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The ASA at 60: Advocacy in an Age of Tyranny

  • M. Anne Pitcher
Abstract:

Although the sixtieth anniversary of the ASA’s founding offers an occasion to celebrate the association’s accomplishments, it also coincides with a historical moment of resurgent authoritarianism, growing intolerance, and renascent nativism. Democratic institutions in the United States and abroad are under attack; bigotry, injustice, and incivility have become re-energized. This article reflects on the discourses, spaces, and technologies employed by Africans to contest the multiple expressions of political exclusion on the continent over the last sixty years. It finds inspiration and lessons that might guide us as we develop our own forms of political advocacy in this illiberal age.

Même si le soixantième anniversaire de la Fondation de l’ASA offre une occasion de célébrer les réalisations de l’association, elle coïncide également avec un moment historique ou l’autoritarisme et le nativisme ont resurgit accompagnés d’une intolérance croissante. Les institutions démocratiques aux États-Unis et à l’étranger sont attaquées ; la bigoterie, l’injustice et l’incivilité sont redynamisées. Cet article se penche sur les discours, les espaces et les technologies employées par les Africains pour contester les expressions multiples de l’exclusion politique sur le continent au cours des soixante dernières années. Cette étude offre inspiration et des leçons qui pourraient nous guider alors que nous développons nos propres formes d’action politique dans cette ère d’intolérance.

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Footnotes
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Editor’s Note: This article is a revised version of the Presidential Address given at the Sixtieth Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, November 2017, Chicago, Illinois.

Footnotes
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