DATE: Friday, 11 March 2011
TIME: 14h00 – 16h00
VENUE: Innovation Centre: Howard College Campus
CHAIRPERSON: Prof Mabogo More (UKZN)
RESPONDENT: Prof Priya Narismulu (UKZN)
RSVP before Friday, 4 March, 2011.
Progressive South African scholarship from the mid-1970s developed into projects such as the history workshop of the 1980s and dissipated in the 1990s with democracy. The race/ class debate associated with the insights of Harold Wolpe is part of this project. Yet this “progressive” scholarship was at once a response to the challenges of Steve Biko’s Black Consciousness and an attempt to preserve white privileges in society and the academy. From this point of view, black readings of Fanon, Cabral and Biko were “black listed” in the academy, perhaps evident in the South African academy’s reluctance to engage with critical race theory in order to engage with broader issues of African Scholarship, the curriculum and teaching and learning.
This talk will provide a short journey travelled by progressives and the implications of refusing to engage with Black Consciousness, whilst studying the consciousness of blacks. Is this retreat from larger questions such as nature of the post 1994 state and the character of transformation undertaken in higher education symptomatic of the liberal nature of progressive scholarship? Through a critical engagement of the Report of the Ministerial Committee on Transformation and Social Cohesion and the Elimination of Discrimination in Public Higher Education Institutions and insights from Fanon, Cabral and Biko, this presentation attempts an exploration of the meaning of the ongoing transformation challenges in higher education. The current battles for the heart and soul of the university mirror in more than one way the nature of the transition we have experienced in the past two decades.
Andile Mngxitama holds a Master Degree in Sociology (University of the Witwatersrand). He was the national president of the Azanian Student’s Movement in the late 80s. Mngxitama founded and edits the popular journal NEW FRANK TALK: critical essays on the black condition. His work is focused on updating Steve Biko’s black Consciousness for the 21 Century. Mngxitama is the co-editor of BIKO LIVES! Contesting the Legacies of Steve Biko, (2008), Pelgrave-Macmillan. He writes a bi-weekly column (Bolekaja) for the Sowetan news paper and contributes regularly to various newspapers. Through his writings, Mngxitama questions the extent, nature and impact of the democratic process since 1994. He was one of the founding members of the Landless People’s Movement in 2002.Mngxitama was one of the coordinators of the September National Imbizo, which was held in Soweto in September 2010. He was recently featured in the UK Guardian as one of the leading contrarian black thinkers in South Africa to date. His forthcoming book OUT OF CONTEXT (Sankara Publishing) will be published in March 2011.