John Brown Childs, Professor Emeritus in Sociology, University of California Santa Cruz, writes about Cape Town Harmonies:
I have benefited from your openness to hearing the sounds, sights, and deep currents being expressed in the musics of the Cape Town Malay Choirs and Klopse.
I greatly appreciate and have learned much from this openness to the physicality and the alert mindful creativity of those who make this music that emerges from both universality and “locatable distinctiveness”.
Moreover, your emphasis on “cultural practices” as a wide “gamut of reactions to oppression, many of them pervaded by ambivalence”, is very illuminating. Indeed “ambivalence” is much too underrated in the social sciences. The ways in which the Choirs navigate countervailing currents is quite remarkable.
The ability of both of you to be there, to experience these “local imaginaries” presents your readers with a wonderful multi-dimensional, richly flavoured comprehension of this Cape Town world, for which I thank you.
I would also like to thank you for the chapter on appropriation. It is a very helpful analytical overview that will be useful in several discussions with which I am involved.
Knowledge for Justice was recently launched at the Southern African-Nordic Centre (SANORD) conference in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The conference ran from 28 November to 1 December 2017 under the theme “The Role of Universities in Research & Technology Transfer to Improve Livelihoods in Southern Africa”.
In a recent review of The Delusion of Knowledge Transfer, Mark Paterson expertly summed up of the role of donor funding, capacity development and governments in African Higher education:
Indeed, as a new study published by African Minds has revealed, broken, inadequate relationships between national governments and their local academic communities can undermine independent, democratic policy-making, leaving states prey to the agendas of foreign powers
In worst-case scenarios, foreign donors — despite their proclaimed intentions — can effectively take over national policymaking in young democracies such as South Africa and Tanzania, say German social scientists Susanne Koch and Peter Weingart. In their exploration of how the technocrats who are tied to foreign aid packages can influence government plans, they found that, without sufficient financial clout, administrative capacity and the support of a strong local academic community, governments can be rendered quite helpless in the face of imported policy prescriptions, with disastrous results. read more
“Overall this is an excellent publication, one that most people will want to read. It shows why the knowledge production functions were not developed historically in sub-Saharan Africa, and lays out what needs to be done to get them moving, with data based on evidence. It presents especially rich and very relevant material which I have found extremely useful, as will others. As someone who has done a great deal of quantitative analysis, including survey research, and has worked on the international collection of university data, I know how very difficult it is to collect accurate and useful data of this kind. The HERANA group and CHET are to be congratulated on the care and time they took in preparing this study, gathering and checking the data, and presenting it in this book. The study breaks new ground, is a major contribution to our understanding of higher education in sub-Saharan Africa and will significantly reward the reader’s attention.” Fred Hayward, South African Journal of Science 111(9/10). http://dx.doi. org/10.17159/sajs.2015/a0120
A review of Student Politics in Africa: Representation and Activism in the journal PERIPHERIE: Politik – Ökonomie – Kultur commends the volume for the array of themes relevant to contemporary debates in African higher education. According to the reviewer, Anna Deutschmann, Student Politics in Africa is a valuable contribution to the field, and lays the groundwork for further studies.
Read the review (in German).
In a review published in the journal Africa (86/2), Jonathan Harle writes of Knowledge Production and Contradictory Functions in African Higher Education:
[Its] commitment to painstaking data gathering (working to improve university data collection systems as the project proceeded) […] marks out both this collection and the eight years of work by the Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa (HERANA) that underpin it. […] The book’s examination of the different ways in which universities can and do play a developmental role is its particular strength. read more