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Review: Toyin Falola and African Epistemologies

By Professor Mario D. Fenyo- Bowie State University

Introduction,  An emerging biography, Appendices, List of works, Notes, Bibliography, Index, xi, 298 pp. 

This work is a great meeting of minds: the mind of Abdul Karim Bangura with the mind of Toyin Falola.

As Bangura explains at the beginning, Falola has been the subject of five Festschriften already; he might have added,  here comes another. Technically a Festschrift is a collection of writings by a group of scholars on a variety of subjects in honor of a single distinguished scholar.   This particular volume does not fit the definition to the letter.  Yet, I see it as a Festschrift nevertheless, honoring the same scholar,  but written by a single scholar.   Bangura approaches the subject from a variety of angles and various insights, without overlooking  any major aspect of Falola’s  vast production.  

The book is organized into three sections, along with an introductory segment and a series  of appendices after the conclusion. Part I is “Africa in the configuration of knowledge." Part II, the “Yoruba in  the configuration of knowledge.” Part III is entitled “The value of knowledge: policies and politics.” Naturally, the book is permeated by knowledge, hence the “epistemologies” of the overall  title. The last segments include a list of works by Falola, and a bibliography. The list includes 121  titles by Falola, which  do not cover articles, but it does include some works edited by him and some other works that have more than one author, in addition to Falola himself. By and large the works are mostly his and his alone. The bibliography extends over 15 pages, single-spaced, using a small  font that appears to be font “8”.    

ACLS African Humanities Program presents Recommendations for Reinvigorating the Humanities in Africa

By Eszter Csicsai, coordinator, ACLS African Humanities Program

On June 7, 2014, the African Humanities Program, an initiative supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and administered by the American Council of Learned Societies, convened a Forum on the Humanities in Africa at the University of South Africa (UNISA) in Pretoria. At the AHP/Unisa forum, 40 leading academics from throughout the continent assessed the consequences of the marginalization of the humanities and offered suggestions to reverse this trend.

APSA Call for Applications: 2015 Africa Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya

Photo Credit: Andrew Stinson

By Andrew Stinson, American Political Science Association

The American Political Science Association (APSA) has launched a call for applications from early-career scholars who would like to participate in the 2015 Africa Workshop on “Conflict and Political Violence.” The two-week course will be held at United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya from July 20-31. The organizers, with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will cover all costs of participation for up to 26 qualified applicants.

Africa, Ebola and our Imperial Saviors: Speaking Differently

By George J. Sefa Dei

This piece was originally published on the Environmental and Community Services blog page. It has been republished here with the permission of the editor

Dr. George Dei is a professor at the University of Toronto, and is cross appointed at both the Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, and the Department of Anthropology. He served as the first Director of the Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies (CIARS) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)/University of Toronto (1996-2000), and is a Research Associate at the Joint Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration & Settlement (since 1998). In July 2007, he was installed as a traditional chief in Ghana (the Adomakwaa Hene of the town of Asokore), near Koforidua in the New Juaben Traditional Area. Dr. Dei teaches on the topics of: anti-racism and domination studies; sociology of race and ethnicity; international development; indigenous knowledge and anti-colonial thought; political ecology; and ethnography. 

"Dark Threats and White Knights"

By Elaine Coburn

This piece was originally published on the Environmental and Community Services blog page. It has been republished here with the permission of the author

Elaine Coburn is a researcher at the CADIS-EHESS and assistant professor at the American University of Paris, in Paris, France. She was the Editor of the interdisciplinary online journal Socialist Studies for five years, ending in the summer 2014. She may be reached at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Ebola is an obvious scourge. Therefore, fighting Ebola, by whatever means, is an obvious good. It makes sense to celebrate and support heroic American and European workers, far from home in West Africa, sacrificing themselves for strangers. Here, following many others, I want to complicate that story. Why? To obscure fundamental truths with what Blood Tribal member, disability activist and artist Everett Soop (1988) once wearily called “fancy words”? To throw mud at heroic workers who ought to be an example to us all in their self-sacrifice and concern for others? To make a case against global solidarity and for a liberal ethic of each individual for herself?

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