New Dimensions in African Studies: Relevance, Priorities and Prospects; Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of the I.C.I.

Description

174 pages
$6.00
ISBN 2-7603-3310-8

Year

1982

Contributor

Reviewed by Gildas Roberts

Gildas Roberts is a university professor of English at the Memorial
University of Newfoundland.

Review

This book contains 15 of the papers read at the 10th International Conference of the Institute for International Co-operation, University of Ottawa, in May 1978. The two appendices comprise the programme and the list of participants. Six of the papers are in English and nine in French. They are grouped under the headings “New Dimensions in African Studies”; “Relevance and Priorities”; “Innovations and Research: African Studies and Prospects”; “Research and African Studies in Africa”; “Research and African Studies in Canada.” There is only one paper under the latter heading: Joseph Chiasson’s account of the founding and activities of the Coady International Institute, St. Francis Xavier University.

The papers are the short “15-min. max.” variety so beloved of the conveners of North American colloquia. In the social sciences 15 minutes are often not enough, and in this collection there is often an immense discrepancy between the vastness of the topic assigned to the speaker and the shortness of the time allotted for its treatment. Sometimes (notably in Dr. Charles J. Wright’s “Health Care in Africa Today: A Question of Priorities”) the enforced brevity has resulted in a crisp and comprehensive statement; more often, through no fault of the authors, what we have are papers with too much surface and too little depth.

Given this limitation, the contributions are of a high standard, and bring a cool, scholarly realism to a region of study so often obfuscated by the heated rhetoric of both the right and the left. The dreary, sub-Marxist, cliché — an acronym-freighted paper by Dr. Bud L. Hall, an educationist of Toronto — is the sullen ground that sets off the bright metal of the remainder of the compilation. The book has been carefully proofread: the only major error that I detected was the reversal of Professor Kabongo Ilunga’s name at the head of page 51.

Citation

“New Dimensions in African Studies: Relevance, Priorities and Prospects; Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of the I.C.I.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/38942.