Dr Sylvia Tamale will on Thursday September 24th 2020 be discussing her newest book Decolonization and Afro-Feminism with writer and feminist scholar Charmainne Pereira. The discussion will be hosted by Fironze Manji, from publishing house Daraja Press and it will be live on both YouTube and Facebook.
According to Amazon where the book is selling for 34 USD, the overall objective of Decolonization and Afro-Feminism is to foreground feminist perspectives within the African decolonization debate, exposing the intersectional dynamic between forces such as racialism, capitalism and patriarchy. Power and resistance are the main themes of the volume. The prefix "de-" in the term "decolonization" connotes an active action of undoing or reversal. For Africa, the concept is heavily burdened with deep and complex histories, many of whose consequences are irreversible.
The book speaks to the dismantling of the several layers of entrenched colonial structures, ideologies, narratives, identities and practices that pervade every aspect of our lives. And yet, Africa must think beyond de-construction; after all, the term itself forces us back, time and again, into the arms of the colonial. Ultimately, the African agenda for decolonization must involve re-constructions, re-clamations and re-assertions.
The site information on the book further breaks it down by chapter; Chapter One establishes the backdrop against which the rest of the book is built, followed by Chapter Two which elaborates on the decolonization processes.
Chapter Three introduces African feminisms within the context of coloniality, exploring the landscape of women and gender studies on the continent before zeroing-in on the concept of intersectionality and its link to decolonization. The chapter closes with a discussion of a particular form of intersectionality which exposes the nature of human oppression within patriarchy and its connection to the exploitation of the natural environment. Here, Africa's traditional relationship with nature is linked to the concept of Afro-ecofeminism.
In Chapter Four the coloniality of the normative concepts of sex, gender and sexuality, empitomized in the case of South African Olympic Athlete, Caster Semenya is challenged. Through a juxtaposition of Semenya's story with that of another Olympian, Michael Phelps, the chapter analyzes the colonial power dynamics at play in reinforcing dualistic gender norms and heteronormativity.
Chapter Five of the book tackles the issue of legal pluralism, as understood and applied on the continent. Issues relating to customary law, popular justice and religious relativism are critically analyzed within the context of coloniality. Unpacking the concept of human rights is the main goal of the sixth chapter, particularly its relevance to gender justice, critiquing the very concept of "gender equality," rings hollow to the lived experiences of most African women. The African concept of Ubuntu is flagged as one possible alternative for women's social justice. In Chapter Seven, the work turns to the subject matter of decolonizing the African Academy. What role do these institutions-whose roots and discourse are deeply embedded in colonial history-play in lifting the continent out of underdevelopment?
After a brief discussion of internalized colonization, the chapter suggests five different ways that the African Academy can liberate itself from the yoke of colonialism. The penultimate chapter discusses the institution of the family in Africa using Uganda as a case study. It examines the role of the family in perpetuating hetero-patriarchal capitalism and discusses the efficacy of public interest litigation as a strategy for gender justice. The final chapter investigates the Pan-Africanist movement from a feminist point of view, with the goal of surfacing the work and ideas of women which have been invisibilized within this historical movement. An epilogue at the end of the book charts out Africa's challenges in the age of big data and the new digital colonialism.
REVIEWS FROM AMAZON
In this boldly argued and well-written book, the seasoned intellectual/teacher/activist Sylvia Tamale presents Africa as an urgent decolonial Pan-African project. Using an Afro-feminist lens, she gives us a roadmap as she deconstructs gender, sexuality, the law, family and even Pan-Africanism. Decolonization and Afro- Feminism makes a major epistemic contribution to charting Africa's way forward. A comprehensive effort, it should have a broad appeal transcending disciplines and other colonial borders. Tamale alerts us to new forms of domination such as digital colonialism. This book will leave you thinking!-Oyeronke Oyewumi, author of The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses
Decolonization and Afro-Feminism is a book we all need! It brings an encyclopaedic rigour and a committed feminist analysis to the study of decolonization and what it offers as a liberatory praxis in contemporary Africa. Sylvia Tamale's scholarship has always been rooted in solidarity with the lived struggles of African feminists, queer communities and African academics, and it shows in her exploration of the many challenges that have shaped contemporary struggles around gender, sexuality, race, justice and Africa's freedom. Essential Reading.-Jessica Horn, Feminist writer and co-founder, African Feminist Forum Working Group
In this extraordinary and erudite book, Sylvia Tamale, the distinguished Ugandan scholar and public intellectual, brilliantly dissects and demolishes the dangerous tropes of coloniality that distort our understanding of African societies, cultures, bodies, institutions, experiences, social relations, and realities. She unsparingly and compellingly advances the analytical power and emancipatory possibilities of decolonial feminism. Using the concept of intersectionality she moves seamlessly and examines with a sense of fierce urgency the decolonial project over a wide range of spheres from ecofeminism to sports, the law, religion, human rights, Ubuntu, the academy, family relations, Pan- Africanism, and big data. A must read for all those who value the decolonization of Eurocentric and androcentric knowledges and the recentering of African epistemologies and ontologies. It is a clarion call for the continent's feminist epistemic liberation.- Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, Professor of the Humanities and Social Sciences and Vice Chancellor, United States International University-Africa, Nairobi, Kenya
About the author
Dr. Sylvia Tamale is a leading African feminist, multidisciplinary scholar and Coordinator of the Law, Gender and Sexuality Research Centre based at the School of Law, Makerere University in Uganda. Prof Tamale was the first female Dean of Law in Uganda and has been a visiting professor at several universities including Oxford, Pretoria and Zimbabwe. Prof Tamale combines her academic scholarship with activism and adopts a critical approach to the Law that aims at enhancing students’ transformative personal growth and agency. She has served on several national and international boards, including the Global Commission on HIV and the Law. She is the author of numerous publications.