background preloader


Facebook Twitter

Steal this module! Or: why teach postcolonial science studies to human and physical geographers? Image: “This map shows the growth in scientific research of territories between 1990 and 2001.

Steal this module! Or: why teach postcolonial science studies to human and physical geographers?

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: 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? 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.

What a new university in Africa is doing to decolonise social sciences

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. Op-Ed: South Africa needs a Marshall Plan or we will soon have Martial Law. After the devastation of the World War ll, Western Europe was largely in ruins.

Op-Ed: South Africa needs a Marshall Plan or we will soon have Martial Law

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. "Real, practical emancipation"? Subaltern politics and insurgent citizenship in contemporary India.

An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie. 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.

University of Tennessee Press

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.

Chatterjee, P.: The Black Hole of Empire: History of a Global Practice of Power. (eBook and Paperback)

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. The Cartographic State by Jordan Branch. References This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source.

The Cartographic State by Jordan Branch

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 Birth of the Modern World, 1780 - 1914 - C. A. Bayly. Political Modernity in the Postcolony: Some Reflections from India’s Adivasi Heartland. Decolonised curriculum: a matter of mindfulness.

Humankind’s historical behaviour is to colonise; thus we need to clarify what part of colonialism is in conflict with our judgements.

Decolonised curriculum: a matter of mindfulness

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. 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.

What they don’t tell you in the brochure about Stellenbosch

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. PhD written in isiXhosa hailed as milestone. 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.

PhD written in isiXhosa hailed as milestone

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.

Cape Town: Beautiful Ugly

How philosophy came to disdain the wisdom of oral cultures. A poet, somewhere in Siberia, or the Balkans, or West Africa, some time in the past 60,000 years, recites thousands of memorised lines in the course of an evening. The lines are packed with fixed epithets and clichés. San people of Africa draft code of ethics for researchers. CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA—Scientists have studied the San people of Southern Africa for decades, intrigued by their age-old rituals and ancient genetic fingerprints. Now, after more than a century of being scrutinized by science, the San are demanding something back. Earlier this month the group unveiled a code of ethics for researchers wishing to study their culture, genes, or heritage.

The code, published here on 3 March, asks researchers to treat the San respectfully and refrain from publishing information that could be viewed as insulting. Because such sensitivities may not be clear to researchers, the code asks that scientists let communities read and comment on findings before they are published. It also asks that researchers keep their promises and give something back to the community in return for its cooperation. “We’re not saying that everybody is bad. On Helen Zille, Colonialism and “Free Speech” and Ferial Haffajee. When somebody expresses unpopular, shockingly bigoted or other incendiary views on social media or elsewhere and the inevitable backlash follows, there are always people who caution that the resultant outcry threatens the freedom of expression of the wrongdoer. This happened after Helen Zille tweeted about her admiration for aspects of colonialism.

The problem is that this argument is based on a rather crude and uninformed view of the nature of free speech in a democracy. I was not going to write about Helen Zille’s tweets, in which she argued that colonialism was not only negative because it brought South Africa healthcare, piped water, roads and an independent judiciary. (Zille might not have been aware that it was only after the end of colonialism and with the advent of democracy that a fully independent judiciary was established in South Africa.) There is a lot going on in these paragraphs, but I am not sure much of it gestures towards a coherent, thoughtful or informed argument. There is no liberal tradition in South Africa. In the continent of its birth liberalism proved most attractive to the propertied classes who had embraced the anti-feudal ethos of high social status attained through individual achievement rather than through birth. As propertied persons the early liberals were, however, very distrustful of the working poor and the property-less, whom they saw as venal and easy to corrupt.

Analysis: Race, The Final Frontier. In a country with our history, our demographics, and our generational inequality along sharp racial lines, it is not overly difficult for minority groups, and particularly white people, to become paranoid, to over-react to provocations or comments they see as racist. It indeed is a complicated dynamic, but fear (and perhaps guilt) are certainly a part of what drives it. Weekend Special. We’re bringing back Weekend Special. Isn't identity informed by experience? Who has authority to talk about identity? English Cannot Thrive On The Graveyard of African Languages. Racism and Academic Philosophy in South Africa. Mabogo P. Malema: If you see a beautiful piece of land, take it. Aminatta Forna: ‘We must take back our stories and reverse the gaze' A few years ago I was sent a book by a psychologist called Boris Cyrulnik.

Cyrulnik was born in France in 1937, during the war his parents were sent to concentration camps and never returned. Re-thinking the homeless narrative in Cape Town - UrbanAfrica.Net. In November of 2016 Democratic Alliance Councillor Shayne Ramsay of Sea Point, an affluent suburb of Cape Town, posted an announcement on Facebook of her plans to deal with homelessness (Ramsay deleted the post shortly after posting it and issued an apology but it is republished at There is also a screen grab available via Eusebius McKaiser’s twitter page). Deconstructing Decolonisation: Can racial assertiveness cure imagined inferiority? Support Decolonised Free Education Now!

That New York Times column about Cape Town. Let me be clear, because some responses suggest I was not in my recent column for the International New York Times: from just about every assessment, the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape are consistently rated among the top performing South African metros and provinces respectively in terms of governance and levels of service delivery. From myth-breaking to myth-making: some lessons from Brazilian public intellectuals for postcolonial studies. Stellenbosch group won’t apologise. Theodor Adorno vs Herbert Marcuse on student protests, violence and democracy.

Traveling Technologies: Infrastructure, Ethical Regimes, and the Materiality of Politics in South Africa — Cultural Anthropology. The Global Situation — Cultural Anthropology.

Rhodes must fall

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..."