Out of One, Many Africas: Reconstructing the Study and Meaning of Africa
William G. Martin, William Martin, Michael Oliver West
University of Illinois Press, 1999 - History - 237 pages
Even as symbols of Africa permeate Western culture in the 1990s, centers for the academic study of Africa suffer from a steady erosion of institutional support and intellectual legitimacy. Out of One, Many Africas assesses the rising tide of discontent that has destabilized the conceptions, institutions, and communities dedicated to African studies. In vibrant detail, contributors from Africa, Europe, and North America lay out the multiple, contending histories and perspectives that inform African studies. They assess the reaction against the white-dominated consensus that has marked African studies since its inception in the 1950s and note the emergence of alternative approaches, energized in part by feminist and cultural studies. They examine African scholars' struggle against paradigms that have justified and covered up colonialism, militarism, and underdevelopment. They also consider such issues as how to bring black scholars on the continent and in the diaspora closer together on questions of intellectual freedom, accountability, and the democratization of information and knowledge production.
By surveying the present predicament and the current grassroots impulse toward reconsidering the meaning of the continent, Out of One, Many Africas gives shape and momentum to a crucial dialogue aimed at transforming the study of Africa
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