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Obituary of Michael Wessels (1958–2018)

Remarks Made on the Occasion of a Memorial Service in Celebration of His Life, University of the Western Cape, 14 May 2018

Hermann Wittenberg

Shaun Viljoen

Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta and Aprameya Rao

Drawing inspiration from two theoretical framings: a sociocultural perspective on languaging and writings on a decolonial-turn, the study presented in this paper center-stages issues related to the need to engage analytically with, (i) social actions of political parties, citizens, including netizens in Web 2.0 settings, and (ii) alternative epistemologies where issues from the global-South are privileged. A central concern of decolonial linguistics enables asking new questions that destabilize established Eurocentric models of language. Thus, peripherally framed sociocultural premises contribute to critical social-humanistic perspectives that allow for (potentially) unpacking northern hegemonies and contributing to global-North challenges. Building upon an analytical design, this paper presents cross-disciplinary analysis of languaging in contemporary political mediascapes of the nation-states of India and Sweden. Bringing to bear that language does not only mirror reality, but is also a constitutive culturaltool, the study aims to highlight the contrastive ways in which the dominating political parties and citizens engage with languaging (i.e. the deployment of semiotic resources across language-varieties, modalities, including imagery). The study unpacks similarities and differences in salient issues related to the nature of social media and language and identity-positions in political discourse, highlighting dimensions of the participants voices. Thus, patterns that emerge from the contrastive analysis of political discourses, including the features of social media are highlighted and discussed. Data includes social media pages of two political parties from both the nation-states across a 6-week period at the end of 2017.

Md. Jahangir Alam

This paper explores changing land values in the process of rapid urbanization in Dhaka, Bangladesh and its implications for urban land management and administration in the megacity. The study reveals that substantial increase in land values have resulted in land speculation among real estate and individual developers. Land values have increased by an average of 22.26% per year between 1990 and 2000, while the period spanning from 2000 to 2010 saw about 74% of yearly increase in Dhaka. The study revealed that due to increasing land values, prospective real estate developers are tempted to build housing in restricted areas defined by Dhaka metropolitan development plan such as flood zones, lakes, canals, ditch and drainage channels etc. The paper proposes a re-look at the causes of increase in land values and land speculations and the resulting environmental damage pointed out in this study as part of a broad urban land and environmental management strategy in rapidly growing megacities.

Pak Nung Wong

To explore a new de-colonial option for the global future, this article grapples with three movements of our time: the ‘Open Science’ movement, the 1955 African-Asian conference and the Non-Aligned Movement, and the post-exilic prophetic movement of the Abrahamic religions. It explores an alternative intellectual project which will facilitate new research agendas and publication directions that will simultaneously speaks to the three wider audience of the present-day world: the sciences, the Global South and the Abrahamic religious traditions. My objective is to delineate a theological, geopolitical and anthropological exposition as an ethical anchorage for the present Bandung project to steadily move towards the Open Science era. I will argue for Ezekiel’s prophetic model as a plausible de-colonial option for crafting the transnational open knowledge space.

Kingsford Gyasi Amakye

Community development is fundamentally about the development of community involving a sense of common identity, capacity and purpose. It can take the form of unpaid active citizenship with community members organizing themselves and taking on leadership roles. Community development emphasizes empowerment, equality, social justice, participation and representation. This means that community development is fundamentally concerned with decision-making processes affecting users, community-based agencies and services. It is premised on a ‘bottom-up’ approach, which means enhancing the capacity of communities to determine goals and to pursue issues of importance to them, and to make decisions affecting their lives, for example, the direction of services and the allocation of funds. In Ghana, governments under the various regimes, the community members themselves, and NGOs have promoted the CD practice in several ways since independence in 1957. Preceding governments in Ghana through the Department of Community Development have played a central role in the exercise of CD work. Community development has not been thoroughly investigated in SCDA. This paper gives a clear understanding of CD in SCDA. This paper seeks to assess how the local communities take part in the siting, planning and implementation of development projects in their communities. Further it explores community development projects in the district and how projects are financed in the district. Finally, investigates the obstacles that impede the realization of community development process. This paper was carried out using a mixed method approach. Four area councils in SCDA were randomly selected for this work. These were taken from a total of 10 different local communities spread across the four area council. The study reveals that facilities in terms of education, health, potable water, roads rehabilitation, sanitation and rural electrification have improved tremendously (Fieldwork 2015). The study recommends that policies should be geared towards agriculture to improve the lives of the people in the district since the district is agrarian in nature.