7th Iberian Congress of African Studies – Lisbon

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I won’t be writting here again until next week, for tonight I am leaving for Lisbon, where I’ll be taking part on the 7th Iberian Congress of African Studies, titled: “50 Years of
African Independencies: challenges to modernity”
.
It is my first time on this event, and I am looking forward to see al presentations and meet the participants. At the congress I’ll also present a version of my MA thesis titled “Ideology and the possibility of African political theory: African Socialism and ubuntu compared”. This is the abstract that can be found on the web of the panel that I’ll be taking part on, called #17 Discursos postcoloniales en torno a África:

“Ideology and the possibility of African political theory: African Socialism and ubuntu compared”
This article explores the lack of investigation into African political theory in the postcolonial period. After discussing the epistemological problems in the study of African political thought, the paper then adopts Michael Freeden’s methodology for the analysis of political ideologies. Through this approach a comparison is made between African Socialism and ubuntu. African Socialism – as developed by Cabral, Nkrumah, Nyerere and Senghor – is defined by its core commitment to freedom from colonial rule, to African culture, by its promotion of communitarian equality and by a belief in the transformative power of the state. Ubuntu – in the political version developed in post-apartheid South Africa, and promoted by Thabo Mbeki and Desmond Tutu –instead emphasises the collective and spiritual character of African society and the distinctive African character of ubuntu ideology. By comparing these two examples, we seek to explore the possibilities and problems which the discipline subject of African political theory faces in the postcolonial period.

As I have mentioned, the program looks very inteesting and I am looking forward to see what’s there. Have a good rest of the week! And I will tell you about Lisbon when I get back!

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