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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Centre for African Studies: Some Preliminary Thoughts
Author:Mamdani, Mahmood
Periodical:Social Dynamics
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:African studies
African Studies centres
Education and Oral Traditions
Abstract:In this paper the author puts forth his views concerning the Centre for African Studies at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in the context of contemporary South Africa. Hitherto, the main contribution of the Centre has been that it provided a multidisciplinary meeting ground in a period when departments followed narrow disciplinary agendas. However, the UCT is considering a new academic planning framework which focuses on programmes instead of faculties and departments as units of academic construction. What will be the distinctive contribution of the Centre for African Studies? The author's answer to this question is to redefine the study of Africa as the study of 'ourselves in a postapartheid world'. He argues that the teaching of African studies at UCT needs to go through a major shift, one that will combine its hitherto multidisciplinary with an interdisciplinary orientation, while orienting both to a comparative approach to the study of Africa. He further maps out a programme of courses, core and elective, for the graduate and undergraduate programmes, and outlines a support programme (workshops, conferences, seminars, cultural programmes, etc.).