Afrokology of media and communication studies: theorising from the margins

Mano, W. and Milton, V. 2021. Afrokology of media and communication studies: theorising from the margins. in: Mano, W. and Milton, V. (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Media and Communication Studies Routledge Handbook of African Media and Communication Studies Routledge. pp. pp.19-42

Chapter titleAfrokology of media and communication studies: theorising from the margins
AuthorsMano, W.
Milton, V.
EditorsMano, W.
Milton, V.
Abstract

This chapter constitutes a quarrel from the margins, an explication of Afrokology and an introduction to its counter-hegemonic heuristic approach in media and communication studies. The chapter goes beyond critiques of the marginality of African approaches in media and communication studies to position Afrokology as a decolonial heuristic tool that is collaborative, convivial and transdisciplinary in its conversation with other forms of knowledge. It argues that the marginalisation of African epistemologies from theoretical debates in media and communication studies parallels the routine sociocultural, political and economic disempowerment and exclusion of the continent’s people from global processes. This is similar to how other previously colonised regions such as Asia, the Middle East and Latin America have been epistemologically marginalised in spite of growing evidence of the depth and scope of their scholarly contributions. The discipline of media and communication studies has remained captive to theoretical and methodological approaches from the global North, especially European and American perspectives. The marginalisation of media and communication staff, texts, theories, methods and scholarship from the global South has become routine within top academic institutions in the “powerful” global North and, ironically, also in the global South (cf. Mano and milton 2020). In this use, margin makes evident both the position and place of being constrained, but importantly, it also kindles potential for resistance, relexicalising and realignment. Thus, we argue, living on the margins does not entail giving up or surrendering to a powerful unofficial center, as the margin can offer the “possibility of radical perspective from which to see and create, to imagine alternatives, new worlds” (hooks 1989, 20). This radical reorientation is central to the approach in this chapter as we view marginality as a pivotal location for the production of counter-hegemonic discourse as well as a new location from which to articulate our sense of the world as Africans. In doing so, we propose a way forward that in our view avoids the pitfalls of using marginalisation in ways that might impose a paralysing and false homogeneity upon African epistemes, cultures and people. In fact, the chapter works to wrest the notion of the margin from one whose existence and meaning is only dependent on the construction of a unified, empowered and privileged center.

KeywordsAfrokology; decoloniality; African media theory; de-westernising; postcolonial media
Book titleRoutledge Handbook of Media and Communication Studies
Page rangepp.19-42
Year2021
PublisherRoutledge
Publication dates
Published12 Feb 2021
Place of publicationRoutledge Handbook of African Media and Communication Studies
Edition1st
ISBN9781351273206
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351273206
File
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Web address (URL)https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=uxkOEAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA107&ots=i3QLrrvikZ&sig=0WN26znGkNJssA4y5YIiCA3yVUg#v=onepage&q&f=false

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