Idea of Africa, The

V. Y. Mudimbe, The Idea of Africa: The Idea of Africa traces notions of Africanity within a variety of historical archives and using a transdisciplinary perspective. The inter-relation of transdisciplinarity and African philosophical tendencies endows his project with an uncommon energy, texture and tonality. Mudimbe also investigates the Colonial Library in relation to Africa. Ideas on Africa have been mediated by many factors and different ideologies, paradigms, cultures and civilizations. Hence it is possible to track different genealogies of ‘Africa’ starting from Greek and Roman times through the Christian Dark Ages, the Renaissance, European imperialism, slavery, colonization and the age of Enlightenment. In short, ‘Africa,’ has been enmeshed in these various epochs such that it isn’t really appropriate to dwell on a single idea.This multilayered book is a vigorous analysis of the polyvalent nature of the idea of Africa. [recommended by Sanya Osha, the Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA), the University of Cape Town]

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