like this: What a new university in Africa is doing to decolonise social sciences. It’s not often that you get to create a new university from scratch: space, staff – and curriculum. But that’s exactly what we’re doing in Mauritius, at one of Africa’s newest higher education institutions. And decoloniality is central to our work. I am a member of the Social Science Faculty at the African Leadership University. Part of our task is to build a canon, knowledge, and a way of knowing. With this history in mind our faculty is working towards what we consider a decolonial social science curriculum. Seven commitments #1: By 2019, everything we assign our students will be open source Like most institutions of higher education in Africa (and across much of the world) ALU’s library is limited.
Our aspiration is that by 2019 everything we assign in our programme will be open source. It will also move towards undoing centuries of knowledge extraction from Africa to the world that has too often taken place with little benefit to the continent itself. #2: Language beyond English. Op-Ed: South Africa needs a Marshall Plan or we will soon have Martial Law | Daily Maverick. After the devastation of the World War ll, Western Europe was largely in ruins. Through an economic support package of $13-billion the US helped European nations rebuild their economies. This intervention, the so-called European Recovery Programme, became known as the Marshall Plan, named after the US Secretary of State, George C Mahshall who was appointed by President Harry Truman to preside over the post-war recovery effort, a man who the president called, “the greatest man of World War ll”.
South Africa is now poised to choose between a future marked by co-ordinated efforts to rebuild, or unco-ordinated efforts to destroy vestiges of affluence amassed during apartheid. Many of our post-apartheid communities are comparable to a post-war Europe. The recent developments in Coligny, Ennerdale, Vuwani etc come on the back of a rising swell of civil unrest rooted in socio-economic degradation. South Africans know how to mobilise. "Real, practical emancipation"? Subaltern politics and insurgent citizenship in contemporary India | Alf Nilsen. An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie. Making Haiti | University of Tennessee Press.
Author(s): Fick, Carolyn E.Series: Imprint: Univ Tennessee Press Publication Date: 1991-02-22Status: Active Available in Paper: Price $32.95 | Buy Now In 1789 the French colony of Saint Domingue was the wealthiest and most flourishing of the Caribbean slave colonies, its economy based on the forced labor of more than half a million black slaves raided from their African homelands. The revolt of this underclass in 1791—the only successful slave rebellion in history—gained the slaves their freedom and set in motion the colony’s struggle for independence as the black republic of Haiti. In this pioneering study, Carolyn E. Fick argues that the repressed and uneducated slaves were the principal architects both of their own freedom and of the successful movement toward national independence. Carolyn Fick is currently a Canada Research Fellow at Concordia University in Montreal.
Chatterjee, P.: The Black Hole of Empire: History of a Global Practice of Power. (eBook and Paperback) When Siraj, the ruler of Bengal, overran the British settlement of Calcutta in 1756, he allegedly jailed 146 European prisoners overnight in a cramped prison. Of the group, 123 died of suffocation. While this episode was never independently confirmed, the story of "the black hole of Calcutta" was widely circulated and seen by the British public as an atrocity committed by savage colonial subjects. The Black Hole of Empire follows the ever-changing representations of this historical event and founding myth of the British Empire in India, from the eighteenth century to the present. Partha Chatterjee explores how a supposed tragedy paved the ideological foundations for the "civilizing" force of British imperial rule and territorial control in India.
Reviews: "[H]ighly insightful, at times quite brilliant. " "Chock-full of mini topics and discursive asides, and illustrated with a number of photographs and illustrations, this book is required reading for the genre. " Endorsements: Subject Areas: The Cartographic State by Jordan Branch. References This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available. 126 Thomas Risse , Stephen C. Ropp and Kathryn Sikkink (eds.) The persistent power of human rights: From commitment to compliance 124 Stefano Guzzini The return of geopolitics in Europe? 123 Bear F. 122 Jonathan Joseph The social in the global: Social theory, governmentality and global politics 121 Brian C. 120 A. 118 Ayşe Zarakol After defeat: How the East learned to live with the West 117 Andrew Phillips War, religion and empire: The transformation of international orders 116 Joshua Busby Moral movements and foreign policy 115 Séverine Autesserre The trouble with the Congo: Local violence and the failure of international peacebuilding 113 Vincent Pouliot International security in practice: The politics of NATO-Russia diplomacy 112 Columba Peoples Justifying ballistic missile defence: Technology, security and culture R.
The Birth of the Modern World, 1780 - 1914 - C. A. Bayly. Political Modernity in the Postcolony: Some Reflections from India’s Adivasi Heartland | Blog | The Sociological Review. One of the foundational mythologies of sociological Eurocentrism pivots on the proposition that political modernity originated in the West. On this reading, the democratic nation-state, and institutions such as citizenship and civil society are purely Western achievements that only made their way southwards long after they had been consolidated in the north Atlantic realm of the world-system. The fundamentally problematic nature of this proposition has been evidenced in a compelling body of scholarship that has unearthed the multiple origins of modern statehood, sovereignty, and technologies of governance, as well as in the rich historical work on the Haitian revolution as a founding moment in the transnational historical trajectory of democracy.
