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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 www.socialiststudies.com 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?

Critique de la Raison Négre: A Review

By Elaine Coburn

This piece was originally published at http://decolonization.org/index.php/des/article/view/22016/17858. It is re-published here with permission from both the author and editor


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 www.socialiststudies.com 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. .

Book review:
In 1959, a young Jewish student named Marshall Berman (2000) hazarded upon Karl Marx’s Economic and Philosophical Manuscript of 1844. He was so amazed by what he read, he immediately went out to the nearest Soviet-subsidized bookstore and bought copies for everyone he knew. Re-reading his original copy, years later, he discovered that he had underlined virtually every line in the book. Reading Achille Mbembe’s Critique de la Raison Nègre inspires the same kind of enthusiasm. Currently only available in French, it’s a book that you want to shout about from the rooftops, so that all of your colleagues and friends will read it. My copy, only a few months old, is stuffed with paper markers at many intervals, suggesting the richness of analysis and description on nearly every page. It is not a perfect book. For instance, Mbembe is almost relentlessly masculinist in standpoint and language, so that you can already imagine a Black feminist re-telling that challenges this “malestream” account, so building new, necessary layers to his analysis. He does not explicitly consider how the liberation struggles of the “Nègre” might act in concert and in tension with other liberatory movements, for instance, by still-colonized Indigenous peoples. He emphasizes literary, artistic and intellectual figures, although not exclusively, so that it is possible to imagine another re-telling, this time centering the everyday struggles of many ordinary people designated as “Nègre” over the last centuries. Notwithstanding these important limitations, this is certainly one of the outstanding intellectual contributions to studies of empire, colonialism, racism and human liberation in the last decade, perhaps decades. Indeed, I fear I can hardly do Mbembe’s book justice in this brief review. With that preface...

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