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Practical Material

Decolonizing Knowledge Construction about (Linguistic) Africa

Decolonizing Knowledge Construction about (Linguistic) Africa: A Conversation on Decolonizing Knowledge Construction about (Linguistic) Africa between:

- Sinfree Makoni (Professor of Applied Linguistics and African Studies, Director of the African Studies Program, Penn State University, USA

- Salikoko S. Mufwene (The Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor of Linguistics and The College at the University of Chicago, Academic Director of the University of Chicago Center in Paris (2022-2023)

- Cécile B. Vigouroux (Association Professor of Sociolinguistics at Simon Fraser University, Canada, Fellow at the Paris Institute for Advanced Study (2022-23)

University of Chicago, Center in Paris - October 14, 2022

The study of languages and other cultural domains in Africa started in the 19th century, at the onset of the exploitation colonization of the continent, from a Western European lens. Some of us now wonder how linguistics and the other academic disciplines would have developed if they had been invented in Africa and had been shaped primarily by Africans. This conversation focuses on the extent of the Western bias in the construction of academic knowledge about Africa and on the pressing need to revisit some topics.


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