The first step, then, beyond a Eurocentric conception of political modernity starts, as Gurminder Bhambra has argued, by grounding our thinking in “connected histories” that acknowledge modernity as always already global. Decolonised curriculum: a matter of mindfulness | Daily Maverick. Humankind’s historical behaviour is to colonise; thus we need to clarify what part of colonialism is in conflict with our judgements. As a lecturer in the Biological Sciences, I am aware that, despite the subject matter being conceptualised and delivered as such, many students in my university classroom maintain their suspicion of Evolution by Natural Selection.
These students argue that the theory is no truer than any tale that indigenous knowledge provides to explain the existence of the myriad life forms on earth. While on one hand this is unsettling, especially coming from students of science, it does present evidence that indigenous knowledge remains firmly embedded in students’ minds, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. This can be seen as an example of defiance against “colonial” knowledge. But do these students oppose evolution because the theory originates from colonials, or do they oppose it because they hold stronger beliefs in indigenous knowledge? What they don’t tell you in the brochure about Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch strikes me as one of those places that got put on the table by the National Party during the negotiated settlement pre-1994, something the ANC conceded in exchange for democracy. In fact, there’s a joke with more than a single grain of truth that the design of apartheid was conceived in one of the student residences of Stellenbosch University, where the young “architects” lived together.
The divided socioeconomic structure of Stellenbosch is a living testimony to the long-term objective of apartheid. In Stellenbosch, Coloured farm workers’ lives still matter little to the White landowners, as this community is in a wretched state of violence and drug abuse. Yet, driven by addiction and poverty they provide a constant supply of cheap labour. African people matter even less but have the benefit of relative sobriety and as a result can be trained faster and are easier to manage as labourers. On weekends and pay days, the incidence of violence and injuries peaks. Related. PhD written in isiXhosa hailed as milestone | IOL. A chance encounter between a South African music teacher and Xhosa-speaking students in Zimbabwe has led to the production of Rhodes University’s first PhD thesis in isiXhosa. Although the study unveiled little-known linkages between AmaXhosa in the Eastern Cape and a community of over 200000 others living in Mbembesi, about 45km outside Bulawayo, it was mostly celebrated for putting the language on par with English among others used in academic inquiry.
Dr Hleze Kunju’s doctoral thesis has been described as “a milestone” for Xhosa academic writing and a glimmer of hope in the quest for a decolonised and transformed education system in the country. When Rhodes University drafted its new language policy allowing students to use their mother tongue for learning, 31-year-old Kunju said he knew this would give him an opportunity to conduct work in his vernacular language. “I constantly felt I was lost in translation.” Read the full version of Dr Hleze Kunju’s thesis here. Independent Media. Cape Town: Beautiful Ugly. In 2008, while living and studying in Cape Town, I heard, over and over, two observations about the city: it was a place of singular beauty, perhaps even the world’s most captivating city. Visitor and local alike seemed incapable of seeing other landscapes than the physical one, and some claimed that the city’s insularity was a result of the mystical, domineering influence of Table Mountain. The second perception, loosely related to the first, was that Cape Town was not an African city or, at least, not a “real African city.”
I too once held these opinions, and had relocated to South Africa from Kenya drawn by the striking terrain, the possibility of anonymity, of going about on foot, and the allure of a Mediterranean sort of life. And yet, in one respect, Cape Town had seemed, even at the outset, an African, even a pan-African city; while walking along Long Street, the city center’s main artery, I was liable to hear spoken Wolof, kiSwahili, Somali, Xhosa.
Related Cape Town African Swag. How philosophy came to disdain the wisdom of oral cultures | Aeon Ideas. San people of Africa draft code of ethics for researchers | Science | AAAS. On Helen Zille, Colonialism and “Free Speech” and Ferial Haffajee | Daily Maverick. There is no liberal tradition in South Africa. Analysis: Race, The Final Frontier | Daily Maverick. Weekend Special. Isn't identity informed by experience? | Opinion | Analysis | M&G. Who has authority to talk about identity? | Opinion | Analysis | M&G. English Cannot Thrive On The Graveyard of African Languages -- Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o. Racism and Academic Philosophy in South Africa. Malema: If you see a beautiful piece of land, take it | Daily Maverick.
Aminatta Forna: ‘We must take back our stories and reverse the gaze' | Books. Re-thinking the homeless narrative in Cape Town - UrbanAfrica.Net. Deconstructing Decolonisation: Can racial assertiveness cure imagined inferiority? | Daily Maverick. Support Decolonised Free Education Now! That New York Times column about Cape Town. From myth-breaking to myth-making: some lessons from Brazilian public intellectuals for postcolonial studies. Stellenbosch group won’t apologise | IOL. Theodor Adorno vs Herbert Marcuse on student protests, violence and democracy | Daily Maverick. Traveling Technologies: Infrastructure, Ethical Regimes, and the Materiality of Politics in South Africa — Cultural Anthropology. The Global Situation — Cultural Anthropology.
South African Politics. Colonising Egypt. Subjectivities. Shit. Knowledge. JWTC - Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism - Achille Mbembe. SOLDIERS WITHOUT REWARD - South African Military History Society - Journal. Lovelyn Nwadeyi: “Courage, Compassion and Complexity..."