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"Thinking Freedom" wins Book Award

Date Released: Wed, 1 February 2017 11:45 +0200

Press Release

The Caribbean Philosophical Association is pleased to announce Thinking Freedom in Africa is one of the 2017 Frantz Fanon Outstanding Book Award winners.

Michael Neocosmos, Thinking Freedom in Africa. Johannesburg, SA: Wits University Press, 2016:http://www.abe.pl/en/book/9781868148660/thinking-freedom-in-africa-toward-a-theory-of-emancipatory-politics           

Professor Michael Neocosmos is Director of the Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University (UHURU) in South Africa.   In addition to his many articles, translations, and books, he has dedicated his life to emancipatory struggles, in which he has been involved across the globe and especially on the African continent over the past three decades.

For more on Professor Neocosmos, see: https://www.ru.ac.za/uhuru/people/profmichaelneocosmos/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Neocosmos 

Upon hearing the news, Firoze Manji, Founder of Pambazuka News and publisher of Daraja Press, commented: “This exceptional book finally reasserts the struggle for EMANCIPATION and a universal humanity as being central to an understanding of the history of Africa as well as the essential basis for constructing a future based on humanity, equality and justice. Michael is to be congratulated for reestablishing African people's contribution to humanity, something that has long been occluded by both Africans and Africanists.”  

One of the referee report to the Awards Committee concurs: “… given that the global division of academic labour continues to assume that Africans will, as Lewis Gordon notes, provide experience to be theorized by the West, the fact that this book thinks from Africa, via an engagement with popular struggles in Africa and in conversation with a genuinely international body of theory, there is something heretical, and genuinely politically significant, about this project.”

President Neil Roberts agrees:  “The concept and phenomenology of freedom are subjects of heated ongoing debates.  Michael Neocosmos’s brilliant tome brings this discourse, bringing it to bear on contemporary South Africa. Neocosmos’s methodology distinguishes itself through integrating two bodies of literature: Africana political theory and Euro-French philosophy.  The unique descriptions of Steve Biko, Achille Mbembe, Amilcar Cabral, Alain Badiou, Jacques Rancière, Sylvain Lazarus, along with many others, are exquisite, as are the contextual forays into the Haitian Revolution, the Land and Freedom Army in Kenya, and 1980s South Africa.  The result most certainly facilitates actualization of the Caribbean Philosophical Association’s motto to shift the geography of reason.”

The other recipient is Santiago Slabodsky, Decolonial Judaism: Triumphal Failures of Barbaric Thinking.  New York: PalgraveMacmillan, 2014.

The award ceremony will take place at the Caribbean Philosophical Association’s international conference, June 22nd to 24th, 2017, at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York City in the United States: