This book brings together top researchers, thinkers, and activists from across disciplines to reflect on the study of Africa. Critical Dimensions of African Studies: Re-Membering Africa emphasizes a critique of power structures, the promotion of human liberation, a commitment to social justice and transformation, and critical reflection on the politics of the production and circulation of knowledge of Africa. The editors, Jennifer De Maio, Suzanne Scheld, and Tom Spencer-Walters, organize the book around three related key themes: international/transnational, humanistic, and combined critical theory and practice perspectives. They argue that each theme represents an important dimension of contemporary African and African diaspora studies and re-centering these themes within the discipline will help to advance the field. The diverse contributors capture the goal and method for re-membering Africa by reflecting and defining the field from various disciplines in order to consider the history, the critical debates, and the challenges to current views of the status and future direction of African studies.
Jennifer L. De Maio is professor of political science at California State University, Northridge.
Suzanne Scheld is professor in the Anthropology Department at California State University, Northridge.
Tom Spencer-Walters is professor emeritus of Africana studies at California State University, Northridge.
Introduction by Jennifer De Maio, Suzanne Scheld, and Tom Spencer-Walters
Part I: Language and the International/Transnational Lens
Chapter 1: Tom Spencer-Walters: Intellectual Freedom Fighter by Selase W. Williams
Chapter 2: Terms Matter: The Use of “Tribe” in African Studies by Jennifer L. De Maio and Daniel N. Posner
Chapter 3: Speaking Africa: Re-Membering Africa through Language, Culture, and Aesthetics by Sheba Lo
Chapter 4: “Africa for the Africans” Garvey & African Transnationality: The Idea of Flexible Citizenship by W. Gabriel Selassie I
Chapter 5: “Back Home This Never Would Have Happened”: Imagining Tradition and Modernity Among Ugandan Pentecostals in Los Angeles by Kevin Zemlicka
Part II: Humanistic Approach
Chapter 6: Bumuntu Humanism and “Values Discourse”: Reflection on the Importance of African Studies in Our Tumultuous Time by Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha
Chapter 7: “Working the Past:” Memory, Language, and Echoes of Slavery in Ama Ata Aidoo’s The Dilemma of a Ghost and Anowa by Raquel Kennon
Chapter 8: The Power of Memory and Language: Counter-Stories as Oppositional Remembering by Renee M. Moreno
Chapter 9: Marché Sandaga: The Language of the Built Environment in Remembering and Re-Membering by Suzanne Scheld
Part III: Critical Theory and Practice
Chapter 10: Africa’s Adult Literacy Landscape in The Age of Globalization: A Path to Increased Access and Change by Daphne W. Ntiri
Chapter 11: Remembering Africa: Memory and The Narrative Imagination in the Polio Survivor’s Experience by Rodney B. Hume-Dawson
Chapter 12: Reconciling Traditional and Nontraditional Approach to Mental Health Services: African Diaspora Experience by Senait Admassu, Kofi Peprah, and Edwin Aimufua
Part IV: Conclusion
Afterword by Tom Spencer-Walters
About the Contributors
Given an African continent that was dis-membered by the violent histories of slavery, colonization, postcolonization and modern forms of economic dispossession, racial hatred and marginalization, and geopolitical sabotage by the West, Critical Dimensions of African Studies: Re-Membering Africa undertakes the huge task of re-membering—putting back together—Africa as an indispensable center of interest in global politics, language, pedagogy, and culture. This book’s theoretical approach of interdisciplinarity not only gives it a competitive edge in both African studies and African diaspora studies, it also paves the way for collaboration between the two disciplines