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BOOK REVIEW: Toyin Falola’s Decolonizing African Studies: Knowledge Production, Agency, And Voice



BOOK REVIEW: Toyin Falola's Decolonizing African Studies: Knowledge Production, Agency, And Voice
Oluwatoyin Vincent Adepoju


Oluwatoyin Vincent Adepoju

Having at last got my hands on Toyin Falola’s Decolonizing African Studies: Knowledge Production, Agency, and Voice, University of Rochester Press, 2022, I did a very fast speed reading of the book of 678 pages and careful exposition and argument, in order to discern its flavour, scope and thrust. An exercise of perhaps one hour, with the intention of returning later to more careful reading.

The book demonstrates Falola as a master of the protocols of writing a generally accessible academic book which is yet summative of the field in question, engaging significantly with its constitutive ideas. On account of the sheer scope of the work in terms of its sweeping coverage of practically every aspect of the subject, and its analytical range, the extensiveness of its engagement with the relevant issues and ideas in almost every aspect of African Studies, anyone who wants to gain an overview of the subject in depth is likely to find this book indispensable.

Toyin Falola's Decolonizing African Studies: Knowledge Production, Agency, And Voice

The book is written in terms of a combination of logical rigour and expressive accessibility, so that practically anyone can read it with benefit, from the undergraduate, to anyone new to the subject, to the advanced scholar in the field. The person new to the field will be introduced to its relevance, ideational scope, historical progression and the role of particular figures in the subject, across time and space. Such readers will also benefit from the summaries that conclude every chapter.

The advanced scholar in the field will encounter a multidisciplinary expansiveness that takes in practically every aspect of the humanities and social sciences, addressing these in terms of ideational detail, historical specificity and flow and analyses of the contributions of key figures, across practically all disciplines in African Studies except the sciences.

It would be great if Falola were also to go in more depth into similar issues in relation to the sciences in the African context, a task possible even if one has little background in science, since history and philosophy of science are quite accessible to all readers. Along those lines, the work of Aime Dafon Segla, Ron Eglash, Abdul Karim Bangura and Gloria Emeagwali, among other sources, could be very helpful. If Falola has addressed the sciences as a part of African Studies in depth in this or other texts, I apologise for my omission or misinformedness.

READ ALSO: Toyin Falola’s Decolonizing African Studies: Knowledge Production, Agency, And Voice

Along similar lines, one might take exception to aspects of Falola’s approach, envisaging variations of how the task of the book may be performed, such as his not seeming to discuss Isidore Okpewho’s pioneering work in African epic, even though Áfrican epic is engaged significantly in the text, complementing Falola’s co-edited cutting edge book on African orature published recently.

Decolonizing African Studies also seems not to contain one of the best things I have read from Falola, the essay ”Ritual Archives”, on the same subject as that of the book, and does not seem to have the compelling ”Pluriversalism, ” on the same subject, these two superb pieces, showing Falola at his individualistic best, written in the depth of adventurous ruminations, published in The Toyin Falola Reader. Apologies if I missed their presence in this book.

Such differences of perspective on how a project such as this book should be executed are part of the circumstances that frame any human project, talk less a work of such multidisciplinary range, ideational scope and historical sweep. As it is, this work, like Falola’s entire career, is an example of colossal ambition and drive, suggesting what can be done by an adequately determined person. The sheer level of reading demonstrated, the vastness of historical and ideational range covered, makes the text encyclopedic of its subject, such that, like some other books of Falola’s, if this were the only text he published, as an important landmark in the field, the work would permanently place his name in the record of the development of the field in question.


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Arts & Culture

Ghana University Holds Art Talk With Toyin Falola



Prof. Falola’s Art Talk is part of the project ‘Back to the Small Stage’, a journey conceived by Rebecca De Marchi to meet thinkers and reflect on how the production of knowledge starting from the Earth generates a variety of worlds and ways of inhabiting and using them. The project’s title takes inspiration from ‘The Monadology’ by Leibniz and refers to the immanent life after death. Using the fold metaphor, Deleuze suggests the discovery of connections between incompossible worlds.

In the Art Talk, Prof. Falola will reflect on the worlds shaped by ritual archives, organic libraries and African science and technology and their contemporary potentiality in a post-colonial and post-human scenario.

