Title: Digitalization and the Field of African Studies
Author: Mirjam de Bruijn
Series: Carl Schlettwein Lecture, 12
Publisher: Basler Afrika Bibliographien
Basel, Switzerland 2017
ISBN 9783905758986 / ISBN 978-3-905758-98-6
15 x 22 cm, 44 pages, some b/w imgages, one map
In her work, Digitalization and the Field of African Studies, Mirjam de Bruijn, Professor of Contemporary History and Anthropology of Africa at Leiden University, straddles disciplines, History and Anthropology, and uses this interdisciplinary perspective to cast a look at a vast array of topics: nomadism, youth and children, social (in)security, poverty, margin-ality, social and economic exclusion, violence, human rights and, of course, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). These topics all resonated in the theme of EC AS: Urban Africa - Urban Africans: New encounters of the rural and the urban. In fact, they describe the properties of African urban settings bringing to our attention how our scholarly endeavor is shaped by an interest in the way things came to be the way they are (History), on the one hand, and how they locally produce the conditions of their own intelligibility (Anthropology), on the other. Through her work, Mirjam de Bruijn is at home in many parts of West Africa, especially in Tchad, Mali and Cameroon. She is what she does research on: a nomad, a mobile person, but also a product of the world we live in. She offers us glimpses of worlds far away from the immediacy of the narcissist gaze shaping how we seek to retrieve the world in the social sciences. Mirjam de Bruijn, is a formidable fellow traveler helping us make sense of the ways we came to have a world of margins and centers.