African Studies RFG

African Studies RFG

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Research Focus Group Talk: Reclaiming Confiscated African Histories


Zoom attendance link: How do histories of a people get confiscated? And what is the significance of indigenous epistemologies in reclaiming stolen, silent, and distorted histories? These are some of the fundamental questions that underlie Professor Shadreck Chirikure's research on Great Zimbabwe, a prominent symbol of African civilizations of Southern Africa that colonial historiography tried very hard to wrest away from Africans over the last two centuries. Professor Chirikure has produced several publications from ...

Research Focus Group Talk: The Place of Africa: Erasure, Elision, and the Task of Self-Writing

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA, United States

Narratives of "connectivity" typically rely on discourses about Africa as a blank space devoid of social networks that are unique, vibrant, and continually being modified. While this takes agency away from Africans, it rests on the colonial assumption that "connectivity," just as "civilization" before it, is inherently exogenous, white, and male. This talk begins with the Rhodesian fantasy of connecting Africa from the Cape to Cairo and traces this logic through the contemporary discourse of ...