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Beyond the Political Spider

Critical Issues in African Humanities

by Kwesi Yankah

Beyond the Political Spider: Critical Issues in African Humanities by Kwesi Yankah is the first title in the newly established African Humanities Association (AHA) publication series.

By integrating his own biography into a critique of the global politics of knowledge production, Yankah, through a collection of essays, interrogates critical issues confronting the Humanities that spawn intellectual hegemonies and muffle African voices. Using the example of Ghana, he brings under scrutiny, amongst others, endemic issues of academic freedom, gender inequities, the unequal global academic order, and linguistic imperialism in language policies in governance.

In the face of these challenges, the author deftly navigates the complex terrain of indigenous knowledge and language in the context of democratic politics, demonstrating that agency can be liberatory when emphasising indigenous knowledge, especially expressed through the idiom of local languages and symbols, including Ananse, the protean spider, folk hero in Ghana and most parts of the pan-African world.

ISBN 9781920033804 | 340 pages | 244 x 170mm | 2021 | NISC (Pty) Ltd, South Africa | Paperback

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eBook ISBN: 9781920033828

Reviews

"Fascinating snapshots from an engaged scholarly life in Africa, valuable as an archival resource for the understanding of this period of higher education in Africa."

John Higgins, Arderne Chair in Literature, Department of English Literary Studies, University of Cape Town

"This book is unique and gives a powerful rendition of the state of the Humanities in Africa (with Ghana as a case in point). It grapples with some of the pertinent issues dogging the Humanities in Africa. It comments on the Humanities scholarship in Africa, and subtly throws a challenge for future scholarship. It draws on African traditions, communal heritage, and governance in discussing the role and place of the Humanities in Africa. It also brings into the analysis the ever-changing imperatives and modernity in re-configuring African Humanities."

Mark Benge Okot, Head of Department, Literature, Makerere University, Uganda

"Beyond the Political Spider’ effectively draws, in a unique fashion, from literature, history, linguistics and other cognate disciplines in the African Humanities."

Sati Umaru Fwatshak, Department of History, University of Jos, Nigeria

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