That Gurnah, not Ngũgĩ, Won the Nobel Prize: On Taste and Distaste for Africanity

Dr. Bryan Mukandi

November 3, 2022
16:00 – 18:00
2017 Dunton Tower


In an introduction to a recent Paris Review interview, Namwali Serpell suggests that Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o hasn’t got a Nobel Prize because he’s a radical or a revolutionary. Dr. Mukandi’s paper argues that yes, the snub is ultimately political, but that the sticking point should be thought in terms of the cultural space (or lack thereof) afforded to African descent folks in global publics – or the acceptable terms of engagement.

Emancipation and the Politics of Identity

Dr. Firoze Manji
Institute of African Studies

October 18, 2019
15:00 – 17:00
1811 Dunton Tower


I consider the politics of identity in relation to the concept of “African”. I trace the origin of the term used by Europe as a shorthand for the non-human or lesser-being to its emergence as an identity intimately linked to a struggle for human emancipation. I will discuss the consequences of delinking that identity from emancipatory struggles during the post-independence and neoliberal era which have resulted in the descent into ethnicism.