On the Right Side of History: the Trajectory of “Domestic” African Studies from Endre Sik to the Present Day
Table of contents
Share
Metrics
On the Right Side of History: the Trajectory of “Domestic” African Studies from Endre Sik to the Present Day
Annotation
PII
S207987840011059-3-1
DOI
10.18254/S207987840011059-3
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Authors
Colin Darch 
Affiliation: University of Cape Town
Address: South Africa, Cape Town
Abstract

The article presents an analysis of the trajectory of “domestic” African studies in the Soviet Union and the post-Soviet Russian Federation, posing the fundamental question of the extent to which Soviet afrikanistika was in fact a manifestation of a disinterested political solidarity with the struggles of oppressed African peoples, and can be absolved of pursuing economic interests and even of harbouring colonial ambitions. The article analyses a proposed periodisation of afrikanistika and show how fluctuations in the fortunes of the discipline were largely determined by external factors, such as political repression or liberalization, the extent to which foreign policy was oriented towards the global south, the Cold War, and so on. Although the Soviet Union's Africa policy was generally on the right side of history, the utilitarianism that had underpinned it has not functioned to build a solid and numerous cadre of Africa specialists. And with the growth of Russian interest in relations with African countries since President Putin's speech at Sochi in 2008, the discipline is facing twin challenges: how to engage fully with the epistemological self-examination that is current in the postcolonial situation in both former metropoles and former colonies; and how to support a new generation of academic Africa specialists to meet what seems likely to be a sharply increased demand for their analyses.

Keywords
Africa, Soviet Union, Russia, African Studies, Endre Sík
Received
08.07.2020
Publication date
30.09.2020
Number of characters
58348
Number of purchasers
1
Views
45
Readers community rating
0.0 (0 votes)
Cite Download pdf 100 RUB / 1.0 SU

To download PDF you should sign in

Full text is available to subscribers only
Subscribe right now
Only article
100 RUB / 1.0 SU
Whole issue
1000 RUB / 10.0 SU
All issues for 2020
1200 RUB / 20.0 SU

References

1. Balezin A. S. (red.) Afrikanistika KhKh v.: vremya, lyudy, vzglyady. M., 2002.

2. Vystuplenie i diskussiya na Myunkhenskoj konferentsii po voprosam politiki bezopasnosti [Electronic source]. URL: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/24034 (date access: 20.06.2020).

3. Gorodnov, V. (sost.), Davidson A. B. (red.) Komintern i Afrika: dokumenty. SPb., 2003.

4. Davidson A. B. (red.) Stanovlenie otechestvennoj afrikanistiki, 1920-e — nachalo 1960-kh. M., 2003.

5. Davidson A. B. Istoriya Afriki v dokumantakh, 1870—2000. M., 2005. T. 1—3.

6. Davidson A. B., Mazov S. V. (red.). Rossiya i Afrika: dokumenty i materialy, XVIII v. — 1960 g. M., 1999.

7. Ismagilova R., Yablochkov L. Koordinatsionnoe soveschanie sovetskikh afrikanistov // Sovetskaya Ehtnografiyayu. 1957. № 3. S. 184—186.

8. Kochakova N. B., Voznesenskaya Yu. A. Etkhnologika Afrikana: pamyati Dmitriya Alekseevicha Ol'derogge. M., 2002.

9. Solodovnikov V. G. Dom Afriki v Moskve: Starokonyushennyj 16. M., 2011.

10. Stalin I. V. Sochineniya. T. 13. M., 1951.

11. Shijk A. A. K postanovke marksistskogo izucheniya sotsial'no-ehkonomicheskikh problem Chernoj Afriki. // Revolyutsionnyj Vostok. 1930. №.8. S. 85—101.

12. Shijk A. A. Rasovaya problema i marksizm. M., 1930.

13. Bernstein H. Marxism and African history: Endre Sík and his critics // Kenya Historical Review. 1977. V. 5. № 1. P. 1—21.

