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What is African in Africa(n) Studies? Confronting the (Mystifying) Power of Ideology and Identity

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AUC Library

Abstract(English): The power of definition executed by scholars relates to the terms of ownership within the sphere of knowledge production. In Africa(n) Studies this is exacerbated by the fact that Western scholars continue to dominate the field. But identity and concepts (and ideology, shaped by values and norms not least internalised through personal and academic socialisation) as integral parts of scholarly knowledge production are important ingredients. As contributing factors they provide options and not pre-determinations. Hence the definition of Africa and Africa(n) Studies is a relational matter and open to contestation. This article presents perspectives and reflections, which to some extent abstract from material realities and engage in scholarly debates on the discipline and its orientation(s). It thereby further explores 'disciplinary control and theoretical fractures' - in the words of Deborah Bryceson - within Africa(n) Studies, through investigations into the meanings of Africa and...
Authors: Melber, Henning
Type: Journal article
Language: English
Subject: AFRICA
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