The Postcolonial Turn
468 Pages
English
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The Postcolonial Turn

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Gain access to the library to view online
Learn more
468 Pages
English

Description

This innovative book is a forward-looking reflection on mental decolonisation and the postcolonial turn in Africanist scholarship. As a whole, it provides five decennia-long lucid and empathetic research involvements by seasoned scholars who came to live, in local people’s own ways, significant daily events experienced by communities, professional networks and local experts in various African contexts.
The book covers materials drawn from Botswana, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania. Themes include the Whelan Research Academy, rap musicians, political leaders, wise men and women, healers, Sacred Spirit churches, diviners, bards and weavers who are deemed proficient in the classical African geometrical knowledge. As a tribute to late Archie Mafeje who showed real commitment to decolonise social sciences from western-centred modernist development theories, commentators of his work pinpoint how these theories sought to dismiss the active role played by African people in their quest for self-emancipation. One of the central questions addressed by the book concerns the role of an anthropologist and this issue is debated against the background of the academic lecture delivered by René Devisch when receiving an honorary doctoral degree at the University of Kinshasa. The lecture triggered critical but constructive comments from such seasoned experts as Valentin Mudimbe and Wim van Binsbergen. They excoriate anthropological knowledge on account that the anthropologist, notwithstanding her social and cognitive empathy and intense communication with the host community, too often fails to also question her own world and intellectual habitus from the standpoint of her hosts. Leading anthropologists carry further into great depth the bifocal anthropological endeavour focussing on local people’s re-imagining and re-connecting the local and global. The book is of interest to a wide readership in the humanities, social sciences, philosophy and the history of the African continent and its relation with the North.

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Published by
Published 04 November 2011
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EAN13 9789956726813
Language English
Document size 7 MB

