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Alfred, Gerald Taiaiake. Wasáse: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom
2005, University of Toronto Press.
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Added by: Sonja Dobroski and Quentin Pharr
Publisher’s Note: The word Wasáse is the Kanienkeha (Mohawk) word for the ancient war dance ceremony of unity, strength, and commitment to action. The author notes, "This book traces the journey of those Indigenous people who have found a way to transcend the colonial identities which are the legacy of our history and live as Onkwehonwe, original people. It is dialogue and reflection on the process of transcending colonialism in a personal and collective sense: making meaningful change in our lives and transforming society by recreating our personalities, regenerating our cultures, and surging against forces that keep us bound to our colonial past."

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Arola, Adam. Native American Philosophy
2011, in The Oxford Handbook of World Philosophy, William Edelglass and Jay L. Garfield (eds.), OUP.
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Added by: Sonja Dobroski and Quentin Pharr
Abstract: This article introduces the central thinkers of contemporary American Indian philosophy by discussing concerns including the nature of experience, meaning, truth, the status of the individual and community, and finally issues concerning sovereignty. The impossibility of carving up the intellectual traditions of contemporary Native scholars in North America into neat and tidy disciplines must be kept in mind. The first hallmark of American Indian philosophy is the commitment to the belief that all things are related—and this belief is not simply an ontological claim, but rather an intellectual and ethical maxim.

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Azenabor, Godwin. The Idea of African Philosophy in African Language
2000, Indian Philosophical Quarterly. 27 (3): 321-328.
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Added by: Sara Peppe and Björn Freter
Abstract: The necessity of writing African philosophy in African languages has been proposed more than once. But, expressing African philosophy in indigenous languages of Africa does not make it more authentic. Authentic African philosophy is the philosophy that takes into account African culture and life. Moreover, the problem of using indigenous languages deals with the fact that the above-mentioned languages are scarcely taught in schools and have almost no place in education. Regarding this, the Nigeria case is paradigmatic.

Comment: Godwin Azenabor considers the problem of African philosophy in the African language by examining both the concepts of African philosophy and language. The author underlines that the fact that African philosophy should be written in the African language derives from the idea that other philosophies are written in their respective languages. This led the author to think that translating African philosophy into other languages may not depict the true picture of African philosophy, with African philosophy lacking in authenticity. The author focuses on the fact that African indigenous languages are not taught in schools, and scholars do not master the indigenous languages as much as to write in indigenous languages for education purposes. This occurs in Nigeria, where official institutions and education bodies use colonial languages. Plus, the problem of language is rooted in the idea that most African languages are local while philosophy aims to be international. The author also explains why Africans use colonial languages, i.e., to remove communication and understanding barriers. And Azenabor concludes that the language used does not determine the authenticity of African philosophy. Plus, what makes a philosophy African is that it is applied to the conceptual problems of African life and encompasses its tradition.

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Bodunrin, Peter Oluwambe. The Question of African Philosophy
1981, Philosophy. 56 (216): 161-179.
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Added by: Sara Peppe and Björn Freter
Abstract: Philosophy in Africa has for more than a decade now been dominated by the discussion of one compound question, namely, is there an African philosophy, and if there is, what is it? The first part of the question has generally been unhesitatingly answered in the affirmative. Dispute has been primarily over the second part of the question as various specimens of African philosophy presented do not seem to pass muster. Those of us who refuse to accept certain specimens as philosophy have generally been rather illogically said also to deny an affirmative answer to the first part of the question. In a paper presented at the International Symposium in Memory of Dr William Amo, the Ghanaian philosopher who taught in German universities in the early part of the eighteenth century, Professor Odera Oruka identified four trends, perhaps more appropriately approaches, in current African philosophy

Comment: The article is focused on the theme of African philosophy giving a clear picture of the difficulties in defining what is African philosophy. This paper does not treat the theme of African philosophy and African language, but it provides a base for the above-mentioned debate giving an account picture of African philosophy. The paper indicates that the philosopher Oruka found four trends in African philosophy: Ethno-philosophy, Philosophy sagacity, Nationalist-ideological philosophy and Professional philosophy. The author highlights that the nature of African philosophy is understood differently by the various contemporary African thinkers. And, the article deeply considers the effects of contact with Western populations. Thus, the article links the philosophical problem of defining philosophy in Africa with colonialism. Moreover, Bodunrin examines the four categories of African philosophy proposed by Oruka in the light of the four challenges Africa faces after entering in contact with Western countries.

