Debate from ROAPE Volume 25 Number 76
ROAPE & the Radical Africanist: What Next?
Giles Mohan has invited us to contribute to a debate in these pages ‘concerning the future of African studies and of ROAPE's political-intellectual role in this.’ He suggests that ‘some editors of ROAPE are concerned that the journal has lost the political focus with which it began and which marked it as a radical alternative to the "mainstream".’ Note that in this latter formulation the question is less about the future of African studies per se than it is about the future of ‘radical’ African studies. It is, in fact, the latter subject that our remarks will chiefly address (1). We do agree with Mohan that this seems a good moment to think aloud about what both ROAPE and radical Africanists are up to - even though we will argue that neither need spend too much time apologising for what they/we have been/ are doing. The main challenge is to do ‘our thing’ even better, and to do it even more relevantly to the considerable complexities of the current moment. We will develop our thoughts by dealing, in turn, with each of the six specific questions Mohan raises in the ‘guidelines’ he proposes for the debate.&break; Question 1: What do you consider to have been ROAPE's strengths and weaknesses? &break; Question 2: What do you consider are ROAPE's present strengths and weaknesses?