14. Búr G. Endre Sík and the traditions of African Studies in Hungary // Chubu International Review. 2007. V. 2. P. 155—169

15. Cahen M. Lusotopie, Lusotopy: what legacy, what future? // Lusotopie. 2018. V. 17. P. 187—203.

16. Chrétien J.-P. Pourquoi l’Afrique, pourquoi l’histoire? // Afrique et Histoire. 2003. № 1. P. 6—19.

17. Curtis G. E. (ed.) Russia: a country study. Washington, 1996.

18. Darch C. M. A Soviet view of Africa: an annotated bibliography on Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti. Boston, 1980.

19. Darch C. M., Littlejohn G. Endre Sík and the development of African studies in the USSR: a study agenda from 1929 // History in Africa. 1983. V. 10. P. 79—108

20. Darch C. M. Catalyst, stake, pretext, symbol, mask: on the history of relations between the Comintern, the Soviet Union and Southern Africa // Journal of Southern African Studies 2005. V. 31. № 4. P. 883—893

21. Davidson A. B. et al. (eds.) South Africa and the Communist International: a documentary history. L., 2003.

22. Élites de retour de l'Est // Cahiers d'études africaines. 2017. № 226.

23. Filatova I. I., Davidson A. B. The hidden thread: Russia and South Africa in the Soviet era. Johannesburg, 2013.

24. Filatova I. I. Some thoughts on Soviet African studies under stagnation and perestroika // International Journal of African Historical Studies. 1992. V. 25. № 1. P. 15—23.

25. Gough K. New proposals for anthropologists // Current Anthropology. 1968. V. 9. № 5. P. 403—435.

26. Jones D. H. Africa through the looking glass // Journal of African History. 1963. V. 4. P. 129—130

27. Jones D. H. Sik's Africa. // Journal of African History 1967. V. 8. P. 549—550

28. Kumar R. Russia's foreign policy: an overview of 25 years of transition // International Studies. 2018. V. 53. P. 210—226

29. Lohr E., Tolz V., Semyonov A., von Hagen M. (eds.) The Empire and Nationalism at War. Bloomington, 2014.

30. Matusevich M. (ed.). Africa in Russia, Russia in Africa: three centuries of encounters. Trenton, NJ, 2007.

31. McStallworth P. The History of Black Africa.V. 1, by Endre Sík // Journal of Negro History 1966. V. 51. № 4. P. 302.

32. Myadar O. In the Soviet shadow: Soviet colonial politics in Mongolia // Inner Asia. 2017. V. 19. P. 5—28.

33. Odera Oruko H. Marxism and African history // Kenya Historical Review. 1973. V. 1. № 2. P. 139—150.

34. Philliou C. USSR South: postcolonial worlds in the Soviet imaginary // Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. 2013. V. 33. P. 197—200.

35. Ranger T. (ed.) Emerging themes of African history. Nairobi, 1968.

36. Ribeiro D. O que é lugar de fala? Belo Horizonte, 2017.

37. Shepperson G. The History of Black Africa by Endre Sík // History. 1975. V. 60. № 199. P. 145—146.

38. Shubin V. G. The hot Cold War: the USSR in Southern Africa. L., 2008.

39. Sík E. The history of Black Africa. V. 4. Budapest: 1966—1974.

40. Sik E. Vihar a levelet. Budapest, 1970.

41. Solodovnikov V. G. African studies in the USSR // Journal of Modern African Studies. 1966. Vol. 4. № 3. P. 359—366

42. Stronski P. Late to the party: Russia's return to Africa. Washington, DC, 2019.

43. Tarrósy I. and Morenth P. Global opening for Hungary: a new beginning for Hungarian Africa policy? // African Studies Quarterly. 2013. V. 14. № 1/2. P. 77—96.

44. Walker B. On reading Soviet memoirs: a history of the “contemporaries’” genre as an institution of Russian intelligentsia culture from the 1790s to the 1970s // Russian Review. 2000. V. 59. № 3. P. 327—352.