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Césaire, Aimé. Discourse on Colonialism
2000, NYU Press
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Added by: Suddha Guharoy, Andreas Sorger

Publisher's Note: This classic work, first published in France in 1955, profoundly influenced the generation of scholars and activists at the forefront of liberation struggles in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Nearly twenty years later, when published for the first time in English, Discourse on Colonialism inspired a new generation engaged in the Civil Rights, Black Power, and anti-war movements and has sold more than 75,000 copies to date.

Aimé Césaire eloquently describes the brutal impact of capitalism and colonialism on both the colonizer and colonized, exposing the contradictions and hypocrisy implicit in western notions of "progress" and "civilization" upon encountering the "savage," "uncultured," or "primitive." Here, Césaire reaffirms African values, identity, and culture, and their relevance, reminding us that "the relationship between consciousness and reality are extremely complex. . . . It is equally necessary to decolonize our minds, our inner life, at the same time that we decolonize society."

Comment: Aimé Césaire’s Discourse on Colonialism is a foundational text in postcolonial theory, which provides an excoriating critique of not only European practices of colonialism, but also the underlying theories and logics used to justify them. Specifically, Césaire takes aim at the view of colonialism as a ‘civilising mission’, where benevolent Europeans would provide non-white non- Europeans with the tools necessary for modernisation. Instead, he argued that colonialism wrought destruction everywhere it went, killing people, eradicating civilisations, and obliterating any alternative cultural ideas that contrasted European values. Crucially, Césaire explores the psychological effects of colonialism on both the colonised and the coloniser – a theme that would be taken further by Frantz Fanon (a student of Césaire’s) in his writings.

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Cobb-Greetham, Amanda. Understanding Tribal Sovereignty: Definitions, Conceptualizations, and Interpretations
2005, American Studies, 46(3), 115–132.
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Abstract: Forty years have passed since the Midcontinent American Studies Journal published its landmark special issue, "The Indian Today."  Since that publication, the landscape of Indian country has changed dramatically. This change has come primarily from an amazing cultural resurgence among Native Peoples in the United States — a resurgence that has manifested itself in everything from the Red Power movement to the birth of American Indian studies in the academy; to the renaissance of contemporary Native art, literature, and film; to the creation of tribal colleges, museums, and cultural centers; to the unprecedented rise in economic development; to notable gains in power in political and legal arenas.

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Coombe, Rosemary J.. The Properties of Culture and the Politics of Possessing Identity: Native Claims in the Cultural Appropriation Controversy.
1993, Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 6(2): 249-285.
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Added by: Erich Hatala Matthes
Abstract: The West has created categories of property, including intellectual property, which divides peoples and things according to the same colonizing discourses of possessive individualism that historically disentitled and disenfranchised Native peoples in North America. These categories are often presented as one or both of neutral and natural, and often racialized. The commodification and removal of land from people’s social relations which inform Western valuations of cultural value and human beings living in communities represents only one particular, partial way of categorizing the world. Legal and cultural manifestations of authorship, culture, and property are contingent upon Enlightenment and Romantic notions built upon a colonial foundation. I will argue that the law rips apart what First Nations peoples view as integrally and relationally joined, but traditional Western understandings of culture, identity, and property are provoked, challenged, and undermined by the concept of Aboriginal Title in a fashion that is both necessary and long overdue.

