ISBN 9783906927251
Pages 38
Dimensions 234 x 156 mm
Published 2020
Publisher Basler Afrika Bibliographien, Namibia
Format Paperback

Decolonising the Academy

A Case for Convivial Scholarship

by Francis B. Nyamnjoh

Recurrent clamours by students and academics for universities in Africa and elsewhere, to imbibe and exude a spirit of inclusion are a continual reminder that universities can and need to be much more convivial. Processes of knowledge production that champion delusions of superiority and zero-sum games of absolute winners and losers are elitist and un-convivial. Academic disciplines tend to encourage introversion and emphasise exclusionary fundamentalisms of heartlands rather than highlight inclusionary overtures of borderlands. Frequenting crossroads and engaging in frontier conversations are frowned upon, if not prohibited. The scarcity of conviviality in universities, within and between disciplines, and among scholars results in highly biased knowledge processes. The production and consumption of knowledge are socially and politically mediated by webs of humanity, hierarchies of power, and instances of human agency. Given the resilience of colonial education throughout Africa and among Africans, endogenous traditions of knowledge are barely recognised and grossly underrepresented. What does conviviality in knowledge production entail? It involves conversing and collaborating across disciplines and organisations and integrating epistemologies informed by popular universes and ideas of reality. Convivial scholarship is predicated upon recognising and providing for incompleteness – in persons, disciplines, and traditions of knowing and knowledge making.

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About the Author

Francis B. Nyamnjoh

Francis B. Nyamnjoh joined the University of Cape Town in August 2009 as Professor of Social Anthropology from the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Dakar, Senegal, where he served as Head of Publications from July 2003 to July 2009. He has taught sociology, anthropology and communication studies at universities in Cameroon and Botswana, and has researched and written extensively on Cameroon and Botswana. In October 2012 he received a University of Cape Town Excellence Award for “Exceptional Contribution as a Professor in the Faculty of Humanities”. He is recipient of the “ASU African Hero 2013” annual award by the African Students Union, Ohio University, USA. He is: a B1 rated Professor and Researcher by the South African National Research Foundation (NRF); a Fellow of the Cameroon Academy of Science since August 2011; a fellow of the African Academy of Science since December 2014; a fellow of the Academy of Science of South Africa since 2016; and Chair of the Editorial Board of the South African Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) Press since January 2011. His scholarly books include: Africa’s Media, Democracy and the Politics of Belonging (2005); Insiders and Outsiders: Citizenship and Xenophobia in Contemporary Southern Africa (2006); “C'est l'homme qui fait l'homme”: Cul-de-Sac Ubuntu-ism in Côte d'Ivoire (2015); and #RhodesMustFall: Nibbling at Resilient Colonialism in South Africa (2016).

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