1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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African Intellectuals: Rethinking Politics, Language, Gender and Development

UNRISD Director Thandika Mkandawire is the editor of this thought-provoking overview of the history, fate and possible future roles of African intellectuals both within Africa and in the African Diaspora nearly half a century on from Independence, in which some of the continent’s most eminent thinkers discuss the issues at stake. This new volume is published by the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) in association with Zed Books and the University of South Africa Press.

The contributors to this volume take as their starting point the uniquely difficult circumstances confronting intellectuals: regimes intolerant of independent debate, economies in sharp decline, societies wracked by violent conflict, and official languages different from people’s mother tongues. Africa has experienced, compared with Asia or Latin America, much higher rates of emigration of its intelligentsia to North America and Europe, as well as frequent displacement from home countries to other parts of the continent.

Among the important themes explored are:
  • What has been the relationship of African intellectuals to nationalism and the Pan African project?
  • How has the developmentalist orientation of policy affected intellectual outlooks and roles?
  • The language question, including the non-development of higher education through indigenous African languages, and the social gulf this has opened up between African intellectuals and their societies.
  • Women intellectuals, the growth of gender studies, and the limitations that still constrain their impact on mainstream society and policy.
  • The potential roles of the hugely growing African academic diaspora, particularly in the United States.
This volume constitutes a valuable, because so rare, exploration of the complex interface between African intellectuals and society, state and politics in the context of fundamental new departures like the restoration of multiparty politics, new economic horizons like NEPAD, and a renewed awareness of the need for Pan African cooperation.

Introduction, Thandika Mkandawire
African Intellectuals and Nationalism, Thandika Mkandawire
Pan-Africanism and the Intellectuals: Rise, Decline and Revival, Ali A. Mazrui
African Intellectuals, Nationalism and Pan-Africanism: A Testimony, Joseph Ki-Zerbo
Gender Studies for Africa’s Transformation, Amina Mama
The Character and Formation of Intellectuals within the ANC-Led South African Liberation Movement, Raymond Suttner
Europhone or African Memory: The Challenge of the Pan-Africanist Intellectual in the Era of Globalization, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o
The Language Question and National Development in Africa, Beban Sammy Chumbow
Historians, Nationalism and Pan-Africanism: Myths and Realities, Hannington Ochwada
The Academic Diaspora and Knowledge Production in and on Africa: What Role for CODESRIA?, Paul Tiyambe Zeleza

African Intellectuals is published by CODESRIA, in association with Zed Books and the University of South Africa Press. For ordering information, consult http://zedbooks.co.uk
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