£24.99 | $39.95

17 May 2005
ISBN: 9781842776216
256 pages
216mm x 135mm


Also available as Ebook

African Intellectuals

Rethinking Politics, Language, Gender and Development

Edited by Thandika Mkandawire

In this thought-provoking overview of the history, fate and possible future roles of African intellectuals both within Africa and in the African Diaspora nearly half a century on from Independence, some of the Continent's most eminent thinkers discuss the issues at stake. Their starting point is the uniquely difficult circumstances confronting intellectuals: regimes intolerant of independent debate, economies in sharp decline, societies wracked by violent conflict, and official languages different from people's mother tongues. Africa has experienced, compared with Asia or Latin America, much higher rates of emigration of its intelligentsia to North America and Europe, as well as frequent displacement from home countries to other parts of the continent.

Among the important themes explored are:

What has been the relationship of African intellectuals to nationalism and the Pan African project?
How has the developmentalist orientation of policy affected intellectual outlooks and roles?
The language question, including the non-development of higher education through indigenous African languages, and the social gulf this has opened up between African intellectuals and their societies.
Women intellectuals, the growth of gender studies, and the limitations that still constrain their impact on mainstream society and policy.
The potential roles of the hugely growing African academic diaspora, particularly in the United States.

This volume constitutes a valuable, because so rare, exploration of the complex interface between African intellectuals and society, state and politics in the context of fundamental new departures like the restoration of multi-party politics, new economic horizons like NEPAD, and a renewed awareness of the need for Pan African cooperation.


'It will take many such books, but the present effort gives an important 'state of the art' snapshot.' - Stephen Chan, School of Oriental and African Studies

'African Intellectuals makes a compelling case that constructing a democratic, developmental, and socially inclusive social order has become a moral imperative and a question of survival for Africa...because it provides a comprehensive understanding and grasp of the key components of an African renaissance, this book will be of considerable value to all those who are genuinely concerned with Africa's intellectual revival.' - African Studies Review

Table of Contents

1. Introduction - Thandika Mkandawire
Intellectuals, Pan-Africanism and nationalism
Culture and African intellectuals
Africa and Its Diaspora
Autonomous Intellectual Spaces

2. African Intellectuals and Nationalism - Thandika Mkandawire
The Protagonists
Non-Organic intellectuals
Deafening Silence or Silent Struggle?
The Age of Delusion
The Decade of Extremes: Renaissance or Resignation?
The New Agenda?

3. Pan-Africanism and the Intellectuals: Rise, Decline and Revival - Ali A. Mazrui
Pan-Africanism and the Intelligentsia
Erosion of Solidarity, Decline of Intellectualism
Towards a New Intellectual Revival
Pan-Africanism: Sub-Saharan and Trans-Saharan
Who Are the Afrabians?
Globalising the Dual Diaspora
Between African Americans and American Africans

4. Intellectuals, Nationationalism and Panafricanism: A Testimony - Joseph Ki-Zerbo
The role of intellectuals in generating the binomial driving force of the african renaissance

5. Gender Studies for Africa's Transformation - Amina Mama
The Growth of Gender and Women's Studies in Africa
Gender Politics and Developmentalism
Shifting University Landscapes
Gender Politics in African Universities
Feminist Studies in Africa
Strengthening Gender Studies for Africa's Transformation

6. The character and formation of intellectuals within the ANC-led South African liberation movement - Raymond Suttner
Who are intellectuals in the context of the ANC-led South African liberation struggle?
ANC intellectuals - from a variety of sources
The Liberation movement as 'collective intellectual'
The ANC-led National Liberation Movement as creator of intellectuals
Intellectual role and processes of intellectual formation
Party/National liberation movement as 'collective intellectual'
The ANC acting as 'collective intellectual' through its strategy and tactics document of 1969
Consensus and contestation in producing an intellectual product
New conjuncture after 1990 and again after 1994

7. Europhone or African Memory: The Challenge of the Pan-Africanist Intellectual in the Era of Globalization - Ngugi wa Thiong'o

8. The Language Question and National Development in Africa - Beban Sammy Chumbow
The Politics of Development and Underdevelopment
Education, Language and National Development
The Use of African Languages in Education
The Language Factor in the Development of Science and Technology
African Languages and Inter-African Co-operation
Prospects and Perspectives

9. Historians, Nationalism, and Pan-Africanism: Myths and Realities - Hannington Ochwada
African Historians and the Past at Independence
Critique of Nationalist Historiography: Which way Forward?

10. The Academic Diaspora and Knowledge Production in and on Africa: What Role for CODESRIA? - Paul Tiyambe Zeleza
Defining and Debating African Diasporas
Contextualising the Academic Diasporas
Historicising Diasporic Academic Production and Linkages
Tendencies of the Contemporary Academic Diaspora
Conclusion: What Role for CODESRIA?

About the Author:

Thankdika Mkandawire is director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)