UKZN Hosts Visiting Scholars
The Paulo Freire Project of the Centre for Adult Education at the School of Education on the Pietermaritzburg campus recently hosted three eminent speakers who made presentations on a variety of contemporary issues.
They were Dr Firoze Manji, the Head of Documentation and Information Centre of the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Professor Aziz Choudry and Visiting Chair in Europhilosophy in the Department of Philosophy at Toulouse University and the Nelson Mandela Visiting Professorship at Rhodes University, Professor Lewis Gordon.
Manji, co-editor of Claim no easy victories: The legacy of Amilcar Cabral, spoke on the legacy of Amilcar Cabral, particularly in relation to education. Manji made references to his book published last year to mark the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Cabral, the revolutionary African thinker and leader.
The book includes contributions from luminaries such as Samir Amin, Angela David, and Lewis Gordon.
Associate Professor in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University in Canada, Choudry delivered a presentation on “NGOization and Social Change: Complicity, Contradictions and Prospects”.
According to Choudry, alongside the rapid proliferation of NGOs in recent decades, NGOization - the professionalization and institutionalisation of social action - has long been a hotly contested issue in grassroots social movements and communities of resistance across the world.
He considered how this phenomenon impacted on struggles for social and environmental justice.
The seminar was well attended by a very engaged audience of staff and students from different disciplines on the Pietermaritzburg campus, staff from local NGOs, and members of the public.
World-renowned Afro-Jewish Philosopher, Political Thinker, Educator, and Musician, Gordon addressed a packed room of staff and students from numerous disciplines on the Pietermaritzburg campus, as well as from civil society organisations.
He spoke on: “Africana Critical Pedagogy”, focusing on the Africana philosophical influences on Paulo Freire’s thought, critiques raised from Africana existential phenomenological approaches and other pedagogical considerations to consider for practices of emancipatory education.
Discussing the seminars and discussions led by the visiting scholars, Centre for Adult Education Academic Dr Anne Harley said: ‘It has been a pleasure to host speakers of such calibre and repute, continuing the project’s tradition of bringing to the Pietermaritzburg campus fascinating, engaged activist-academics.’