Developing Knowledge Societies: Africa Needs a Linguistic Revolution

African societies are on the brink of changing from postcolonial societies into global knowledge societies. Digitalization and globalization could enhance their transformation from knowledge-consuming to knowledge-producing societies, which would also help bring full mental decolonization to Africa. Just as important, it would open the way for African indigenous knowledge systems to enjoy recognition in the “North,” not to mention in other parts of the Global South. If it were not for the language issue.[1] Continue reading “Developing Knowledge Societies: Africa Needs a Linguistic Revolution”

Knowledge Notes

Economic Personae: The Making of Financial Identity in America

woman in credit bureau with credit files representing an assortment of businessmen

In 1936, actor Ian Keith petitioned a Los Angeles court to change his legal name. Born in Boston as Ian Macaulay Ross in 1899, Keith had honed his skills on Broadway stages before transitioning to the silver screen. By the mid-1930s, he was a familiar face in dozens of Hollywood films. He played the assassin John Wilkes Booth in Abraham Lincoln (1930), D. W. Griffith’s first “talkie,” and appeared in several Cecil B. DeMille epics, including The Sign of the Cross (1932) and Cleopatra (1934). Audiences knew him as Ian Keith, the stage name he had settled on in the early 1920s. Keith’s petition sought to make this public identity official. Continue reading “Economic Personae: The Making of Financial Identity in America”

Two Postdoctoral Fellowships at the Intersection of an Anthropology of Knowledge and Global Political History

Deadline: March 9, 2018

Inanna Hamtati-Ataya reports on two postdoctoral fellowship opportunities for an ERC-funded project she is leading at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge:

“The Global as ARTEFACT: Understanding the Patterns of Global Political History through an Anthropology of Knowledge—The Case of Agriculture in Four Global Systems from the Neolithic to the Present.”

The project aims to offer a novel understanding and theorisation of ‘the global’ by examining the constitution and transformation of global political structures from the anthropological perspective of humankind’s epistemic development. Researchers from across the social sciences and humanities who are interested in investigating the formation and diffusion of knowledge are invited to apply. The researchers will contribute 50% of their time to ARTEFACT, 10% to the activities of the newly established Centre for Global Knowledge Studies (GloKnoS) and 40% to their own research project.

All the details on the vacancies, application procedure and project are available here: The application deadline is 9 March 2018; interviews of shortlisted candidates will be held on 24 April. For any queries please contact Dr. Hamati-Ataya (