40 , 2018-03 , The Research Committee for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
For whom do we research Africa and for what purpose? We, as scholars working outside of and within Africa on Africa-related research projects and teaching, should periodically return to this question in order to reflect on the challenges, opportunities and legitimacy of our own work. From colonial times in which constituent disciplines within African Studies were aiding dominant powers to grasp knowledge of local contexts to facilitate control, to the 60s and 70s when African Studies was called upon to produce new understandings of Africa in and for post-colonial times to more contemporary endeavours, African Studies presents different morphologies in each era and in each context. This short article reflects on the state of African Studies in the UK and more broadly in Europe in recent times, highlighting reconfigurations brought about by national and international challenges such as migration, European divisions, funding, institutions, networks and most recently, who produces knowledge about Africa and for whom.