Friday, August 31, 2007

Angela Davis in SA yesterday..

Angela Davis spoke at WITS in SA yesterday. Bibi and I reflected on the likelihood of Nigeria being capable of hosting such events. Sadly, probably not in our lifetime. The academic-cum-public intellectuals and institutions of this ilk are not yet born here.

Here's the blurb:

Oxford academic Theodore Zeldin argues that conversation is crucial if societies are to realize their full potential. His work spans across the social spectrum - from intimate relationships to the world of work and politics. One of his arguments is that women have changed the way we work and conduct politics. The Platform for Public Deliberation in collaboration with WISER has asked veteran activist and distinguished scholar Angela Davis to reflect on a career that spans over three decades of social justice activism to her current advocacy for the abolition of the prison system as dehumanizing. Our interest though lies in the ways that current debates about leadership in South Africa incorporate the values and styles that women bring to politics. What are those distinctive values and styles, beyond just the matter of one's gender? Can we find non-essentialising and non-patronising ways of speaking about those distinctive contributions? Do people like Deputy President Pumzile Mlambo Ngcuka, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille and the Independent Democrats' Patricia De Lille make a difference to our political culture simply because they are women, or because they bring different experiences, values and styles of leadership? Gender activist and scholar Nomboniso Gasa will lead the
discussion with the public after Davis's address, and bring the issues closer to current debates on gender and leadership.

Date: 30 August 2007
Time: 5:30 for 6:00 pm
Venue: Senate Room, 2nd floor Senate House, Wits University

This lecture is free and open to the public. Seating is unreserved.


Mike,  12:59 pm  

'Oxford academic Theodore Zeldin argues that conversation is crucial if societies are to realize their full potential.' Duhh.

I think Nigeria has a few people that can come up with something more earth shattering than that (probably very expensive) statement of the obvious!

Jeremy 1:05 pm  

Mike - I was referring to Angela Davis, and WITS (and also the History of Consciousness Program at UCLA Santa Cruz), not Theodore Zeldin!

GodWins,  1:17 pm  

Since we can't get to SA,when will we be able to view clips from Angela Davis' lecture? There's no way to comment on what you have not seen or heard.

Jeremy 3:03 pm  

no clips as far as I am aware. However, there is plenty of Angela Davis stuff on Youtube. See this for instance:

Anonymous,  3:04 pm  

Do you think many Nigerian academics would have heard of Angela
davis let alone inviting her to give a talk? I doubt it very much. Nigerians like to debate about meaninglessness and politics but nothing of note.

Mike, I beg name one or two nigerians.

GodWins,  3:30 pm  

I daresay that anyone who has not heard about Angela Davis,especially if you grew up in the sixties, is just textbook literate and out of sync with the global evironment.Unfortunately,
this is the legacy of many Nigerian professionals and academicians who are celeberated over their more urbane peers.

Anonymous,  5:44 pm  

would you all pls stop patting yourselves on your collective backs for having heard of Angela Davis? You are NOT inetellectuals just cos you have...perhaps you've heard of a small concept called "popular culture"? Granted, George Bush not aware ot it, but then again, he's no rocket scientist either..Go figure (and Fight The Power) Oh, and lest my allusion to Black Panther anthem give you the (wrong) impression that i AM an intellectual (such as yourselves) i'm really only quoting an early rap anthem from NWA (Small concept called pop culture awareness?) Peace Out. Fight The Man. But really, more power to sister Angela Davis. I think you'd be surprised to know how many people are aware of her work and admire her here in would be akin to one experience Christopher Hitchens shares in this months Vanity Fair- on the book tour for his new bestselling book God is Not Great! "half the people attending had thought they were the only atheists in town". We CAN be a progressive bunch sometimes (If only in theory)

GodWins,  6:34 pm  

Hello there,
Anonymous is beginning to sound like 'an a-n-i-m-o-u-s-e'.What is it you are defending? Is it literacy or iliteracy? Are you saying it is no good to be intelectual because you're not,while at the same time trying to convey a modicum of intelectuality in your writing.Man,you're neither hot nor cold.I am afraid of you. You should be praise-singing for Yar'Adua. He might dole out a wad or two.

intellectual against anti-intellectuals,  7:28 pm  

To Anon, I don't read anyone praising themselves for having heard of Angela Davis. The question is more will somebody like her and not Stephen Covey gets invited to come and speak in Nigeria? I doubt it very much. I doubt it very much if the Nigerian intellectual elite or academy will invite a person like who can speak with authority and lucidity about feminsim, popular culture, the american prison industrial complex, injustice, crisis of leadership etc to come and address them. To come and speak about the complexity of female leadership and power. We are just not there yet as a story. We like to yarn dust and thats all we do and we think we are intellectualising. or progressive. We are Jack shit.

Anonymous,  8:34 pm  

You really got me Godwins. What a diss....NOT. Frankly i dont realy understand your comment, but am soooo scared you'll come back at me with your rapier sharp wit. um....NOT.
As for the self titled intellectual against anti-intellectuals,i beg to differ. Initial reactors to jeremy's post WERE being smug and condescending about knowing Ms. Davis. And i know enough independent thinkers/readers here who would pay to see a Nikki Giovanni or an Eve Ensler- Hell, my feminist homeroom teacher got a roar of approval during our graduation ceremony when she referred to God as "She".But then again i do know an awful lot of idiots (albeit lovable ones)who paid alot of dosh to see Beyonce and her "female, all girl band". I just think really- small small.One step at a time, one Benjamin Zephaniah at a time. You'd be surprised at the number of people who are waiting for independent thinkers to come talk to them.So much is wrong here, and so many people know, but think they are alone. We do need to have events like this , invite people like this first in a small setting, and one day (Believe) the National Stadium. Fight the Power baby.

Anonymous,  5:24 am  

We are Jack shit.


what;s this 'we' business. speak for yourself--jack shit

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