The future of African Studies: What we can do to keep Africa at the heart of our research

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Abstract

Over the past two decades, Africa has returned to academic agendas outside of the continent. At the same time, the field of African Studies has come under increasing criticism for its marginalisation of African voices, interests, and agendas. This article explores how the complex transformations of the academy have contributed to a growing division of labour. Increasingly, African scholarship is associated with the production of empirical fact and socio-economic impact rather than theory, with ostensibly local rather than international publication, and with other forms of disadvantage that undermine respectful exchange and engagement. This discourages our engagement with Africa as a place of intellectual production in its own right. By arguing that scholars can and should make a difference to their field, both individually and collectively, the article suggests ways of understanding and engaging with these inequalities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-313
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of African Cultural Studies
Volume31
Issue number3
Early online date11 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Music
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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