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Download PDF by Thandika Mkandawire: African Intellectuals: Rethinking Politics, Language, Gender

By Thandika Mkandawire

ISBN-10: 1842776215

ISBN-13: 9781842776216

In comparison with Asia or Latin the United States, Africa has skilled a lot larger premiums of emigration of its intelligentsia to North the US and Europe, and widespread displacement in the continent. This infrequent review of the historical past, destiny and destiny roles explores their courting to nationalism and the Pan African undertaking; the indigenous language of African intellectuals; ladies intellectuals; and the position of the increasing African educational diaspora.

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Additional info for African Intellectuals: Rethinking Politics, Language, Gender and Development (Africa in the New Millennium)

Sample text

There were more ‘experts’ in Africa than there had ever been under colonial rule. ‘Anti-imperialism’ had lost its purchase, especially among the ‘third generation’, who had experienced Africa’s decline under African rule. They were simply not going to buy the ‘foreign domination’ argument. And in any case the heroic epoch was too far in the past to have any resonance among this generation.

There is another side to this status, however: it may also have created a distance that distorted what Mkandawire | 2 they saw, or prevented them from seeing certain things. The result could easily be frustration, or the narcissism and self-defensiveness that come with nostalgia and in the sadder cases of self-deprecation. This sociological character of African intellectuals – exile, racial and ethnic minority – could also lead to tone-deafness to various localisms, including nationalism. In addition, the privileging of the intellectual expressions of the diaspora could mute the voices in the periphery and render them neutral by simply positing them as part of the hybridity.

In the ‘developmentalist’ logic it always appeared immoral to ask for freedom to think and express oneself when people were denied basic rights such as the ‘right to food’. Claude Ake posed the question quite sharply: … why should we care about academic freedom in Africa? It is difficult enough to justify the demand for political freedom where limitations of poverty, illiteracy and poor health and the rigour of the daily struggle seem to demand entirely different priorities. It is difficult still to defend the demand for academic freedom which is a very special kind of bourgeois freedom limited to a very small group.

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African Intellectuals: Rethinking Politics, Language, Gender and Development (Africa in the New Millennium) by Thandika Mkandawire


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