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Exrait

The Postcolonial Turn ReImagining Anthropology and Africa
Edited byRené Devisch and Francis B. Nyamnjoh
The Postcolonial Turn
Langaa & African Studies Centre
The Postcolonial Turn
Edited by
René Devisch Francis Nyamnjoh
Langaa Research and Publishing Common Initiative Group PO Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Region Cameroon Phone +237 33 07 34 69 / 33 36 14 02 LangaaGrp@gmail.com http://www.langaa-rpcig.net www.africanbookscollective.com/publishers/langaa-rpcig
African Studies Centre P.O. Box 9555 2300 RB Leiden The Netherlands asc@ascleiden.nl http://www.ascleiden.nl
ISBN: 9956-726-65-6
© Langaa & African Studies Centre, 2011
Contents
List of Figures ........................................................................................xi Contributors .........................................................................................xiii Acknowledgements .................................................................................xv
1
The Postcolonial Turn: An Introduction Adebayo Olukoshi & Francis Nyamnjoh ........................................1
A Scholarly Debate .................................................................................. 1 Intellectual Colonialism versus the Pursuit of Endogeneity .............. 2 The Core of the Borderlinking Anthropological Endeavour .......... 6 Cosmopolitan Sciences and Local Knowledge ............................... 16 The ‘Clash of Civilisations’ Revisited ................................................. 20 Opening up the Research Design in and on Africa ......................... 25 Epilogue .................................................................................................. 26
Part 1 A Staunch Critique of Intellectual Colonialism and the Pursuit of Sociocultural Endogeneity ................................................... 29
2
Africanity: A Combative Ontology ........................................ 31 Archie Mafeje ...............................................................................31 Prelude .................................................................................................... 31 Africanity versus Afrocentrism ........................................................... 32 Africanity versus Vindicationism ......................................................... 34 There is Already Evidence of this ...................................................... 37 Africanity and the End of African Studies ....................................... 41
v
3
4
Against Alterity – The Pursuit of Endogeneity: Breaking Bread with Archie Mafeje Jimi O. Adesina .............................................................................45 Introduction ........................................................................................... 45 Meanings and Encounters .................................................................... 46 Against Alterity ....................................................................................... 48 Negation of Negation: Mafeje on Anthropology .......................... 52 Against Disciplinarity and Epistemology? ........................................ 59 The Pursuit of Endogeneity ................................................................ 60 A Return to Intimacy ............................................................................ 62 Lessons of Mafeje’s Scholarship ......................................................... 65
Mafeje and Langa: The Start of an Intellectual’s Journey John Sharp .....................................................................................71 The Langa Project ................................................................................. 71 Mafeje’s Field Research ......................................................................... 75 Rethinking Langa ................................................................................... 81 Speaking Truth to Power ..................................................................... 84
Part 2 Bifocality at the Core of the Borderlinking Anthropological Endeavour .................................................................................... 89
5
What is an Anthropologist? René Devisch ..................................................................................91
Journey 1: In the Congo, 1965921974? ............................................... Journey 2: Decolonising the Gaze .................................................... 102 Journey 3: Witness to the Clash of Civilisations ............................ 105 Journey 4: How do I See Tomorrow’s Anthropologist? ............. 111
vi
6
7
8
Existential Dilemmas of a North Atlantic Anthropologist in the Production of Relevant Africanist Knowledge Wim M.J. van Binsbergen ...........................................................117
Introduction ......................................................................................... Anthropology as Intercultural Loyalty ............................................. Witnessing ‘the Clash of Civilisations’? ............................................ The Thrice-born Anthropologist ...................................................... The Anthropologist as Hero .............................................................
117 119 122 128 133
Kata Nomon: Letter to René Devisch Valentin Y. Mudimbe ..................................................................143
.................................................................................................. LegƟre Meditari .................................................................................................. Orare ...................................................................................................... Coda ........................................................................................................
146 160 174 194
The Shared Borderspace, a Rejoinder René Devisch ................................................................................197 Intercultural Polylogue and its Ethic of Desire .............................. 201 A Rejoinder to van Binsbergen and Mudimbe .............................. 226 People’s Reappropriation of Local Knowledge ........................... 240 Towards an Intercultural Emancipation .......................................... 252
Part 3 Cross-pollination in African Academe between Cosmopolitan Sciences and Local Knowledge .............................................. 273
9
All Knowledge is first of all Local Knowledge Theophilus Okere, Chukwudi Anthony Njoku & René Devisch ................................................................................275 Political, Epistemological and Sociocultural Dimensions ............. 275 The Role of Whelan Research Academy ........................................ 290
vii
10there one Science, Western Science? Is Theophilus Okere .........................................................................297
11
Explanation of Terms ....................................................................... Western Contribution to Science ...................................................... Other Knowledge Traditions ............................................................ Towards a Pluralistic and Complementary World Science ..........
298 303 307 311
Ethnomathematics, Geometry and Educational Experiences in Africa Paulus Gerdes ..............................................................................315 Ethnomathematical Research in Mozambique ............................... 317 Geometry / Mathematics in African History and Cultures ......... 320 Integration of Ethnomathematics into Teacher Education ......... 321
Part 4 Toward the Local Domestication of the Ruling Modern Logic: The ‘Clash of Civilisations’ Revisited ................................... 337
12 Immunizing Strategies: Hip-hop and Critique in Tanzania Koen Stroeken ..............................................................................339
13
Local Impact and Global Relevance ............................................... Breaking Through the Mzee Code: ‘The New Generation’ ........ Survival Strategies: Pessimism and Immunisation ......................... Duels and Brains: Streetwise Philosophy .........................................
344 348 352 357
Christian Moderns: Parody in Matricentric Christian Healing Communnes of the Sacred Spirit in Kinshasa René Devisch ................................................................................367
Data and Methods .............................................................................. 369 Master Scenarios of Modernisation, Acculturation, and Citizenship ............................................................................................ 371 Deconstructing (post)Colonial Identity and Power Dichotomies 376 Liturgy as a Whole-making Performative Site ............................... 380 Parody and the Potentialities of an Intertopos ............................... 392 Parody and Critical Encounter with the Otherness ....................... 397 Conclusion ............................................................................................ 400
viii
14andto Rooted Cosmopolitanism: Patriots, Ethnics  Responding the Public Good in Botswana Richard Werbner ..........................................................................405
Rooted Public Cosmopolitans: From Ghana to Botswana ........ Richard Mannathoko: Family, Ethnic Group, Inner Circle .......... Hope and Three Aspects of Public Cosmopolitanism ................ Cosmopolitanism as Socially Viable: Inclusion and Alliance ....... Civic Culture: Biography and Documentary Practice ................... Civic Culture: The Predicament of Public Cosmopolitanism ..... The Partial Measure of the Public Man: Funeral Programmes ... If notCosmopolitan, Worldly Cosmopolitan? ................................... Rooted Public Cosmopolitanism: Biography and Ethnography Family Friend: Richard Werbner ....................................................... The Senior Statesman’s Speech ......................................................... The Quest for the Horizon: The Promise in the People .............. Afterthought .........................................................................................
406 409 411 414 414 415 416 417 418 421 425 429 431
15Opening up the Research Design in and on Africa: Epilogue: ‘To Souls Forgotten’ Francis Nyamnjoh ........................................................................435
ix