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AN227 What is Africa? F18

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Julie Jenkins

on 4 December 2018

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Transcript of AN227 What is Africa? F18

What is Africa?
3x the land area of the U.S.
10% of world population
800 million people
--differing environments
--55-56 countries
--different historical experiences
--3000 languages
--"development islands"
vs other regions

Africa as a discursive formation or 'idea'

What ideas do 'we' have of Africa?
Moral Relativism vs Methodological Relativism
How do we avoid being ethnocentric?
Refrain Judgement
Identify & Reflect
Reconsider your own cultural background
Ask...'Why does this bother me?'
Look for the internal logic of cultural systems
Evaluate each culture on its own terms, without bias
As opposed to 'ethnocentrism'
attitude that one's own culture is the best/superior
used to judge others
"Is there any meaningful sense in which we can speak of 'Africa' as a 'place'?"
"category through which the world is constructed"
"don't just misunderstand social reality, but also shapes it"
Is it enough to replace 'afro-pessimism' with 'afro-optimism'?
How might the idea of 'culture' feed into hierarchical formations of Africa in the world?
What does it mean to 'write against culture'?
Which strategies does Ferguson use in his article?
What is the danger, according to Ferguson, of not acknowledging the conceptual category/idea of Africa?
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