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Critical Perspectives on Culture and Globalisation

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In 1996 President Nelson Mandela described Professor Ali A. Mazrui (1933-2014) as "an outstanding educationist and freedom fighter." In 2002 the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan referred to Professor Mazrui as "Africa's gift to the world." Author of more than 35 books and hundreds of articles, Professor Mazrui was an African scholar who had treated with uncommon verve and flair a wide-range of themes that included globalization, the triple heritage, peace, and social justice. This volume engages with some of those themes that excited his mind for over six decades. The multidisciplinary essays seek to underline the highlights of Mazrui's intellectual journey and attest to the fact that he was public intellectual par excellence. Indeed, in 2005, he was named one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the world. This book is a product of a symposium held from 15 to 17 July 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. The symposium was jointly organized by the Twaweza Communications, Nairobi, Kenya, and the Institute of Global Cultural Studies (State University of New York at Binghamton) which Ali Mazrui created and presided over as the Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities from 1991 to 2014.



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Critical Perspectives on Culture and Globalisation: The Intellectual Legacy of Ali Mazrui
Edited by Kimani Njogu Seifudein Adem
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
© Copyright Twaweza Communications, 2017
Published in 2017 by: Twaweza Communications Ltd. P.O. Box 66872 - 00800 Westlands Twaweza House, Parklands Road Mpesi Lane, Nairobi Kenya website: www.twawezacommunications.org Tel: +(254) 020 269 4409
Design and Layout: Catherine Bosire Cover Photo: Victor Gitonga
The 2016 Nairobi Symposium on the Intellectual Legacy of Professor Ali Mazrui and the publication of this book were supported by Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA) and the Ford Foundation
ISBN: 978-9966-028-67-9
Printed by: Don Bosco Printing School Email: boscoprint@donbosco.or.ke
Acknowledgments Notes on Contributors Foreword: A Tribute to an Intellectual Griot
Culture and Globalization: A Contextual Essay Kimani Njogu
Transnational Africa(s): Ali Mazrui and Culture, Diaspora and Religion Timothy M. Shaw
Ali Mazrui: Transformative Education and Reparative Justice Horace G. Campbell
Ali Mazrui and The Trial of Christopher Okigbo Chris L. Wanjala
Rethinking the Idea of Afrabia in Ali Mazrui’s Political and Social Thought Hamdy A. Hassan
Ali Mazrui and Verbal Combats Macharia Munene
Ali Mazrui’s Islamic Studies: Defending Oppressed Muslims, Reforming Islamic Thought Ahmed Ali Salem
Who is an African? Reections on Ali Mazrui’s notion of the African Jideofor Adibe
Ali A. Mazrui and Turkish Interests Mohamed Bakari
v vii ix
Eclecticism as a Theoretical Approach: The pillar of Ali A. Mazrui’s Intellectual Legacy Samuel M. Makinda
Mazrui and the Whig Interpretation of African Nationalism P. Anyang’ Nyong’o
Ali A. Mazrui: An Anecdotal Essay Abdul Samed Bemath
Was Mazrui Ahead of His Time? Seifudein Adem
Appendix: Triple Tropes of Triads Seifudein Adem
This book results from a symposium entitled “Critical Perspectives on Culture and Globalization: The Intellectual Legacy of Ali A. Mazrui” held in Nairobi, Kenya, from the 15–16 July, 2016, in honor of Ali Mazrui (1933-2014), the globally acclaimed Kenyan. The symposium was organized by the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University, New York, and Twaweza Communications, Nairobi; it was funded by the Ford Foundation and Open Society Institute of Eastern Africa (OSIEA). We are immensely grateful to the two institutions for their support for the symposium and publication of this book. Indeed, Maurice Makoloo (Regional Director, The Ford Foundation) and Mburu Gitu (Regional Director, OSIEA) worked with the symposium steering committee to ensure that we had a very successful event.
We owe a debt of gratitude to the many scholars who came from all over the world to share their insights about the life and scholarship of the global Kenyan known as Ali Mazrui. Chief Justice (Rtd) and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, Dr. Willy Mutunga, and Professor Alamin Mazrui worked hard before, during and after the symposium to ensure that the intellectual legacy of Mwalimu Ali Mazrui was institutionalized. Their thoughtfulness is much appreciated.We are also thankful to the media houses in Kenya and abroad who ensured that the intellectual conversations in the symposium reached wider audiences.
