Monday, January 13 , 2014
Race, Empire – Racialization of African Culture, Knowledge Production
Organized/scientific analysis African societies, institutional environments
• Key factors that shape and determine the production of knowledge in Africa. The
invention of Africa and the colonial discourse. Africa and the knowledge around
Africa constructed by the encounter with the West. Production of the modern
• 1500s ▯Encounter with the West
• Significance of race, otherness, alterity
• Discourse – Use of language, contemporary language and ideas available
• Discourse, framework of intersubjectivity (the ways in which we relate to one
another, how can we be understood by each other (beyond worlds))
• Widely shared assumptions
• Order of knowledge (stereotypes etc.),
Antonio Gramsci (Italian Marxist), hegemony (process of winning consent for particular
There is no common sense. Everything taken for granted must be questioned.
In the 1970s women in Switzerland, women couldn’t vote. Assumptions have an origin.
What are legitimate questions to explore?
Social relations of power, Power/Knowledge (Foucault)
• Knowledge is constituted in power; knowledge in turn reinforces that power.
Marx, relationship between discourse and materiality (money versus discourse)
Owners versus Buyers versus Producers etc.
Africa: Knowledge of the continent is externally derived. Knowledge on Africa is the
product with African’s rapport with Europe. Marked by fundamental equally (between
continents) Defining Europe becomes key in defining its Other. Technologies etc. Economy of
representation defined mainly by the interests of Europe.
Orientalism, alterity (negative difference)/ Abjection, Othering (Orientalism)
Binary Condition: Obtain meaning through contrast. Articulating difference between
“us” versus “them”
Race becomes central to knowledge production.
1570 – first instance of slavery (taken to the new world), operati