Decolonizing the African Studies Centre

in The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology
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  • 1 University of Cambridge arb209@cam.ac.uk
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Abstract

The African Studies Centre has been a privileged institutional form in Britain for knowledge production on Africa since the end of colonialism. This article argues that the origin of these UK centres should be located in the colonial research institutes established in Africa, in particular the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute and the East African Institute of Social Research. Attention to the knowledge about Africa that was deemed authoritative by these institutes as well as to the institutions and structures underpinning that knowledge production can raise important questions about today’s centres that need to be addressed as part of a decolonization agenda.

Contributor Notes

Adam Branch is Director of the Centre of African Studies at the University of Cambridge, where he is also University Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Studies and Fellow of Trinity Hall. Prior to joining Cambridge, he was Senior Research Fellow at the Makerere Institute of Social Research in Kampala, Uganda. He is the author of two books: Africa Uprising: Popular Protest and Political Change (Zed Books, 2015, co-authored with Zachariah Mampilly) and Displacing Human Rights: War and Intervention in Northern Uganda (Oxford University Press, 2011). He is a series editor for African Arguments and for the Cambridge Centre of African Studies book series. He is also the director of the Cambridge Philomathia Africa Programme and the Chair of the Cambridge Consortium for the Global South.

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