Another outcome of the symposium was the setting up of a Working Group to explore how the intellectual legacy of Professor Ali A. Mazrui could be solidiîed and incorporated in higher education in Africa. The signs are now encouraging that the Professor Ali A. Mazrui Centre/ Institute of Global Cultural Studies will be established at the Nairobi-based United States International University (USIU) – Africa. We are grateful to the Working Group and the USIU-Africa management for moving the process forward.
We also acknowledge and deeply appreciate the editorial and technical assistance we received in preparing this manuscript for publication from David Aduda (Nation Media Group), Victor Gitonga and Catherine Bosire.
viCritical Perspectives on culture and Globalization: The Intellectual Legacy of Ali Mazrui
Notes on Contributors
Abdul Samed Bemath is a South African based freelance library consultant, bibliographer and indexer. He has compiled three annotated bibliographies of the works of Professor Ali A. Mazrui covering the period 1962-2016.
Ahmed Ali Salemis Associate Professor, Department of Islamic World Studies, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates.
Chris Wanjalais Professor of Literature at the University of Nairobi. He is the author of two critical books:TheSeasonofHarvest(1978) and For Home and Freedom(1980);editedMemories We Lost and Other Stories(2017) and a novel,Drums of Death(2005). His forthcoming autobiography,YearningsBeyond Mount Elgon,will be published soon.
Hamdy A. HassanProfessor of Political Science, College of is Humanities and Social Sciences, Zayed University, Dubai.
Horace G.Campbellis the Kwame Nkrumah Chair of African Studies at the Institute of African Studies, University of Legon, Ghana. He is on leave from Syracuse University where he holds a joint Professorship in the Department of African American Studies and the Department of Political Science, Maxwell School in the United States.
Jideofor Adibeis Associate Professor of Political Science at Naarawa State University, Kefî, Nigeria.
Kimani Njoguholds a Ph.D (1994) in Linguistics from Yale University. He is an indipendent scholar and Director of Twaweza Communications, Nairobi, Kenya.
Notes on Contributors
Munene Machariais a UN recognizedExpertonDecolonisation.He is Professor of History and International Relations at USIU-Africa, Nairobi, Kenya.
Mohamed Bakariretired from Istanbul University, in June, 2016, and is currently winding up his affairs in Istanbul to return to Kenya, where he hopes to teach in one of the universities in his country of birth.
Paul Tiyambe Zeleza holds a Ph.D (1982) in African history from Dalhousie University and is the Vice Chancellor and Professor of Humanities and Social Science, USIU-Africa, Nairobi, Kenya.
P. Anyang’ Nyong’ois currently part-time Professor at the University of Nairobi Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Nairobi, Kenya.
Samuel M. Makindais Professor of Security Studies and International Relations in the School of Business and Governance at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia.
Seifudein Ademis a former Research Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University, New York, where he also served as a full-time faculty member from 2006 to 2016.
Timothy M. Shaw was a graduate student of Professor Mazrui’s at Makerere University in the late-1960s. He is now visiting professor at UMass Boston & Adjunct Professor at Aalborg, Carleton, Ottawa & Stellenbosch univerisites.
viiiCritical Perspectives on culture and Globalization: The Intellectual Legacy of Ali Mazrui
A Tribute to an Intellectual Griot
This book explores the intellectual legacy of Professor Ali Mazrui who died on October 12, 2014, at the age of 81. He was one of Africa’s th greatest intellectuals of the 20 century and a prominent architect of postcolonial scholarship, an indefatigable voice for Africa’s intellectual rebirth and empowerment. Mazrui’s stature rests on several extraordinary achievements, three of which can be singled out. First, there was his prodigious volume of scholarship. He published more than 30 books, hundreds of essays, commentaries, and îlm documentaries. Second, the range, probity, and impact of his intellectual analyses, interventions, and debates were extraordinary. Mazrui embodied the life of the public intellectual par excellence. He was a towering intellectual who moved seamlessly between the classroom, conference circuit, popular media, and corporate boardroom, to the corridors of political power. He relished intellectual debate and combat because he believed in the power of ideas as a dynamic force in human history. Third, his commitment to repositioning Africa’s global standing and the place of African scholarship in global scholarship was unfaltering. He did this by unapologetically remapping and inserting Africa in global history, developments, and discourses, and through scholarship that was capacious in its interdisciplinarity, internationalism, and interculturalism. I îrst met Professor Mazrui in 1978 when he came as a guest speaker at my MA class at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Over the years I got to know him personally through my friendship with his nephew, Alamin Mazrui, as well as through our encounters at the annual meetings of the US African Studies Association, and many other forums and contexts. My generation of African intellectuals admired his exceptional brilliance, infectious love of ideas and debate, passion for Africa’s regeneration and generosity as