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

By Thandika Mkandawire

In comparison with Asia or Latin the United States, Africa has skilled a lot larger premiums of emigration of its intelligentsia to North the United States and Europe, and common displacement in the continent. This infrequent assessment of the heritage, destiny and destiny roles explores their dating 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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Extra resources for African Intellectuals: Rethinking Politics, Language, Gender and Development (Africa in the New Millennium)

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In the West they are known through the Africa they offer; their compatriots know them both through the West they present to Africa and through an Africa they have invented for the world, for each other and for Africa. e. their tendency to view the state as the motivational force of social change and development or to define themselves only in relationship to the state. 27 Mamdani argues that ‘one does not need be inside the state to articulate a statist conception’ (1993: 254). Writing on Senegalese intellectuals vis-à-vis the state, Aminata Diaw (1993) accuses them of continuing to define themselves only in relation to the state or the political parties opposed to it.

Cited in Yeikelo ya Ato and Ntumba 1993: 165) Non-organic intellectuals Many African academics were willing to submit themselves to the exigencies of nationalism and the new state, which they viewed as ‘the custodian of the development process and the university as an institution that must train human resources for development. It then seemed natural to them that the state play a key role in managing the university’ (Mamdani 1993). And yet, noting the general consensus among policy-makers and intellectuals on the basic tasks of the new nations, Abdalla Bujra observed: Unfortunately however it is not clear whether the knowledge produced by these institutions at the time had any direct or indirect contribution to the modest economic growth of most African countries during the 60s.

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.

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