oa Alternation - Academic postcolonial resistances and South Africa

Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



This essay attempts to make connections between elements of postcolonial critique post-apartheid debates within my own university. The analysis of neo-colonialism, problems of representation and academic production, should have a bearing on the often fractious attempt to transform a South African university. And, looking the other way, the colonial background of South African debates offers the chance to clarify the stakes of metropolitan exchanges. What links these diverse contexts is the tension between a view of the university as the institutional apparatus through which society ensures its uneventful reproduction, at the least cost to itself, and the vision of the university as a potential, if unlikely, lever of change. As articulated in President Kgalema Motlanthe's State of the Nation address, 6th February, 2009, the ANC does not have a racial agenda but is committed to making institutions reflect the demography of the nation.

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