Knowledge production is a highly political and politicized practice. This book questions the way in which knowledge of and about Africa is produced and how this influences development policy and practice.
Rebutting both Euro- and Afrocentric production of knowledge, this collection proposes a multiple, global and dynamic Africa-centredness in which scholars use whatever concepts and research tools are most appropriate to the different African contexts in which they work. In the first part of the book key conceptual themes are raised and the epistemological foundations are laid through questions of gender, literature and popular music. Contributors in the second part apply and test these tools and concepts, examining the pressures on doctoral students in a South African university, the crisis in knowledge about declining marine fish populations, perplexities around why certain ICT provisions fail, or how some Zimbabwean students, despite being beset by poverty, succeed. The light thrown on the mechanics of how knowledge comes into being, and in whose interests, illuminates one of the key issues in African Studies.
Brenda Cooper is an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Manchester. She was for many years the Director of the Centre for African Studies and a Professor in the English department at the University of Cape Town, where she is now Emeritus Professor.
Robert Morrell is Coordinator of the Programme for the Enhancement of Research Capacity at the University of Cape Town.