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 charges of emigration of its intelligentsia to North the US and Europe, and common displacement in the continent. This infrequent evaluate of the historical past, destiny and destiny roles explores their courting to nationalism and the Pan African venture; the indigenous language of African intellectuals; girls intellectuals; and the position of the increasing African educational diaspora.

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

Example text

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. Why do we think we are entitled to demand academic freedom and why do we think that our demand deserves to be upheld by the rest of society?

30 This view was given credence by the prosperity of the advanced capitalist countries. Critics of Western materialism sometimes suggested that economic development would simply bring down doom on Africans. Comfortably ensconced in the material accoutrements of modernity, these preachers seem to suggest that other mortal souls would simply go under were they to attain anything close to their material lifestyles. They would somehow lose the virtues ‘of simplicity and conviviality, of noble forms of poverty, of the wisdom of relying on each other, and of the arts of suffering’ (Rahnema 1997: x).

It was also a period of self-organization. First, nationalism had lost much of its lustre. Many of the key nationalist leaders had been thrown out of office, killed or sent into exile, sometimes by colleagues in the nationalist struggle. Others clung to power, but age had began to take its toll on body and soul. During the two decades after independence the mantle of nationalism had been worn by so many dictators that it is difficult to imagine it ever had popular support. The alienation of African intellectuals deepened in the 1980s.

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