Freitag, 30.6.2023, 10:45h

Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò


Against Decolonization: Taking African Agency Seriously

How should we understand and explain social and political phenomena in Africa in the past and at the present moment? The dominant theoretical discourse framed by decolonization is barely useful if not completely useless when it comes to describing and explaining African phenomena. It privileges, in the most unhelpful way, colonialism in the history of the continent and obscures the path to illuminating contemporary situations there. This is primarily because it either does not recognize or fails to take seriously African agency, again, through its history. Once we take African agency seriously, we stop treating Africans at all levels as if they were permanent children whose wills are readily bent by their colonizers sixty years after independence and who may not have their choices scrutinized. Let us restore African agency to the centre of our analyses and pay attention to the complexities of the continent and its peoples.

Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò is Professor of African Political Thought and Chair at Cornell University’s Africana Studies and Research Center. His research interests include philosophy of law, social and political philosophy, Marxism, and African and Africana philosophy. Táíwò is the author of Legal Naturalism: A Marxist Theory of Law (1996), How Colonialism Preempted Modernity in Africa (2010), Africa Must Be Modern: A Manifesto (2012), Can a Liberal Be a Chief? Can a Chief Be a Liberal? On an Unfinished Business of Colonialism (2021), and Against Decolonization: Taking African Agency Seriously (2022). He was joint editor with Olutoyin Mejiuni and Patricia Cranton of Measuring and Analyzing Informal Learning in the Digital Age (2015). His writings have been translated into French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Chinese. He has taught at universities in Canada, Nigeria, Germany, South Korea, and Jamaica.

Veranstaltung in englischer Sprache