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The First Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in African Studies

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Kelvin Acheampong

My academic journey has been largely driven by my fascination with stories and doing things with words. I have always cherished the thrill of a good read and the stealthy slipping in and out of worlds through reading. This is why I chose to study literature (both in secondary school and for my undergraduate education) and also why I accepted an offer to work at the Department of English and the Carnegie Writing Centre (both at the University of Ghana) as a teaching and research assistant. During my undergraduate education, to the credit of writers like Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Ayi Kwei Armah, V.S. Naipaul and Niyi Osundare, I became intrigued with post-colonial (literary) studies.

The EIMAS’ amazing interdisciplinarity has necessarily implied the welcome challenge of grappling with subjects beyond my immediate ken, as a result of which I have discovered in very telling ways the inherent interdisciplinarity of literature. I have also been introduced to stimulating discussions around decolonial thinking. The EIMAS journey, for me, has, therefore, been pure serendipity. One of such discoveries is that although African thinkers such as Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Cheikh Anta Diop, Kwame Nkrumah and Leopold Senghor have long made profound contributions to decolonial thinking, decolonial thought is often (re)packaged in contemporary discussions as though it were totally novel and given South American origins—privileging scholars such as Anibal Quijano, Walter D. Mignolo and Maria Lugones (Ndlovu-Gathseni, 2020). In an attempt to equilibrise this case of epistemic injustice, my master thesis will tell the decolonial literary tale in African Studies by foregrounding the often-ignored contributions of African writers to decolonial thinking.

Aside academia, I have experimented with a number of writing genres: fiction (e.g., Smiles and Lies), non-fiction (e.g., Essay Writing Demystified: A Comprehensive Guide to Essay Writing for Secondary School Students) and Christian blogging (e.g., Like Chasing After the Wind, The Beau Ideal of Life: Giving Everything for What Truly Matters and A Peculiar Struggle (Parts I-III ). I like to think of myself as a lifelong learner.

Ndlovu-Gathseni, S. J. (2020). The Cognitive Empire, Politics of Knowledge and African Intellectual Productions: Reflections on Struggles for Epistemic Freedom and Resurgence of Decolonization in the Twenty-First Century. Third World Quarterly, 1-20. doi:https://www.tandfonline.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1080/01436597.2020.1775487


Contact: sam.kevin65@gmail.com

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