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Decolonizing Classics in Africa: the work of Alexander Kwapong

Goff, B. ORCID: (2022) Decolonizing Classics in Africa: the work of Alexander Kwapong. Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, 65 (1). pp. 32-41. ISSN 2041-5370

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1093/bics/qbac006


Alexander Osei Adum Kwapong (1927–2014) was a notable classical scholar who studied at the renowned Achimota School of Ghana, and gained a PhD in Ancient History from King’s College, Cambridge. He sub- sequently became the first African Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, and went on to a career in several institutions of higher education. As with some other African Classical scholars, the attitude towards the Classics represented in his writings repays examination, especially on the following issues: to what extent does he see his professional activity as ‘decolonizing’? To what extent are the Classics within his work already unmoored from any significantly European identity? Drawing on his autobiography and several more or less formal texts about the Classics in Africa, I shall tease out the possible complexities of Kwapong’s positions. Although ‘decolonizing’ does not necessarily mean the same in his writings as in our current preoccupations, his version of Classics as a discipline is geared towards promoting a usable history of Africa, a productive account of Africa’s place in the world, and an open dialogue among cultures.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Language Text and Power
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Identities
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Classics
ID Code:110800
Publisher:Oxford University Press


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