well if you consider that 'the school of african and oriental studies' in the UK is part of the federal university of london, historically the centre of imperial learning and civil service training ... of course these courses make sense and are justified. you have an entire (previously) subaltern population who never had educational institutions to cater to their experience or history. i don't really see that it's a bad thing to have 1 institution out of 150 specializing in african history tbh.
would you have decried the widespread push for 'working people's institutions' in the late-19th century? ruskin college? fabian society? birkbeck, another institution of the university of london (some 500 m away from SOAS, and not far from the british museum, where entire troves of african, oriental and asian artefacts are kept), was historically set-up for evening classes and people who couldn't fit in to the normal demands of higher education. is that also 'cordoning' off people perniciously by class? what's wrong with centring institutions in the centre of imperial power that cater to the modern, post-imperial constitution of said centre? is it a 'cordoning off' or 'opening up'? the afro-caribbean, third-generation graduate students of SOAS who are researching caribbean history, with fresh access to the full archives of the british library and british museum, spaces traditionally reserved for a tiny elite, might disagree with you ...
i wonder just why you're quite so reactionary and simplifying about these things. as if an institution or course teaching african history is going to be exclusionary of all other considerations. never mind the fact that higher-education and elite-status education has been by default the education of a majority white elite for, er, centuries -- why aren't you alarmed about the effects that 'cordoning' has had on discourse, objective analysis, research? as if you need to tell these disciplines, which all stem ultimately from marxist historiography, that a wider material analysis or historical perspective is important. they know
, larssen. the way you traduce these subjects, having read probably none of them, as 'not getting the big picture', is patronising beyond all belief. frankly the majority of 'black history' or whatever subject has already been researched and taught through the perspective of majority white history, not to say outwardly hostile or reconstructionist white history. like 100 years of historiography on slavery, for instance. let them have their deconstructionists, in turn.
Last edited by uziq (2021-05-18 09:35:28)