Toyin Falola, Professor of History, University Distinguished Teaching Professor, and the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, the University of Texas at Austin. He is an Honorary Professor, University of Cape Town, and Extraordinary Professor of Human Rights, University of the Free State. He had served as the General Secretary of the Historical Society of Nigeria, the President of the African Studies Association, Vice-President of UNESCO Slave Route Project, and the Kluge Chair of the Countries of the South, Library of Congress. He is a member of the Scholars’ Council, Kluge Center, the Library of Congress. He has received over thirty lifetime career awards and fourteen honorary doctorates. He has written extensively on the humanities, including The Humanities in Africa: Knowledge Production, Universities, and the Production of Knowledge, and a forthcoming book by Rochester University Press, Decolonizing African Studies: Knowledge Production, Agency, and Voices. Professor Toyin Falola is a celebrated author, editor, writer, poet, academic leader, organizer, teacher, Pan-Africanist, and a visionary of extraordinary grace, talent, and accomplishments. An author and editor of over one hundred and fifty books on Africa and the African Diaspora, he has been invited to speak in all continents, and in over sixty countries, and widely proclaimed as Africa’s preeminent historian and one of the major intellectuals of our time. Many of his books have received awards, defined various fields, and inspired the writings of various critical works. He manages five distinguished scholarly monograph series, and serves on the board of over twenty journals. Being a global icon in African Studies, Toyin Falola has received several honorary doctorates across the globe.

‘Back to the Small Stage’ project is supported by the Italian Council, having as cultural partners SCCA Tamale and KNUST Kumasi (in Ghana), Leibniz Archive Hannover and M. Bassy Hamburg (Germany), and Associazione Isole Palermo and IUNO Roma (Italy).

The Art Talk is made in collaboration with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The University of Texas, and the Pan-African University Press.

Date: Monday, Jun 12, 2023 ⋅ 3pm Ghana / 10am Austin / 4pm Nigeria
Venue: blaxTARLINES, KNUST, Kumasi (and live on blaxTARLINES’ Facebook and Instagram)
Join Live:

ID meeting: 842 7780 5325
Passcode: 049252

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Toyin Falola, Citizenship And The Diaspora In The Digital Age: Farooq Kperogi And The Virtual Community



Citizenship and the Diaspora in the Digital Age: Farooq Kperogi and the Virtual Community (Africa: Past, Present, and Prospects) | © May 2023 | ISBN: 9781666933413 | By Toyin Falola

Book Details

Publisher‏: ‎ Lexington Books (May 2023)

Language‏: ‎ English

Paperback: ‎ 384 pages

ISBN: ‎ 9781666933413


• Acknowledgment

• Preface And Prologue

• Table of Contents

• Introduction


Chapter 1: Building an Online Audience

Chapter 2: Philosophical Foundations

Chapter 3: Black Cultures


Chapter 4: The Decay in Pre-Tertiary Education in Nigeria

Chapter 5: ASUU and the Decay in Tertiary Education

Chapter 6: Comparing Higher Education in Nigeria and America

Chapter 7: Politicizing: Media Communications in A Democracy

Chapter 8: The English of the Nation

Chapter 9: Comparative “Englishes”

Chapter 10: Societal Decadence

Chapter 11: A Nation on the Boil


Chapter 12: Assessment, Expansion and Evaluation

In Citizenship and the Diaspora in the Digital Age: Farooq Kperogi and the Virtual Community, Toyin Falola examines how the members of the Nigerian diaspora create a virtual community and instrumentalize the digital age to speak about the nation and its failures, possibilities, and promises. This book depicts individuals’ relationships with society and how the world’s progressive shift toward technology and globalization does not disregard the concept of society and its members. As a result of this shift, people have been migrating to new places without giving up their citizenship in their home countries. This book explores how migrants are focused on the idea of a virtual community, examines how citizens’ roles have evolved through time, and displays society’s essential principles in this light.

Furthermore, it evaluates social commentaries enhanced by the dynamics of the digital age, such as societal issues like education in Nigeria, the question of democracy, challenges facing the country, and the development of a national language. Many of these societal challenges are examined in this book from the perspective of Farooq Kperogi, who has conducted extensive studies and published on the above themes. This is balanced against emerging facts, Nigerians’ positions, and disregarded realities. Kperogi’s relentless writings on Nigeria make him a preeminent figure whose positions are valuable to the understanding of modern Nigeria.

Toyin Falola is a Professor of History, University Distinguished Teaching Professor, and the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin, USA. He has received over thirty lifetime career awards and sixteen honorary doctorates. He has written extensively on the African Diaspora, including The African Diaspora: Slavery, Modernity, and Globalization.

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BREAKING: After Subsidy Removal, NNPC Increases Petrol Price To Over N500



Senator Withdraws Support For Tinubu Over Choice Of Muslim Running Mate
President Tinubu

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) on Wednesday adjusted the pump price of petrol by over 100% to between N488 and N557.

The development followed the announcement by President Bola Tinubu during his inaugural address on Monday that fuel subsidy was ‘gone’.

However, it was learnt that the president will meet with organised labour from 2pm Thursday (today) afternoon.

The prices have now been adjusted upward from between N189 to N194 to N537 per litre in Abuja and other North-central States.

For Lagos and other South-west states, a litre of fuel now sells for between N488 and N500 per litre.

In the South-east, the price will range from N515 to N520, while in the North-west, the price of the product was raised to N540. In the North-east, it moved from N199 to N557 per litre.

For the South-south, it is now from N511 to N525 per litre. Nigeria’s subsidy budget of N3.6 trillion for this year, expires in June, 2023.

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