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ASCL Seminar: Africa's Second Struggle for Freedom: What's decolonisation got to do with it?

Thursday 7 September 2023
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333AK Leiden
Room 0.19

Please note: contrary to regular ASCL seminars, this seminar will take place in the Lipsius Building in Leiden, room 0.19. For registrees who cannot travel to Leiden a link to an online platform will be sent one day in advance.

Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò is by now well known for his book Against Decolonization, which was recently translated into Dutch. The Professor of African Political Thought at Cornell University (USA) will give an ASCL Seminar on 7 September. 

The freedom of ordinary Africans and their ability, at the individual level, to control their lives, lead lives marked by inviolate dignity of their persons and concurrent limits on the reach of governments and of their fellows in their daily lives, must never be up for negotiation. Indeed, this ought to be the standard by which we judge the legitimacy and attractiveness of any government and the quality of any of our societies in the continent as it increasingly is the case in other parts of the world that are also embracing struggles similar to what Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò (Cornell University) calls Africa's second struggle for freedom.

Against decolonization

As Táíwò has written in Against Decolonization, Africa is not alone in this connection at the present time. The difference is that those who are dominated by what he calls the metaphysics of difference that underpins an unhelpful cathexis to identity are loathe to see these similarities and, as a result, leave themselves without help from the experiences of other humans both in the past and at present. What’s decolonisation got to do with it? The basic principles for which Africans are immolating themselves, risking life and limb in standing up to dictatorial/authoritarian regimes and generally insisting that they, too, must be free are shared with other oppressed humanity from Denmark to Myanmar, from Eswatini to China. The discourse on decolonisation is a distraction from this much needed struggle.

More information and registration via the ASCL website.

Read an interview with Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò in NRC (in Dutch, 23 June 2023).

Read the Library Highlight by Germa Seuren about Against Decolonization.

Top photo: Removal of Cecil Rhodes' statue at the University of Cape Town, 2015. Photo credit: Desmond Bowles (via Wikimedia Commons).

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