Daily Archives: September 24, 2020

Teaching Africa: Towards a Transgressive Pedagogy (Explorations of Educational Purpose (9)): George J. Sefa Dei

One is always struck by the brilliant work of George Sefa Dei but nothing so far has demonstrated his pedagogical leadership as much as the current project. With a sense of purpose so pure and so thoroughly intellectual, Dei shows why he must be credited with continuing the motivation and action for justice in education. He has produced in this powerful volume, Teaching Africa, the same type of close reasoning that has given him credibility in the anti-racist struggle in education. Sustaining the case for the democratization of education and the revising of the pedagogical method to include Indigenous knowledge are the twin pillars of his style.

A key component of this new science of pedagogy is the crusade against any form of hegemonic education where one group of people assumes that they are the masters of everyone else. Whether this happens in South Africa, Canada, United States, India, Iraq, Brazil, or China, Dei’s insights suggest that this hegemony of education in pluralistic and multi-ethnic societies is a false construction. We live pre-eminently in a world of co-cultures, not cultures and sub-cultures, and once we understand this difference, we will have a better approach to education and equity in the human condition

Written from the perspective of a knowledge base and educational practice that are both African-centred, this volume uses a discursive pedagogy that is anti-colonial in origin. It theorizes colonial – and re-colonial – relations and the implications of imperial structures on knowledge production and use; the understanding of indigenousness; and the pursuit of agency, resistance and subjective politics.

Using a refined definition of colonial, less as ‘foreign’ or ‘alien’ but more ‘imposed and dominating’, the author shows us how colonialism is domesticated and how those who have been oppressed by dominant/hegemonic discourses may find it difficult to step out of them, let alone challenge or resist them. The book is a call for a critical interrogation of dominant knowledge about Africa in order to help the contemporary learner come to grips with the challenges and possibilities of knowing about the African world and the African human condition.

The author’s anti-colonial discursive platform addresses distorted Eurocentric views of Africa, raises ontological and epistemological questions about teaching methods and methodologies relating to Africa, and highlights knowledge indigenous to Africa. At the same time, it shows what the rest of the world can learn from this knowledge.

  • Paperback : 157 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-9400728615
  • ISBN-10 : 9400728611
  • Publisher : Springer; 2010th Edition (November 24, 2011)

Emitai Sembene

Kramer Loves Movies

Emitai Sembene Ousmane
(Sous titres FR, Subtitles in ENG, ES, DE, JA, NL, HANS, HANT, RU). Emitaï is a 1971 Senegalese drama film directed by Ousmane Sembène. It was entered into the 7th Moscow International Film Festival where it won a Silver Prize

The film is set in late World War II, with the Vichy government conscripting men from France’s colonies. A revolt breaks out in a Diola village where the women hide the rice crop harvest instead of submitting to the French tax. The resistance unfolds in the village simultaneous to the resistance fighting in metropolitan France. When the metropole is liberated, the Diola village sees portraits of Charles de Gaulle replacing posters of Vichy’s Marshal Pétain, but circumstances of the village remains unchanged.
Emitai was censored for five years in French-speaking Africa.

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Sacred Rice: An Ethnography of Identity, Environment, and Development in Rural West Africa (Issues of Globalization:Case Studies in Contemporary Anthropology): Joanna Davidson

Sacred Rice explores the cultural intricacies through which Jola farmers in West Africa are responding to their environmental and economic conditions given the centrality of a crop–rice–that is the lynchpin for their economic, social, religious, and political worlds.

Based on more than ten years of author Joanna Davidson’s ethnographic and historical research on rural Guinea-Bissau, this book looks at the relationship among people, plants, and identity as it explores how a society comes to define itself through the production, consumption, and reverence of rice. It is a narrative profoundly tied to a particular place, but it is also a story of encounters with outsiders who often mediate or meddle in the rice enterprise. Although the focal point is a remote area of West Africa, the book illuminates the more universal nexus of identity, environment, and development, especially in an era when many people–rural and urban–are confronting environmental changes that challenge their livelihoods and lifestyles.

Joanna Davidson is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Boston University.


“The use of rice as a single master trope offers a focal point that ties together both the personal narratives of the main characters and the contexts relevant to understanding and explaining the situations in which they find themselves. The result is a readable and compelling manuscript about people struggling to create meaningful lives in a changing world.”
–Mark Peterson, Miami University
Sacred Rice is well thought-out and developed. It combines classic issues and themes in anthropology with an exploration of contemporary problems that will endure. Davidson shows the power of compelling story-telling to illustrate analytical abstractions. I would recommend this book to my colleagues.”
–Eric Gable, University of Mary Washington

“In the following seven chapters, through the lives and stories of Keboral, Badji, their parents, and their children, she explores important anthropological issues of social change, sacralization, secrecy, religious encounters and tensions, identity, intimacy, social aspirations, development, globalization, and climate change. Her writing style, closely emulating her ethnographic method, is holistic. All these themes are knitted together among themselves and with a large body of scholarship; no single chapter can be identified with one single topic.”

About the Author

Joanna Davidson is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Boston University.
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press; 1st edition (August 14, 2015)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 264 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0199358680
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0199358687
  • Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
  • Dimensions : 8.2 x 0.4 x 5.5 inches