The Afterlife of Pan-Africanism and the Spirit of Development

Presenters: Zachary Mondesire, Assistant Professor, Pardee School of Global Studies

Abstract: Since the moment of decolonization in Africa it seems that the political import of the Pan-African anti-imperialist worldview has waned. Yet, the project of continental unity has nevertheless persisted at regional and continental scales, as individuals and governments imagine and enact various forms of political and economic cooperation. This paper sits in the space that Pan-Africanism once occupied to ask what other ideological source material has become available to drive projects of international connectivity in East Africa in particular? This paper centers two icons that have emerged in this moment. The first is  Mabior Garang, the son of South Sudan’s national hero who lives a quiet town in central Kenya building a home, a temple and a farm that he believes will play a crucial role in the future of South Sudan, the newest nation in the world. Mabior is the eldest son of the country’s founding father, Dr. John Garang. The second is the Agha Khan, the hereditary Imam of the Ismaili community, the ethical principles that guide commitments to transnational community and responsibility. This paper  explores the work of their metaphors for social change and pluralism, the tomato revolution and the cosmopolitan ethic.

Reading the paper in advance is required for attendance. In order to receive the paper, please register for this workshop.

Time: Friday, March 22, noon-1:30 PM

Location:Pardee School of Global Studies, 154 Bay State Road, 2nd floor (Eilts Room)

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