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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Can the Somali Speak Academically?

"Earlier this week, an academic journal was brought to my attention: the Somaliland Journal of African Studies, which published its inaugural issue in February. It describes itself as a journal “covering African affairs at large, but with a particular focus on East Africa and the Horn” and “put together with students at scholars of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies of the University of Hargeisa.” Missing from the journal’s editorial board, board of advisors, and authors were said Somali students and scholars. Not one Somali from outside of UofH, either. Instead, the editorial and advisory boards were made up of nine European and US based academics (as well as two PhD student editors) and three Ethiopian academics affiliated with Addis Ababa University. On my Facebook page, I called for a Twitter conversation on March 25th under the hashtag #CadaanStudies.... As a public post shared widely, many Somalis participated in the Facebook thread to critique the journal. The tone shifted completely when one of SJAS’ advisory board members, German anthropologist Markus Hoehne, entered the thread with comments so patronizing many of us were left wondering if we had encountered a real-life early 20th century anthropologist caricature. His defense of SJAS and “cadaan” domination of Somali Studies: Somali social scientists do not exist, and non-Somali academics will continue to dominate the field until you Somalis dislodge us..." - Safia Aididhttp://africasacountry.com/can-the-somali-speak-cadaanstudies/

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