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African Studies

Week 1 - Philosophy in Africa

The seminar will start with an examination of the history of the very expression “African philosophy” and the questions that it raised. As an example, why was Tempels’ Bantu Philosophy celebrated by some, and criticized by many? How should we read it today? Those are the main questions that we will raise.

A second part of the seminar will be devoted to the discussion of “Orality and African Philosophy”, followed by a third part on “Philosophy and the tradition of written erudition in Africa” in which we will discuss Islamic philosophy in West Africa.


Prof. Souleymane Bachir Diagne 
Columbia University, USA

Week 2

The Archives of (collective) Pain:
Ethnographic perspectives on Violence and Remembering from the Global South

This course examines the contribution of ethnographically-oriented social sciences to the understanding of violence in a variety of contexts, particularly in Latin America and Africa, ranging from the violence of everyday life to the institutionalized forms of state terror and violent contestation over control of the state. Likewise, particular attention will be paid to the ways in which various individuals, communities and institutions narrate and commemorate the experience of war and terror. The course deals with the problem of meaning, space, voice, experience, body, subjectivity, and otherness as central interpretative matrices. It also addresses critically important questions regarding the problem of writing onviolence, as well as other methodological-ethical dilemmas inherent to this kind of work.


Prof. Alejandro Castillejo-Cuéllar
Associate Professor
Director, Critical Studies Program on Political Transitions, PECT
Department of Anthropology
University of Los Andes, Colombia
Investigator, Arts and Humanities Research Council, England

Verantwortlich für die Redaktion: Stefan Zeh, Telefon: 7374

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