V. Y. Mudimbe

Undisciplined Africanism

Pierre-Philippe Fraiture

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ISBN: 9781846318948

Publication: August 30, 2013

Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 29

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VY Mudimbe: Undisciplined Africanism is the first English-language monograph dedicated to the work of Valentin Yves Mudimbe. This book charts the intellectual history of the seminal Congolese philosopher, epistemologist, and philologist from the late 1960s to the present day, exploring his major essays and novels. Pierre-Philippe Fraiture highlights Mudimbe’s trajectory through major debates on African nationalism, Panafricanism, neo-colonialism, negritude, pedagogy, Christianisation, decolonisation, anthropology, postcolonial representations, and a variety of other subjects, using these as contexts for close readings of many of Mudimbe’s texts, both influential and lesser-known. The book demonstrates that Mudimbe’s intellectual career has been informed by a series of decisive dialogues with some of the key exponents of Africanism (Herodotus, EW Blyden, Placide Tempels), continental and postcolonial thought (Jean-Paul Sartre, Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, and Claude Lévi-Strauss), and African thought and philosophy from Africa and the diaspora (L.S. Senghor, Patrice Nganang, and Achille Mbembe).

Professor Pierre-Philippe Fraiture is Head of French Studies at the University of Warwick. His previous books include 'La Mesure de l’autre: Afrique subsaharienne et roman ethnographique de Belgique et de France (1918-1940)', 'Bibilothèque de Littérature Générale et Comparée', Paris, Éditions Honoré Champion, 2007 and 'Le Congo belge et son récit à la veille des indépendances: Sous l’empire du royaume', coll. ‘Critiques Littéraires’, Paris, Éditions L’Harmattan, 2003

Acknowledgements List of Abbreviations Dedication Introduction - ‘Multidirectional Memory’ Chapter I – ‘Mission Impossible’ A Christian Library Shaba Deux Une Bible noire The Ancient Library Chapter II – ‘The Invention of Otherness’ Zairianisation The Community Chapter III – ‘The West or the Rest?’ The Authentic Other Ethnology as a Pretext From Ethnology to Ethics Chapter IV – ‘Changing Places’ Voyage in America An African Gnosis E.W. Blyden Foucault and an African Order of Knowledge Chapter V – ‘Independences?’ African Decolonisation Now Victims and Culprits as Survivors Conclusion - ‘The Return of the Unhomely Scholar’ Bibliography Index

I expect this book to contribute immensely to the fields and sub-fields it engages with, bridging disciplines and regional foci, and bringing Anglophone and Francophone scholars into (closer) dialogue. The book is theoretically advanced and develops its more general arguments in relation to, and by means of, selected textual and personal case studies that are embedded in specific regional and socio-historical circumstances. Still, its structure is sound, and the overall argument clear. It speaks to a wider interdisciplinary audience of researchers and (advanced or) graduate students in literature, philosophy, African Studies, (post)colonialism, intellectual history, and more.
Kai Kresse  
Columbia University

A detailed study of V. Y. Mudimbe’s critical and creative writing has long been overdue. That it should finally appear in a form that is accessible and genuinely illuminating will be a cause for celebration amongst scholars working not just in the areas of African Studies and postcolonial studies more widely, but for all those who share Mudimbe’s ‘undisciplined’ approach to the study of writing, history, and critical thought.
Aedin Ni Loingsigh  
University of Stirling

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 x 163 mm

256 Pages

ISBN: 9781846318948

Publication: August 30, 2013

Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 29

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