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African democratic thought

2015-08-24 来源: 51due教员组 类别: Essay范文

这篇短文,主要是对非洲民族主义,文学教育和后殖民大学的一些想法,主要集中在增长后殖民非洲民族主义和文学教育的问题。在开始的时候,劳伦斯赖特认为文学的主要目的是殖民思想。他强烈认为,该书极大地突出了文学教育中的重要作用。

This short essay, some thoughts on African nationalism, literary education and the post-colonial university, concentrates principally on issues concerning the growing post-colonial African nationalism and literary education. At the very beginning, Laurence Wright takes the view that the primary intention of literature is to colonize minds. He strongly argues that books, to a larger extent, hold an incomparable position so far as the function of invading readers’ minds, dramatically pinpointing the supreme role of literature education. Naturally, there follows a brief account of the task of re-shaping literary education in southern African universities. According to Laurence Wright, it is of great necessity and significance to take the three relevant contexts into account when setting out the reconstruction of African literary education. As readily can be seen from the essay, the first striking fact is that books’ attempted invasion of readers’ mind is predetermined to meet a wide selection of resistances. Another noticeable point worth thinking about is the detrimental and ever-lasting effect of apartheid education on current literary education. The last relevant context lies in the fact that the fast development of influential critical theory in the western society is taking over the global intellectual universe. 

After the three dynamics that worth noticing, Laurence Wright points out the pathetic current situation of literary education throughout the African continent, that is, the severe lack and the relative neglect of writing in school syllabi. Further, he continues to illustrate the process of syllabus reconstruction in South Africa, evaluating the two versions of post-colonial African cultural nationalism. In particular, he provides further comments on the Songa’s radical advocate of Africanisation of the university.  

As Laurence Wright has pointed out, the defining purpose of literature in education is to help build a cultural identity. As a corollary, literature education would inevitably play a significant role in reconstructing the culture, shaping the national identity and creating an ideological horizon around African creativity.

In the final part, Laurence Wright also reminds that it is imperative to be wary of the radical African cultural nationalism. Besides, he also explains the role of European literature in a post-apartheid African literary education. The first suggestion he offers is that much more weight must be given in the curriculum and school courses; secondly, we must encourage researchers to shift their interest from non-African literature to African literature. Last, we have to realize the fact that non-African literature specialists can also be indispensible and valuable to the reconstruction of the identity of the post-colonial universities.

 Essentially, cultural reconstruction is a no easy job, since society and culture are inextricably bound up with each other. Some post-1960s culture theorists even introduced the actuality of culture as a general and necessary truth rather than a useful construction. Following this vein, cultural reconstruction has to go along with the social events. The colonial past of African countries has to be taken into account. Within the twentieth century, there was a ceaseless argument about whether the distinction between the social and the cultural is necessary or not. As far as the southern African countries are concerned, such a distinction is unnecessary and pernicious; further, it misleads us to believe that the social is quite more real whereas the cultural is nothing but symbols and meanings. 

On the balance, literary education in post-colonial African universities is just the first step to the reconstruction of the cultural identity. 

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