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Claude E Ake: The making of an organic intellectual


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Claude E. Ake, radical African political philosopher of the first four decades of the postcolonial era, stands out as a progressive social force whose writings continue to have appeal and relevance long after his untimely death in 1996. In examining Ake’s intellectual works, Jeremiah O. Arowosegbe sets out the framework of his theoretical orientations in the context of his life, and reveals him as one of the most fertile and influential voices within the social sciences community in Africa. In tracing the genesis and development of Ake’s political thought, Arowosegbe draws attention to Ake’s compelling account of the material implications and political costs of European colonisation of Africa and his conception of a different future for the continent. Approaching his subject from a Gramscian and Marxist perspective, Arowosegbe elucidates how Ake’s philosophy demonstrates the intimate entanglement of class and social, cultural and historical issues, and how, as a contributor to endogenous knowledge production and postcolonial studies on Africa, Ake is firmly rooted in a South-driven critique of Western historicism. It is Arowosegbe’s conviction that engaged scholars are uniquely important in challenging existing hierarchies, oppressive institutions, and truth regimes – and the structures of power that produce and support them; and much can be drawn from their contributions and failings alike. This work contributes to a hitherto neglected focus area: the impact across the continent of the ideas and lives of African and other global South academics, intellectuals and scholar-activists. Among them, Ake is representative of bold scholarly initiatives in asserting the identities of African and other non-Western cultures through a mindful rewriting of the intellectual and nationalist histories of these societies on their own terms. In foregrounding the contribution of Ake with respect to both autochthonous traditional insights and endogenous knowledge production on the continent, Arowosegbe aims at fostering the continuance of a living and potent tradition of critique and resistance. Engaging with the lingering impact of colonialism on previously colonised societies, this timely book will be of immense value to scholars and students of philosophy and political science as well as African intellectual history, African studies, postcolonial studies and subaltern studies.



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Published 29 December 2016
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EAN13 9781920033545
Language English
Document size 7 MB

