Dr. Kai Kresse
Thinking (with) Africa. Philosophy and Intellectual Practice
In this talk, I use the opportunity to reflect upon the current state of the field of research on African philosophy and intellectual traditions, in relation to pointers and arguments from postcolonial critique and a growing interest in ‘world philosophy’ within mainstream philosophy. In specific terms and for illustration, I do so by reflecting upon key aspects of my own research which, situated between anthropology, philosophy and other disciplines, in empirical terms has been engaged with Swahili thinkers, philosophical discourse, and the wider field of intellectual culture in coastal Kenya. How can and should we, especially when based in the global north, try to adequately think (and work, and argue) with thinkers and theories from Africa, especially those based or rooted in endogenous Afrophone traditions? How can we contribute to making them considered and integrated properly as contributions to world philosophy in a true sense? These questions sketch out the field of the conceptual and methodological (and often politicized) challenges I am seeking to address and work through in this talk.
Kai Kresse is Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universitaet Berlin, and Vice-Director for Research at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO), with previous teaching appointments at SOAS, University of St Andrews, and Columbia University. Relevant publications include the monographs Swahili Muslim Publics and Postcolonial Experience (2018) and Philosophising in Mombasa (2007), and the (co-)edited volumes Uwongozi (Guidance) by Sheikh al-Amin Mazrui (2017, with H. Mwakimako), Abdilatif Abdalla: Poet in Politics (2016, with R. Beck), Knowledge in Practice (2009, with T. Marchand), Reading Mudimbe (2005) and Sagacious Reasoning: H. Odera Oruka in Memoriam (1997, with A. Graness).
Dr. Abdoulaye Sounaye is Research Fellow at the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO). He is working on religiosity in West Africa and published Islam et Modernité Contribution a l’Analyse de La ré-islamisation Au Niger (2016).