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January 29, 2021 Network Meeting: Siseko Kumalo will join us as a guest presenter. His talk is entitled “Using Intellectual Ancestries to Rethink the Black Archive in South Africa and Beyond”: Showcasing the historical agitation for Black liberation in South Africa using u-Goba’s (1888) work, I analyse the Black thinker who is lauded as the first to systematically consider Black liberation, i.e. Steve Biko. With Biko trumping other intellectuals, I reveal a fundamental problematique in the South African academe. The principal challenge to which I address myself is language. With Gqoba’s work developed in isiXhosa, and with the racist logics of knowledge production privileging English and Afrikaans in our context, I demonstrate how this move – that denies the existence of substantive thought developed by Indigenous peoples – is itself rooted in the arrogance of whiteness, that styles itself as the inventor of decolonisation. My claim, while strong, is substantiated by the reality that would have us believe that decolonisation—and its definition—is unknown and unknowable. Resultantly, I set myself a two-pronged task in this talk. The first, is to demonstrate how Biko was not the first person to consider the question of Black liberation and write about it. I do this through a comparative reading of Biko’s I Write What I Like against Gqoba’s epic poem (Ingxoxo Enkulu Ngemfundo), in order to showcase the ancestry of Biko’s intellectual thought. Secondarily, I reveal the racist foundations that substantiate the claim that decolonisation is unknowable. My contention thus, lies in showcasing how this claim plays directly into the metaphorization of decolonisation, in order to secure white settler futurity through the appropriation of intellectual traditions such as decoloniality. Such a project demonstrates the contribution made by the Black Archive, when analysed systematically, not only to the South African academe — but internationally. This suggests the capacity to reimagine disciplinary constitutions from the vantage point of Indigenous peoples, delivering on the aims of decolonisation.
September 2018: Dr. Chrystal George Mwangi, “What is a Critical Lens Doing in a Nice Field like International Higher Education and Where Do We Go From Here?”
January 2019: Featuring guest speakers Dr. Riyad Shahjahan, Annabelle Estera, and Vivek Vellanki. You can listen to an audio recording of our session here:
May 2019: Dr. Abigail Boggs, “The Noncitizen Student, the State and Capital: On The Transnational Politics of the Neoliberal University”
September 2019: Dr. Gerardo Blanco, “Can We Critically Approach Work That Has Been Framed Uncritically? Doing Internationalization as Collective Account-Giving”
January 2020: Dr. Adriana Diaz, “Charting the linguistic landscape of internationalisation: Tensions between equitable and elite multilingualism”
May 2020: Dr. Amalia Dache, “Racial Ideology is Political Ideology: The Incommensurability of Cuban Higher Education Access”
September 2020: Dr. Jenny J. Lee, “Securitization of the Academy during COVID-19”.
October 2020 Work-in-Progress Session: Dr. Riyad Shahjahan and Dr. Kirsten Edwards, “Whiteness, Futurity and Globalization of Higher education”
November 2020 Work-in-Progress Session: Dr. Mirjam Hauck and Dr. Francesca Helm,”Critical Internationlisation through Critical Virtual Exchange (VE)”
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