Comment: In this wide-ranging essay, Coombe situates debates about cultural appropriation in the context of colonial power dynamics. She discusses both appropriation of styles and stories as well as alienation of material cultural property. In particular, she criticizes the appeal to Western conceptions of property in these debates, and questions whether Native identity and autonomy can be appropriately protected by subsuming Native intangible cultural property claims under Western frameworks for intellectual property. This is a long and challenging essay, best used for more advanced courses. Alternative texts that capture some of the ideas here include Loretta Todd's "Notes on Appropriation" (on which Coombe draws), or, for a text that situates some of these ideas in the literature on epistemic injustice, see Erich Hatala Matthes, "Cultural Appropriation without Cultural Essentialism?".

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Davis, Angela. Women, Race, and Class
1981, Random House.
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Added by: Anne-Marie McCallion
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Angela Davis provides a powerful history of the social and political influence of whiteness and elitism in feminism, from abolitionist days to the present, and demonstrates how the racist and classist biases of its leaders inevitably hampered any collective ambitions. While Black women were aided by some activists like Sarah and Angelina Grimke and the suffrage cause found unwavering support in Frederick Douglass, many women played on the fears of white supremacists for political gain rather than take an intersectional approach to liberation. Here, Davis not only contextualizes the legacy and pitfalls of civil and women’s rights activists, but also discusses Communist women, the murder of Emmitt Till, and Margaret Sanger’s racism. Davis shows readers how the inequalities between Black and white women influence the contemporary issues of rape, reproductive freedom, housework and child care in this bold and indispensable w

Comment: Angela Davis is an American political activist, philosopher, academic and author. She is a professor at the University of California and a longtime member of the Communist Party USA. She is also a founding member of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS) and the author of over ten books on class, feminism, race, and the US prison system. Women, Race and Class is a Marxist feminist analysis of gender, race and class. The third book written by Davis, it covers U.S. history from the slave trade and abolitionism movements to the women's liberation movements which began in the 1960s. In this chapter, Davis examines and describes the unwritten history of black women slaves and their legacies.

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Gyekye, Kwame. An Essay on African Philosophical Thought. The Akan Conceptual Scheme
1987, Temple University Press
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Added by: Sara Peppe and Björn Freter
Publisher’s Note: In this sustained and nuanced attempt to define a genuinely African philosophy, Kwame Gyekye rejects the idea that an African philosophy consists simply of the work of Africans writing on philosophy. It must, Gyekye argues, arise from African thought itself, relate to the culture out of which it grows, and provide the possibility of a continuation of a philosophy linked to culture. Offering a philosophical clarification and interpretation of the concepts in the ontology, philosophical psychology, theology, and ethics of the Akan of Ghana, Gyekye argues that critical analyses of specific traditional African modes of thought are necessary to develop a distinctively African philosophy as well as cultural values in the modern world.

Comment: A classical work of modern African philosophy and, because of its analysis of the conceptual scheme, highly relevant for the context of African philosophy and language.

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Hoffmann, Nimi. Involuntary experiments in former colonies: The case for a moratorium
2020, World Development 127, 104805-104808
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Anonymous

Abstract: There is a rich literature on the use of medical trials as a model for designing and evaluating the outcomes of social policy interventions in former colonies. Yet social experimentalists have not engaged in a correspondingly vibrant discussion of medical ethics. A systematic review of social experiments shows that few studies explicitly discuss informed consent, or the serious constraints on securing informed consent from impoverished or child participants, particularly in the context of cluster randomization. The silence on informed consent, and in some cases active denial thereof, suggests that it is often considered less important than other elements of experimental design. This matters since involuntary experimentation on vulnerable people violates their personhood, increases the risk of unintended harm, and establishes continuities with colonial experimentation. There is a need to develop more effective mechanisms for regulating social experiments in former colonies. In the interim, scholars in the South have a responsibility to call for a moratorium on experiments.

Comment: Are useful counterweight to the literature on the randomise control trial is in development economics, shows that they are much more ethically controversial than they're willing to admit, also good for bringing out of the colonial aspect of even contemporary economics.

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Jeffers, Chike. The Ethics and Politics of Cultural Preservation
2015, Journal of Value Inquiry 49(1-2): 205-220.
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Added by: Erich Hatala Matthes
Summary: Jeffers offers an account of the moral permissibility, and moreover, praiseworthiness of cultural preservation for the sake of the continued existence of cultural groups. He defends this argument against challenges about inauthenticity and incoherence leveled by Jeremy Waldron and Sam Scheffler. In a political context, Jeffers argues that cultural preservation can be obligatory as a component of resistance against colonialism and racism.

