Cover for MARTIN: Out of One, Many Africas: Reconstructing the Study and Meaning of Africa

Out of One, Many Africas

Reconstructing the Study and Meaning of Africa

Even as symbols of Africa permeate Western culture in the 1990s, centers for the academic study of Africa suffer from a steady erosion of institutional support and intellectual legitimacy. Out of One, Many Africas assesses the rising tide of discontent that has destabilized the conceptions, institutions, and communities dedicated to African studies. In vibrant detail, contributors from Africa, Europe, and North America lay out the multiple, contending histories and perspectives that inform African studies. They assess the reaction against the white-dominated consensus that has marked African studies since its inception in the 1950s and note the emergence of alternative approaches, energized in part by feminist and cultural studies. They examine African scholars' struggle against paradigms that have justified and covered up colonialism, militarism, and underdevelopment. They also consider such issues as how to bring black scholars on the continent and in the diaspora closer together on questions of intellectual freedom, accountability, and the democratization of information and knowledge production.

By surveying the present predicament and the current grassroots impulse toward reconsidering the meaning of the continent, Out of One, Many Africas gives shape and momentum to a crucial dialogue aimed at transforming the study of Africa


"A timely volume that teaches us as much about the contruction of academic politics as it does the development of African studies. It provides useful if brief histories of the field in Africa, Europe, and North America, and stakes out likely parameters of future debate." -- James R. Brennan, International Journal of African Historical Studies

"Africans are diverse, and those studying them must be diverse. Out of One, Many Africas is a book that recognizes this diversity and creates the push for the beautiful transformation of African studies. This book should be on the reading list of every scholar and educator interested in African studies." -- Festus A. Obiakor, MultiCultural Review

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