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African Humanities and the Global Academy: A Reflection on the North–South Intellectual Landscape1
This article reflects on Africa’s relationship to the global academy in terms of global knowledge production, dissemination and consumption, with particular interest in the politics of location, mobility and positionality of knowledge in the humanities. Among the questions posed are: What bodies of knowledge and conceptual tools gain legitimacy in the global academy, and why? Does location of knowledge production matter? The article argues that despite important advances in the field of African studies, this area remains problematic as Africa continues to produce raw data, while the global North appears to provide the conceptual tools for ‘reading’ African experiences. The article stresses the importance of revisiting questions posed above, and the implications of uni-directional flows of ideas across the global North-South axis.