Comment: This text is readily applicable to a variety of cultural practices that constitute part of a cultural heritage or practice. It offers thoughtful considerations for discussion concerning the reasons one might have to engage (or not) in a particular cultural artistic practice.

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Lewis Gordon. An Introduction to Africana Philosophy
2008, Cambridge University Press
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Added by: Sara Peppe, Contributed by: Jonathan Egid
Publisher’s Note:

In this undergraduate textbook Lewis R. Gordon offers the first comprehensive treatment of Africana philosophy, beginning with the emergence of an Africana (i.e. African diasporic) consciousness in the Afro-Arabic world of the Middle Ages. He argues that much of modern thought emerged out of early conflicts between Islam and Christianity that culminated in the expulsion of the Moors from the Iberian Peninsula, and from the subsequent expansion of racism, enslavement, and colonialism which in their turn stimulated reflections on reason, liberation, and the meaning of being human. His book takes the student reader on a journey from Africa through Europe, North and South America, the Caribbean, and back to Africa, as he explores the challenges posed to our understanding of knowledge and freedom today, and the response to them which can be found within Africana philosophy.

Comment: The single best short introduction to the subject, for use in any context that requires quick acquaintance with these ideas and thinkers of the African context.

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Mabe, Jacob Emmanuel. The Situation of the Indigenous African Languages as a Challenge for Philosophy
2020, Philosophy Study. 10 (10): 667-677.
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Added by: Sara Peppe and Björn Freter
Abstract: In view of the increasing demands for the rehabilitation and promotion of indigenous African languages, a philosophical answer to the question of what can and should be done to effectively counteract the continuing marginalization of languages is often required. Despite the relatively successful coexistence of African and European languages, which has produced mixed languages, all measures must be taken to ensure that the native languages of Africa are used in the future as a means of expressing Africa’s identities and worldviews. This chapter tries to show how the philosophy of convergence can contribute to overcome the language dilemma in Africa.

Comment: This article treats the theme of the marginalization of African indigenous languages in African philosophy and proposes a way of solving this issue through transcription and semantic transmission applied in philosophical translation. Plus, the paper highlights that to solve marginalization, Africa urgently needs a policy on languages that encourages the use of native languages. This would be helpful for African philosophy since, in this way, African thinkers can express African patterns of thinking, values, cultural heritage and identity.

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Maracle, Lee. I Am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism
2002, Press Gang Publishers, Canada.
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Added by: Sonja Dobroski and Quentin Pharr
Publisher’s Note: I Am Woman represents my personal struggle with womanhood, culture, traditional spiritual beliefs and political sovereignty, written during a time when that struggle was not over. My original intention was to empower Native women to take to heart their own personal struggle for Native feminist being. The changes made in this second edition of the text do not alter my original intention. It remains my attempt to present a Native woman's sociological perspective on the impacts of colonialism on us, as women, and on my self personally.

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Mukherji, Parul Dave. Who is afraid of Mimesis? Contesting the Common Sense of Indian Aesthetics through the Theory of ‘Mimesis’ or Anukaraṇa Vâda
2016, In Arindam Chakrabarti (ed.). The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Indian Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 71-92.
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Added by: Meilin Chinn
Summary: A rejoinder to the claim that mimesis is unimportant in Indian art and aesthetics. Dave-Mukherji seeks to decolonize Indian aesthetics from its internalized Western ethnocentrism, according to which mimesis belongs to the domain of Western art and aesthetics, and open new, non-binary terrain for comparative aesthetics. She seeks to revive the complex theory of visual representation theorized in ancient Indian art treatises, particularly the concept of anukrti, a term she considers cognate to mimesis.

Comment: This text is appropriate for a course in aesthetics and/or comparative aesthetics. It provides an excellent background for a cross-cultural discussion of mimesis.

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