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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Continuing a Conversation: Prospects for African Studies in the 21st Century
Author:Bundy, ColinISNI
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society
Geographic terms:Great Britain
United States
Subjects:African studies
Education and Oral Traditions
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3518657
Abstract:This article, an amended version of an address to the Annual General Meeting of the Royal African Society on 30 May 2001, explores the extent to which the study of Africa is in difficulties, but also speculates on the potential for new advances. The author sketches the current state of African Studies in three different contexts: in the United States, in the United Kingdom, and in Africa. In all three cases, there are two sets of pressures upon scholarly enquiry into Africa: external, conjunctural pressures, and internal, epistemological pressures. The dual impact of these pressures has been especially pronounced in the United States where there is a brutally direct link between the new geopolitics and academic funding. Furthermore, the Africanist scholarly community in the US is far more sensitive to issues of interpretative authority. In Britain, the conjunctural pressures are real, but not being experienced as acutely as in the US. In Africa, the problems facing the social sciences are of an entirely different order. African universities are not being eroded at the margins; many have collapsed at the centre. Yet, there are signs of renewal. The vitality and fertility of local Africanist scholars is both a source of optimism and a prerequisite for the renewal of scholarship on Africa in the UK. Notes, ref.