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D27b
The language issue and knowledge communication in Africa [initiated by the University of Ilorin with the University of Chemnitz]
Convenors:
Marieke van Winden (conference organiser) (African Studies Centre Leiden)
Bert van Pinxteren (Leiden University)
Taiwo Oloruntoba-Oju (University of Ilorin)
Josef Schmied
Stream:
D: Cases of regional and disciplinary specifics

Abstract:

There is an old (and sometimes fierce) debate in Africa about the use of language in teaching, reading materials, literature/music and in scholarly communication: between English/French/Portuguese/Arabic/German and/or African ‘indigenous’ languages. In African universities there is a history of waves of collaboration and non-collaboration between indigenous and foreign language based studies in African institutions (e.g. Yoruba Studies vs English Studies), with implication for the transmission or obstruction of African knowledge: how have studies in indigenous and foreign languages been working to promote or transform indigenous African knowledge, or have they been working at cross purposes in this area? And how important is the study of ‘ancient African texts’ and written and oral material in African languages in Africa’s universities?