On September 24, 2015, Mamadou Diouf, Columbia professor, director of the Institute for African Studies, and member of the Committee on Global Thought, delivered the keynote address titled “‘(Re)Appropriating the World’: Discourses of Subjectivities and Communities. Cases from Senegal” at the Africa-Asia: A New Axis of Knowledgeinternational conference at the University of Ghana, Legon.
Congratulations Professor Diouf!
Synopsis: The work in progress from which this presentation is an extract of, is an attempt to account for the different moments of global encounters in the Senegambian West African Coast from the foundation of Saint Louis, at the month of the Senegal river, by the French in 1659 to the present. In conversation with V. Y. Mudimbe’s discussion of the “invention of Africa”, identifying the three elements of “colonizing structure” and the colonial library associated with it, I explore the processes of refashioning European intrusion into local narratives and readjusting local narratives to engage with colonial attempts to capture and redirect dominated communities. My purpose is, to investigate the African self-reformation processes, engage in a critical reflection the dramatic political and cultural changes taking place in Senegal the last 20 to 30 years and interpret the direction of contemporary transformation and ways in which it is conceived, recorded and expressed by social actors, on the walls and streets of Senegalese cities, on male and female bodies and finally on their mind and spirituality through religious manifestations, confrontations and controversies.