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In loving memory of my father Joshua Sunday Adenigba Arowosegbe and my grandfather Matthew Olaseinde Arowosegbe
About the Series he Arîcan Humanîtîes Serîes îs a partnersîp between te Arîcan Humanîtîes Program (AHP) o te Amerîcan Councîl o Learned Socîetîes and academîc publîsers NISC (Pty) Ltd*. he Serîes covers topîcs în Arîcan îstorîes, languages, lîteratures, pîlosopîes, polîtîcs and cultures. Submîssîons are solîcîted rom Fellows o te AHP, wîc îs admînîstered by te Amerîcan Councîl o Learned Socîetîes and inancîally supported by te Carnegîe Corporatîon o New York. he purpose o te AHP îs to encourage and enable te productîon o new knowledge by Arîcans în te ive countrîes desîgnated by te Carnegîe Corporatîon: Gana, Nîgerîa, Sout Arîca, Tanzanîa, and Uganda. AHP ellowsîps support one year’s work ree rom teacîng and oter responsîbîlîtîes to allow te Fellow to complete te project proposed. Elîgîbîlîty or te ellowsîp în te ive countrîes îs by domîcîle, not natîonalîty. Book proposals are submîtted to te AHP edîtorîal board wîc manages te peer revîew process and selects manuscrîpts or publîcatîon by NISC. In some cases, te AHP board wîll commîssîon a manuscrîpt mentor to undertake substantîve edîtîng and to work wît te autor on reinîng te inal manuscrîpt. he Arîcan Humanîtîes Serîes aîms to publîs works o te îgest qualîty tat wîll oreground te best researc beîng done by emergîng scolars în te ive Carnegîe desîgnated countrîes. he rîgorous selectîon process beore te ellowsîp award, as well as AHP edîtorîal vettîng o manuscrîpts, assures attentîon to qualîty. Books în te serîes are întended to speak to scolars în Arîca as well as în oter areas o te world. he AHP îs also commîtted to provîdîng a copy o eac publîcatîon în te serîes to unîversîty lîbrarîes în Arîca.
*early tîtles în te serîes was publîsed by Unîsa Press, but te publîsîng rîgts to te entîre serîes are now vested în NISC
AHP Editorial Board Members as at January 2019 AHP Series Editors: Proessor Adîgun Agbaje*, Unîversîty o Ibadan, Nîgerîa Proessor Emerîtus Fred Hendrîcks, Rodes Unîversîty, Sout Arîca Consultant: Proessor Emerîtus Sandra Barnes, Unîversîty o Pennsylvanîa, USA (Antropology) Board Members: 1 Proessor Akosua Adomako Ampoo, Instîtute o Arîcan Studîes, Gana (Gender Studîes & Advocacy) (Vîce Presîdent, Arîcan Studîes Assocîatîon o Arîca) 2 Proessor Koi Anyîdoo, Unîversîty o Gana, Gana (Arîcan Studîes & Lîterature) (Dîrector, Codesrîa Arîcan Humanîtîes Instîtute Program) 3 Proessor Ibraîm Bello-Kano, Bayero Unîversîty, Nîgerîa (Dept o Englîs and Frenc Studîes) 4 Proessor Satî Fwatsak, Unîversîty o Jos, Nîgerîa (Dept o Hîstory & Internatîonal Studîes) 5 Proessor Patrîcîa Hayes, Unîversîty o te Western Cape, Sout Arîca (Arîcan Hîstory, Gender Studîes and Vîsualîty) (SARCI Caîr în Vîsual Hîstory and heory) 6 Assocîate Proessor Wîlred Lajul, College o Humanîtîes & Socîal Scîences, Makerere Unîversîty, Uganda (Dept o Pîlosopy) 7 Proessor Yusuu Lawî, Unîversîty o Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzanîa (Dept o Hîstory) 8 Proessor Bertram Mapunda, Unîversîty o Dar es Salaam, Tanzanîa (Dept o Arcaeology & Herîtage Studîes) 9 Proessor Innocent Pîkîrayî, Unîversîty o Pretorîa, Sout Arîca (Caîr & Head, Dept o Antropology & Arcaeology) 10 Proessor Josepat Rugemalîra, Unîversîty o Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzanîa (Dept o Foreîgn Languages & Lînguîstîcs) 11 Proessor Idayat Bola Udegbe, Unîversîty o Ibadan, Nîgerîa (Dept o Psycology)
*replaced Proessor Kwesî Yanka, Cental Unîverîty College, Gana, co-edîtor rom 2013–2016
Published in this series
Domînîca Dîpîo,Gender terrains in African cinema, 2014 Ayo Adeduntan,WHat tHe forest told me: Yoruba Hunter, culture and narrative performance,2014 Sule E. Egya,Nation, power and dissidence in tHird-generation Nigerian poetry in EnglisH, 2014 Irîkîdzayî Manase,WHite narratives: he depiction of post-2000 land invasions in Zimbabwe, 2016 Pasca Mungwînî, Indigenous SHona PHilosopHy: Reconstructive insigHts, 2017 Sylvîa Bruînders,Parading Respectability: he Cultural and Moral AestHetics of tHe CHristmas Bands Movement in tHe Western Cape, SoutH Africa, 2017 Mîcael Andîndîlîle,he AnglopHone literary-linguistic continuum: EnglisH and indigenous languages in African literary discourse, 2018 Jeremîa Arowosegbe,Claude E Ake: tHe making of an organic intellectual, 2018 Romanus Abo,Language and tHe construction of multiple identities in tHe Nigerian novel, 2018 Bernard Matolîno,Consensus as Democracy in Africa,2018 Babajîde Ololajulo,Identity UnsHared :PostHumous paternity in a contemporary Yoruba community,2018
Claude E. Ake
The making of an organic intellectual
Orîgînally publîsed în 2018 by Unîsa Press, Sout Arîca under ISBN: 978-1-86888-808-5
hîs edîtîon publîsed în Sout Arîca on beal o te Arîcan Humanîtîes Program by NISC (Pty) Ltd, PO Box 377, Graamstown, 6140, Sout Arîca www.nîsc.co.za
NISC irst edîtîon, irst împressîon 2019
Publîcatîon © Arîcan Humanîtîes Program 2018, 2019 Text © Jeremîa O. Arowosegbe 2018, 2019 All rîgts reserved. No part o tîs publîcatîon may be reproduced or transmîtted în any orm or by any means, electronîc or mecanîcal, încludîng potocopyîng, recordîng, or any înormatîon storage or retrîeval system, wîtout prîor permîssîon în wrîtîng rom te publîser.
ISBN: 978-1-920033-53-8 (prînt) ISBN: 978-1-920033-54-5 (PDF) ISBN: 978-1-920033-55-2 (ePub)
Copy Edîtor: Sakîra Hoosaîn Serîes desîgner: hea Bester-Swanepoel Typesettîng: Marîa Kîrsteîn Cover desîgn: Nozîpo Noble Indexer: Elsabé Nell
he autor and te publîser ave made every efort to obtaîn permîssîon or and acknowledge te use o copyrîgt materîal. Sould an înadvertent înrîngement o copyrîgt ave occurred, please contact te publîser and we wîll rectîy omîssîons or errors în any subsequent reprînt or edîtîon.
Abbreviations and acronyms
Preface and acknowledgements
1. Introduction 2. Biographical and theoretical orientations 3. African studies and the bias of Eurocentricism 4. The contribution of Claude Ake 5. Conclusion Bibliographies A: Works by Claude E. Ake  B: Works on Claude E. Ake Index
1 29 78 134 169
175 181 202
Abbreviations and acronyms
African Association of Political Science
Action Group
Africa Institute of South Africa
African National Congress
African-American Institute
African Humanities Programme
American Council of Learned Societies
African Studies Association
African Studies Centre
Centre for African Studies
Centre for Advanced Social Science
Centre for Humanities Research
CouncilfortheDevelopmentofSocialScienceResearchin Africa
CODESRIA Documentation and Information Centre
Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta
German Academic Exchange Service
Abbreviations and acronyms
HumanImmune-deîciencyVirus/AcquiredImmuneDeîciency Syndrome
Human Sciences Research Council Indian Council of Social Science Research In-depth Interviews
International Institute of Social History
International Institute of Social Studies International Monetary Fund International Political Science Association
International Political Science Review
National Council for Nigeria and Cameroons
Niger Delta Environmental Survey
NGOs Non-Governmental Organizations NPSA Nigerian Political Science Association NUC National Universities Commission OAU Organization of African Unity OPEC Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries PhD Doctor of Philosophy SSHC Senior Staff Housing Committee SSNSA Social Sciences Network of South Africa UNECA United Nations Economic Commission for Africa USA United States of America UCT University of Cape Town UNU-WIDER United Nations UniversityWorld Institute for Development Economics Research UWC University of the Western Cape WARA West African Research Association WARC West African Research Centre